Explaining “Everyday Crime”: A Test of Anomie and Relative Deprivation Theory

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Every day, individuals commit acts which are considered immoral, unethical, even criminal, often to gain material advantage. Many people consider cheating on taxes, cheating on tests, claiming false benefits, or avoiding transport fare to be wrong, but they do them anyway. While some of these acts may not be formally illegal, they are, at best, considered morally dubious and is labeled “everyday crime.” Anomie theory holds that individuals make decisions based on socialized values, which separately may be contradictory but together, balances each other out, producing behavior considered “normal” by society. When one holds an imbalanced set of values, decisions ... continued below

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Itashiki, Michael Robert December 2011.

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This dissertation is part of the collection entitled: UNT Theses and Dissertations and was provided by UNT Libraries to Digital Library, a digital repository hosted by the UNT Libraries. It has been viewed 1556 times , with 11 in the last month . More information about this dissertation can be viewed below.

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  • Itashiki, Michael Robert

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Every day, individuals commit acts which are considered immoral, unethical, even criminal, often to gain material advantage. Many people consider cheating on taxes, cheating on tests, claiming false benefits, or avoiding transport fare to be wrong, but they do them anyway. While some of these acts may not be formally illegal, they are, at best, considered morally dubious and is labeled “everyday crime.” Anomie theory holds that individuals make decisions based on socialized values, which separately may be contradictory but together, balances each other out, producing behavior considered “normal” by society. When one holds an imbalanced set of values, decisions made on that set may produce deviant behavior, such as everyday crime. RD theory holds that individuals who perceive their own deprivation, relative to someone else, will feel frustration and injustice, and may attempt to ameliorate that feeling with deviant behavior. Data from the 2006 World Values Survey were analyzed using logistic regression, testing both constructs concurrently. An individual was 1.55 times more likely to justify everyday crime for each calculated unit of anomie; and 1.10 times more likely for each calculated unit of RD. It was concluded from this study that anomie and relative deprivation were both associated with the tendency towards everyday crime.

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  • December 2011

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  • Oct. 2, 2012, 4:18 p.m.

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  • Dec. 12, 2013, 12:30 p.m.

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Itashiki, Michael Robert. Explaining “Everyday Crime”: A Test of Anomie and Relative Deprivation Theory, dissertation, December 2011; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc103334/: accessed July 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .