I agree with the argument of Merton that the legitimate means to look for wealth and succeed in life in the US is divided among people in different social class and status. This implies that the people in the country do not have equal access to the formal means of getting wealth. People from high social levels have a higher chance to secure formal education. They can pay for the costly education unlike in the cases of less privileged people. This implies that the people in the higher social class are able to pursue education to higher levels. As a result, they stand better chances to secure profile jobs which are high paying. Thus, they are able to save some money from their income which can be used to acquire wealth. This is contrary to the case of the poor people who in most cases are able to afford the basic education. As a result, they get low paying jobs due to their low academic qualifications. As a result, the income they get is only adequate to meet their daily needs (Will and John 168).
When it comes to accumulation of wealth, the people from the high social class have better chances of acquiring wealth through legal means. Due to their top paying jobs, they are in a position to save part of the income for investment purposes. However, the low social class people struggle to meet their basic needs due to the low paying jobs. Additionally, due to their low level of education, they do not have innovative skills which they can use to accumulate wealth. As a result, they are forced to engage in illegal activities to accumulate wealth (Will and John 172). This explains the reason why criminal activities are prevalent in the people from the low soc al class compared to the more privileged people in society.
The answer provided by my fellow student tries to explain the reasons why people engage in criminal activity. It describes the role of the society in forcing people to participate in illegal activities to achieve their set goals. The society majorly focuses on success where the people in the higher social class are more recognized in the community. As a result, the less privileged individuals in the society view themselves as failures. The student emphasizes the role of needs and ends in causing criminal activity. According to the expectations of the society, all the people should be in a position to meet their ends (Messner 37). This refers to the ultimate goal which is having a good life. However, according to the student, people in different social classes do not have equal means to achieve the ends. The society creates the various social classes of people. As a result, due to lack of the less privileged people to meet the expectations of the community, they look for any means to achieve success, irrespective of whether it is legal or not.
The answer of the student is efficient in answering the question presented. It elaborates on the pressure which forces people to participate in unlawful activities to acquire wealth. If it were not for the extreme expectations of the society for the people to be successful, individuals would be comfortable with their status of living (Messner 44). American culture stresses the goals of acquiring wealth, success and power. The student has tried to link what happens in real life situations and the argument of Merton. Thus, the answer has efficiently addressed the question and also elaborated the argument presented by Merton.
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