Merton criticized the functionalist theories from which he developed four forms of functions.
He explained that deviant response was a response to various events in society.
He identified various functions including:
- Conformity is a description for people who pursue goals that are culturally valued through application of legitimate means - Forming queues as the bus station
- Ritualism – is a function that explains the individuals that set realistic goals for themselves - People's inability to embrace the American dream
- Retreatism – This function explains the individuals who tend to reject the society’s goals and refuse to make any attempt to obtain them. For example dropping from society and giving up on the society
- Rebellion – This function explains people who tend to reject and replace goals that are culturally valued and the socially identified ways of achieving them - Giving up on society and identifying new goals and means to achieve them