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He is considered a founding father of modern sociology while also gaining a status for the work he contributed to criminology. Merton developed notable concepts such as unitended consequences',the "reference group" and "role strain" ,but is perhaps best known for the terms "role model" and "self fulfilling prophecy".
Merton's work on the "role model" first appeared in a study on the sociolization of medical students at columbia university. .The term grew from his theory of the reference group , the group to which individuals compare themselves but to which they do not necessarily belong.
. Social role were central to merton's theory of social groups .merton emphasized that,rather than a person assuming one role and one status,they have status setin the social structure that has,attached to it, a whole set of expected behaviours.
.Theory of the middle range: merton's work is often compared to that of talcott parsons. Merton enrollred in parsons's theory course while at harvard, and he admired parsons work because it introduced him to europian methods of theory ,while also bradeining his own idea and conclusion about sociology.
. Clarifying functional analysis . Dysfunctions
. Theory of deviance Merton's theory of deviance stems from his 1938 analysis of the relationship between culture ,structure and anomie. . The term anomie, derived from emile durkhiem for merton means a discord between cultural goals and legitimate means available to reach them.
. Reference group : meaning ,types and importance of reference group
Structural functionalism of Robert k. Merton:-