Strain Theory

June 8, 2018 Music

Ok, for the creation of my scenario, allow me to introduce you to a young bloke by the name of Akbar. Akbar is 20 years old, works in a machine shop which his Father, Ahmed got for him through a friendship of a shop owner who happens to be a next door neighbor. Nice and convenient! Because Akbar is working at a job his Father is happy about, Akbar is enjoying a happy relationship with his Father. However we will soon learn that this happy relationship is strictly conditional.

You see unless Akbar is always doing well, he does not get positive feedback from his Father. Do well, he will be praised. Do unwell, and well, he gets verbally accosted, repeatedly. Regardless, Akbar is working, his Father is please, Akbar receives that much sought after positive, loving feedback. Akbar doesn’t really like his job, in fact he dreads it. He fears losing a finger or even more in the machinery he has to work on. However he forges on as he does not wish to anger his Fuher… err, I mean Father.

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Akbar begins to show up late for work. Naturally this counts against him. On the job, his mind begins to wander, unable to pay attention to his work; he begins to create bad parts. When review time comes up, Akbar’s supervisor determines that the company is not receiving proper performance on the part of Akbar, and he is released from his duties. Things to not go well between Akbar and his Father, in the weeks to come, instead of positive, encouraging words from his Father, he gets nothing but negativity.

He is called lazy and worthless. Akbar begins to lose himself in his music collection. Listening to his favorites – Black Sabbath, Judas Priest, among others, all to soothe the sadness he feels inside because of the rejection of his father. The music mirrors how he feels inside. Sad, and very much angry, he feels empowered as he drowns himself in the music. The ingredients relating to General Strain Theory (Agnew, n. d. ) include the loss of his job, which is the loss of the major goal.

The presentation of the noxious stimuli can be two elements in this scenario. First the constant negative feedback from his Father and next would be the music. Akbar is using the music to help sooth himself, however under the circumstances and his state of mind; it is actually inflaming his negative feelings. The lack of a paycheck as well as the removal of positive feedback and the fading of a positive relationship with his Father would qualify as the removal of valued stimuli. Without going too deep, it would be easy to imagine Akbar

turning to drinking alcohol and possible drug abuse. As the old saying “Drugs, sex and rock ‘n roll” they seem to go in hand. Getting high while listening to his music is no stretch of the imagination, and while in that state, the pain of disappointment is temporarily numbed. It is easy to imagine someone thinking that even a temporary relief is better than none at all. Cognitive Behavioral restructuring (Dombeck, 2006) can be a big help by replacing the negative thoughts in Akbar’s mind.

First, Akbar is programmed through his Father to think negatively of himself. Akbar must come to knowing that his is not a bad person, on the contrary is a person with very good qualities. Every time self harming thoughts present themselves in Akbar’s mind, he must always remind himself that he is a worthy individual. Instead of turning to any substance to get away from problems, this can be something as drug or alcohol abuse or as suggested earlier, even audio can be a substance to escape from emotions or hurtful situations.

Instead of allowing himself to wallow in negativity, and when he feels himself slip, he should rather focus on solutions. First and foremost would be to formulate a work search plan. Gather a list of possible employers, make phone calls, find out whom to contact and secure an interview. Blast that resume out there. In gaining employment this would put Akbar back into the good graces of his Father. It would then even better for Akbar to extend his wings and fly from the nest and get his own place, which would most likely aid Akbar’s relationship with his Father even more.


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