2009 Student Research Conference:
22nd Annual Student Research Conference

The Agnewian Strain of Marceldom in Proust's The Captive & The Fugitive
John P. McDonough
Dr. Bob Mielke and Prof. Joe Nedelec, Faculty Mentors

While designed to understand criminal action, I posit that Robert Agnew's general strain theory operates functionally to explain all behavior, not simply deviance. Marcel Proust's In Search of Lost Time, which many point to as a high-water mark in literary self-analysis, serves as a case-study to demonstrate the potential of Agnew's theory. By examining the actions of the narrator, it becomes clear that his mood (and thus his relations with others) correlates closely to those strains highlighted by Agnew and his own ability to manage them. These findings offer both a new, intriguing lens through which to analyze character and motivation in literature as well as implications for the usefulness of Agnew's theory across disciplines that have traditionally ignored it.

Keywords: Marcel Proust, Robert Agnew, In Search of Lost Time, General Strain Theory, Literary Criticism, Criminology

Justice Systems

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 49-1
Location: OP 2113
Time: 2:45

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