A mounting frequency of deviant but ‘successful’ behavior
tends to lessen and, as an extreme potentiality, to eliminate the legitimacy
of the institutional norms for others in the system. The process
thus enlarges the extent of anomie within the system so that others, who
did not respond in the form of deviant behavior to the relatively slight
anomie which first obtained, come to do so as anomie spreads and is intensified.
This, in turn, creates a more acutely anomic situation for still other
and initially less vulnerable individuals in the social system. In
this way, anomie and mounting rates of deviant behavior can be conceived
as interacting in a process of social and cultural dynamics, with cumulatively
disruptive consequences for the normative structure, unless counteracting
mechanisms of control are called into play. In each specific case
under examination, then, it is essential, as we have said before, to identify
the control mechanism which “minimize the strains resulting from seeming
[or actual] contradictions between cultural goals and socially restricted
access” to them. (177) (1968, pp. 234-235).