According to the functionalist perspective, crime can occur when people do not have adequate opportunities to pursue the sorts of goals that society approves of. This often happens to people from impoverished backgrounds. They see the material goods that other people in society have and they, like other people, want them. The problem is that they are blocked from pursuing these goals through legitimate means. They may, for example, not have enough education to get good jobs. Therefore, the theory goes, they turn to illegal activities to try to get the material things that they, like most in society, want.