Albert Cohen - Status Frustration

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  • Created on: 23-04-15 17:37
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  • Cohen - "Status Frustration"
    • Adressed the issue of subcultures and gangs among young working class males in the 1950's
      • He argues that they face anomie in the middle class dominated school system
        • Due to cultural deprivation and a lack of skills to achieve, they are unable to achieve in the middle class world, leaving them at the bottom of the status hierarchy.
          • Because of this they suffer from status frustration.
            • They resolve their frustration by rejecting mainstream middle class values and turning instead to other boys in the same situation and forming/joining delinquent subcultures.
              • The role of the subculture is to offer the boys an alternative status hierarchy in which they can achieve. They win status from their peers through delinquent actions
    • Evaluation
      • Downes - conducted a thorough study of east London adolescents and found no evidence for the existence of groups that  could be considered a proper 'subculture'
      • Postmodernists would argue that a dominant 'mainstream culture' doesn't exist, as in todays fragmented society it is impossible to speak of just one culture


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