Strain and subcultural theories

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  • Strain and subcultural theories
    • Strain theory
      • Merton argued that all societies set their members certain goals and socially approved ways of achieving these goals
      • Innovation
        • The person accepts the goals of society but uses different was to achieve those goals
      • Rebellion
        • Both the socially sanction goals and means are rejected
      • Conformity
        • The individual continues to adhere to both goals and means despite the limited likelihood of success
      • Ritualism
        • The means are used by the individual but sight of the actual goal is lost
    • Status Frustration
      • Cohen research Chicago through an ethnography
      • Lower class boys strove to emulate middle-class values but lacked the means
      • Leads to status frustration and invert traditional middle-class values so behave badly
      • Critisms
        • School is not the place where success and failure are demonstrated
        • Does not take into account females
    • Subculture: the paradox of inclusion
      • Studied black youth in Philadelphia
      • Black children avidly consume US culture by watching TV with emphasis on consumerism and the success of violence yet at the same time are excluded economically,racially and politically from participating in mainstream US culture
        • They compensate by acquiring articles of high-status trade names
    • Neo-tribes
      • Maffesoli
      • Tribes then referred more to states of mind and lifestyle that were flexible
        • Subcultures values are now determined by what is fashionable and more deviant values
    • Masculinity
      • There is an existence of a hegemonic masculinity which males both conspire with and aspire to
        • It is similar to Merton's "lower-class values"
        • Male values fitted traditional labour work but as comtemporaary employment changes, male values are inappropriate


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