subcultural theories of C+D

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  • Created on: 09-05-13 17:14
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  • Subcultural  theories of C+D
    • Early subcultural studies influenced by functionalism
      • A K Cohen delinquent boys
        • Delinquency is collective not individual
        • Argued cultural deprivation leads to educational failure amongst lower working class boys
          • Lead to status frustration boys feel society gives them no status so look for respect in subcultural group
        • However study only includes males so research is androcentric
      • Cloward and Ohlin 1960  Delinquency and  opportuntity
        • Argued as well as the legitimate opportunity structure described by Merton there is an illegitimate opportunity structure
        • Criminal subculture- an IOC is present and creates a subculture where there is a career hierarchy eg organised crime
        • Conflict subculture- IOC is not available so youths form conflicting gangs out of frustration at lack of opportunity
        • Retreatist subculture- youths who cannot find acceptance in either criminal or conflict subcultures,may involve drug use
        • Crits- 3 subcultures not that distinct in real life. People in America have same norms of working hard and you will achieve
      • Walter Miller 1962
        • Argued that lower class  subcultures contained norms and values which  encouraged people to commit crime
        • Argues  mainstream values and norms are replaced with focal concerns, identifies 6: Toughness, Smartness, Excitement, Autonomy,  Fate, Trouble
        • Crits- Miller provides not enough evidence that these are lower class concerns could be middle class concerns to
        • Crits- unlikely lower class men are aware of the norms and values
      • David Matza 1961
        • Argued rather than being committed to delinquency, young people drifted between conventional and unconventional behaviour
        • argued everyone has deviant values but some carry out in the wrong place at the wrong time
        • Argues they can use techniques of neutralisation as a way of avoiding feeling guilty
        • Crits- People only apoligise when they are caught to justify actions to avoid being guilty
        • Crits- Matza has a romantized view of crime, Jones argues Matza get his evidence form deviants
      • Parker British study found focal concerns to a study of working class lads in Liverpool, found values of lower class subcultural values identified by Miller
      • Nightingale-American study.
        • Study of black youth in inner city of Philadelphia
        • Subculture comes from desire to be part of the mainstream US culture
        • They identify themselves with the wider culture by acquiring things with high status, eg clothes with logos, often obtained through violence and crime
    • Marxist subcultural theory
      • Capitalism maintains control over people through ideological dominance through media and economic pressure
      • Only groups on the fringes of society are not locked in, by this ideology and finance, working class provide resistance
      • Brake 1980
        • Resistance to capitalism amongst working class youth takes a form of style dress or language use
        • However brake points out that this does nothing to improve their position with capitalisn
        • Crits- Cohen pointed out the writers were biased in their analysis and wanted to prove WCY were an attack on capitalism
        • Crits- Over emphasis on working class not on other variation ie age and sexuality
    • Postmodernist subcultural theory
      • It is impossible to look for rational reasons why subcultures develop
      • Katz 88- crime is seductive, young males get drawn in because its thrilling
      • Lyng- young  males take risks and engaging in edgework, going  to the edge of acceptable  behavior and flirting with danger
      • Crits-  value systems of society that create deviant subcultures people don't have enough choice to commit crime as what postmodernists think
  • They identify themselves with the wider culture by acquiring things with high status, eg clothes with logos, often obtained through violence and crime


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