Subcultural strain theories

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  • Subcultural strain theories
    • Cohen
      • Status frustration
        • Cohen focuses on deviance among working class boys because they face anomie in the middle class dominated school system
        • They suffer from cultural deprivation and lack of skills to achieve. Bottom of the official status hierarchy
        • Being unable to achieve through legitimate means they suffer status frustration. They cannot adjust to the low status they are given by society
        • They resolve this frustration by turning to other boys in the same situation to form a delinquent subculture
      • Alternative status hierarchy
        • The subculture rejects values of mainstream society and adopt an alternative status hierarchy in which they can achieve.
        • They can win status from their peers through delinquent actions
      • Evaluation
        • Offers an explanation of non-utilitarian deviance
        • Assumes wc boys share mc goals that they reject only when they fail. Ignores the possibility they didn't share these goals in the first place
    • Cloward and Ohlin
      • Three subcultures
        • It is not unequal access to legitimate opportunities but also unequal access to illegitimate opportunities
        • Different neighbourhoods provide different illegitimate opportunities for young people
        • Criminal subcultures
          • Provide youths with an apprenticeship for a career in utilitarian crime. Arise only in areas with longstanding and stable criminal culture
        • Conflict subcultures
          • Areas with social disorganisation. Violence produces a release for men's frustration from blocked opportunities and other sources of gaining status.
        • Retreatist subcultures
          • Those who become 'double failures' in the legitimate and illegitimate sectors turn to a subculture based on illegal drug use, alcoholism
      • Evaluation
        • Agree with Merton and Cohen that most crime is wc
        • Ignores crime of the wealthy
        • Only three subcultures

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