Cloward and Ohlin: Three subcultures


Cloward and Ohlin: Three subcultures


  • Explanation for different types of working-class deviance in terms of different subcultures.


  • Ignore the wider power structures, including who makes and enforces the law.
  • Their theory is too deterministic and over-predicts the extent of working-class crime.
  • They draw the boundaries too sharply between the different types.
  • Criticized for assuming that everyone starts off sharing the same mainstream success goals.


Whatever its strengths and limitations, strain theory has had a major influence both on later theories of crime and on government policy.


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