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SubCultural Theories of Crime and Deviance
Emma Rudd



Sociology - 1F - Young People and Crime

The first three theories are functionalist in their approach.

Cohen - the delinquent subculture
Cohen, drew upon both Merton's ideas of strain and also on the ethnographic ideas of
the Chicago school of sociology.…

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SubCultural Theories of Crime and Deviance
Emma Rudd



brought up in this sort of environment are likely to turn to violence usually
against other similar groups.
3. Retreatist
This tends to be a more individual response and occurs where the individual has no
opportunity or ability to engage in either…

Page 3

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SubCultural Theories of Crime and Deviance
Emma Rudd




So, in the UK, evidence of distinctive subcultures has been fairly difficult to
obtain.

Subterranean values ­ An interpretivist approach.
One consistent criticism of sub-cultural theories was there was little evidence to
demonstrate a distinct set of anti-social values. Even if there…

Page 4

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SubCultural Theories of Crime and Deviance
Emma Rudd



Similarly, Philip Bourgois' study of El Barrio (1995) looks at the lives of drug dealers
and criminals in this deprived area of New York and finds that they too believe in the
American Dream of financial success. Their 'subculture' is really little…

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