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Subcultural Theories:

Subcultural theories of deviance explain it in terms of the subculture of a
particular social group. Certain groups develop norms and values, which are
different from those held by other members of society.

Albert Cohen (1955)
Cohen's work modified Merton's position and combined both structural
and subcultural theories…

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models. In this situation young people have the opportunity to rise
within the established criminal hierarchy
o Conflict subcultures develop in areas where there is little access to
either legitimate or illegitimate opportunity structures. The
response to this situation is often gang violence, which serves as a
release from anger…

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Matza also argued that the search for excitement was classless. It was
simply that working class youth had fewer opportunities for legitimate
Nevertheless, deviancy can be fun for everyone. There is a certain
excitement in exercising free will and breaking rules knowing that there is
little chance of being…

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Right Realism/New Right:

Right realists share the New Right and Neoconservative political outlook. They
support policies in place to roll back the welfare state along with the strong
commitment to law enforcement. They take a `tough' outlook on crime, including
using prisons and also a `short, sharp and shocking' approach…

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Crime is a product of 3 different factors according to right realists Biological
differences, socialisation and the underclass and rational choice to offend.

Biological Differences:
James Q. Wilson & Richard J. Herrnstein (1985).
Biosocial theory of criminal behaviour. In their view crime is caused by a
combination of biological and…

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Right realists argue the current costs of crime are low and therefore the
crime rate has increased.
There is often little risk of being caught and punishments are lenient
meaning more people are willing to commit crime.
Marcus Felson (1998) argues for crime to occur there must be a

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Left Realism:

Direct opposite to right realism, key theorist is Jock Young (1980) developed
as a direct response to two main factors:
The need to take the rising crime rate seriously and to produce practical
The influence of right realism on government policies

Much like Marxists left realists see…

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great to be explained as a social construction, it is real. More people are
reporting crime because more people are becoming the victims of crime.

Taking crime seriously also involves recognising who is most affected by crime.
Local crime surveys show that the scale of the problem is even greater…


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