Assess the view that delinquent subcultures are the main cause of crime

Assess the view that delinquent subcultures are the main cause of crime (21 marks)

Crime and  deviance :D

I got a C on this essay -- ((disappointed))

Anyway, you could use it and elaborate on it to help you :D

Good luck :)

Enjoy ^^

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Assess the view that delinquent subcultures are the main cause of crime (21 marks)
A subculture is a specific group within society that shared a certain set of norms and values
which are different to those of mainstream society; there are many subcultures within
society. According to many sociologists, such as Cloward and Ohlin, these subcultures are
delinquent and are the main cause of criminal and deviant behaviour within society. Cloward
and Ohlin identified an illegitimate opportunity structure; this is a route, taken by
subcultures, to success and is often disapproved by mainstream society and therefore is
seen as criminal or deviant. Cloward and Ohlin also argue that the reason why subcultures
take these routes is because they have unequal opportunities within society to success and
therefore take it on themselves to achieve money success in any way possible, even if it is
an illegitimate way which is not approved by society. This therefore supports the view that
delinquent subcultures are the main cause of crime.
Cloward and Ohlin also identified three types of subcultures all of which are delinquent;
criminal subcultures are ones which arise in areas that have longstanding a stable local crime
with an established `hierarchy' of professional adult crime, these subcultures with
`apprenticeships' for a career in utilitarian crime. Another type of subculture identified is a
conflict subculture, these arise in areas which a high population turnover, this results in high
levels of social disorganisation and therefore prevents stable professional criminal networks
from developing. The final type of subculture identified by Cloward and Ohlin is the retreatist
subculture, this type of subculture is made up of youths that are unable to succeed
legitimately, illegitimately or join criminal gangs and are therefore known as `triple failures'.
As all three of the subcultures identified by Cloward and Ohlin are involved in criminal and
deviant activity and therefore seen to be delinquent, Cloward and Ohlin's ideas about
subcultures therefore supports the view that delinquent subcultures are the main cause of
crime and the subcultures which they identified all use illegitimate opportunity structures in
order to gain money success.
However, Cloward and Ohlin's theory has been criticised by many sociologists as they only
suggest three subcultural groups within society that are delinquent ­ it is difficult to accept
that most individual groups within society can actually come into these three subcultural
groups. Also, there are many other subcultural groups which do not fit into the categories
that Cloward and Ohlin identified and are not delinquent; therefore many sociologists reject
the view that delinquent subcultures are the main cause of crime. Also, Cloward and Ohlin
argue that individuals who are a part of delinquent subcultures are always working class
individuals, they fail to acknowledge subcultures which consist of middle class individuals and
middle class individuals who indulge in criminal and deviant behaviours.
Cohen would however disagree with the view that subcultures are the main cause of crime and
deviance within society. He suggested that individuals and subcultures within the working class, who
lack the skills and qualifications required to succeed, such as the one who belong to the working
class, feel that they are at the bottom of a status hierarchy and therefore suffer from status
frustration. Therefore they behave in a way which they think will give them a status which will be
credited by their peers; however, this does not mean that they will behave in a criminal or deviant
way. Therefore, delinquent subcultures cannot be seen as the main cause of crime, as the majority of
them do not omit crime.
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It could also be argued that delinquent subcultures are not the main cause of crime due to the fact
that many of the crime that take place within society are committed by individuals and not groups;
also, crimes, such as claiming false benefits, are committed by many people in society, but are
committed by individuals and not groups, therefore, delinquent subcultures are not the main cause of
crime.…read more

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