Miller theory on crime and deviance

miller veiws on crime na deviance

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Lowerclass subculture Walter.B.Miller 1958
Miller takes a different view. He's society as consisting of different social classes each with
distinctive set values. Miller argues that there is a distinctive lowerclass subculture which is
passed from generation to arose partly from the experience of the lowskilled
labour which involved boring, repetitive, dead end jobs, interspersed with periods of
unemployment. Lower class subculture provides ways of living with this situation and finding
satisfaction outside of work.
Focal concerns
According to miller, lower class subculture has a number of focal concerns (major interest
and involvements) including:
A desire for excitement and thrills. The concern excitement and thrills can result
in a range of criminal activities from robbery to joy riding.
An emphasis on toughness (a macho form of masculinity). The concerns with
toughness and lead to fights.
An emphasis on smartness however in the sense of outwitting or conning others not
in actual qualifications. The concern with smartness however in the sense of
outwitting or conning can lead to hustlers or con men.
These concerns are exaggerated by lowerclass men because of their desire for status in the
eyes of their peer group.
Lowerclass delinquency results from young men acting out concerns of lowerclass
subculture. In doing this they often break the law.
Miller pictures lowerclass subculture as a "distinctive tradition many centuries old".
Lowerclass young men are seen to act out this subculture with little reference to
mainstream society. They appear to live in a world of their own according to Miller.
While accepting lowerclass subculture may well exist it is unlikely that lowerclass young
men are insulated from wider society and its values as Miller suggests (Bordua 1962)


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