Component 1 Section B

Youth Subculture

  • Postman (1982) "disapparence of childhood" due to media exposing children to adulthood
  • Margret Mead = youth is culturally relative and is therefore socially constructed
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Social class and youth

  • Marxists = "magical symbolic solutions" - youth turn to subcultures because of this as opposed to concrete solutions to problems they face as working class. They offer identity and social solidarity with others, making WC youths feel they can take on the Bourgeoisie
  • The CCS (Neo-Marxists) = social class and feelings of deprivation are what lead youths to form subcultures
  • John Clarke = Skinhead culture - represent an exaggerated version of working class hegemonic masculity and had anti-immigration values, feeling threatened by their economic situation. Proud of being working class
  • Hebdige (1979) = Punk culture - "Bricolage" = reused objects in a new way (ripped clothes) which showed resistance towards mainstreams in society. "Incorporation" = the media and fashion industries stole these styles and incorporated them into mainstreams
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Deviance and social class

  • Official Measures of Crime = youths from working class backgrounds are more involved in crime and deviancy 
  • Jacobson et al (2010) = 3/4 of youths in custody have absent fathers and half of those lived in deprived backgrounds 
  • Barnardo's = children in YCJS are drawn from the poorest and disadvantaged backgrounds
  • Cohen = "status frustration" - status may be harder to achieve for WC through legitimate means so experience this
  • Cloward and Ohlin = "blocked opportunties" - argue that this is because they experience unequal opportunities
  • Decker von Winkle (1996) = gangs are seen as attractive because they offer status, opportunities and money
  • White (2000) = private tutors (more opportunity for higher class within education), notes that gangs are linked to "underclass conditions"
  • Mac an Ghail (1994) = looked at different responses to school; ordinary lads = do okay; macho lads = form anti-school subcultures 
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Gender and youth

  • Criminality and deviance considered male activities
  • Home Office = young males responsible for 20% of recorded crime whereas young females only 4%
  • McRobbie (1961) = "bedroom culture" - argues that girls involve themselves in a different type of culture and that girls are now more active in subcultures because of consumer culture and the teenage market
  • Holland (1995) = studied nightlife in Newcastle and found that there was an unequal amount of males and females - bedroom culture no longer present?
  • Thornton (1995) = argues the teenage market is male-dominated because of women having less life opportunties 
  • Reddington (2003) = girls are more active in youth subcultures but are just ignored - Vivienne Westwood = influential punk but wasn't discussed 
  • Carolyn Jackson (2006) = "ladette culture" - studied "ladishness" in schools and found that this was also within girls
  • Harding (2014) = boys use subcultures as a way of reinforcing their hegemonic masculinities and look for other ways to achieve it - crime. Connell (1995) however argues that there are different forms of hegemony within society 
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Ethnicity and youth

  • Hebdige (1979) = Reggae culture are forms of resitance against white culture
  • Mercer (1987) = argues traditional styling of hair in black culture can be seen as associating oneself more with their black identity
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Deviance and ethnicity

  • Majority of crime commited by youths from white and middle class backgrounds 
  • Dispoportionate numbers of ethnic minorities are passed through the CJS 
  • Home Office = 21% of people in custody were black but only take up 3% of the UK population in 2012/13
  • Home Office = an individual is 9 times more likely to be stopped and searched if they are black 
  • Sewell (1997) = for black males, the culture of the streets is very anti-education as they instead value style and instant gratification 
  • Nightingale (1993) = young black males in Philadelphia experience institutional racism and were exluded from reaching society's goals. therefore turning to crime to achieve them which portrays the "paradox of inclusion" = desire to be included drives the desire for success
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Functionalism and youth culture

  • Abrams (1959) = youth were a distinct group with spending power who were targetted by the media in the 50's due to the rise in youth culture. This therefore means that youth culture is created by the media and is therefore socially constructed 
  • Talcott Parsons (1962) = youth is not a social category but is instead a rite of passage between childhood and adulthood 
  • Eisenstadt (1956) = "let off steam" = youth subculture is a way of bringing youth to society as it makes them feel integrated. It is also a way to let off steam and is a time of rebellion where consensus is reaffirmed to inform social order
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Functionalism and deviance

  • Merton (1938) = strain theory; youths may experience a difference between socially approved goals and the socially accepted ways of achieving them which leads to deviant subcultures
  • Cloward and Ohlin (1961) = "blocked opportunities" - difficult for working class boys to reach their goals which causes deviancy as they are achieving status and power through illegitimate means
  • Cohen (1955) = "status frustration" = argues teenage boys desire status and are aware of mainsteams in society but can't reach them. This therefore causes deviant subcultures to form 
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The New Right and youth culture

  • Charles Murray (1984) = youths in the underclass have not achieved the correct socialisation into the norms and value consensus of the wider community. Instead, their norms and values are based on criminality and laziness which creates a "dependency culture" = where the underclass are socialised into believing that the reliance on benefits is a good thing. Mainly blames single mothers for incorrect socialisation, explaining why there are high rates of crime among sons with absent fathers (3/4 according to Jacobson et al (2010)
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Marxism and youth culture

  • The CCS (Neo-Marxists) = subcultures form as a result of social and economic conditions. Example = Skinheads formed as a way of their anti-immigration values and Punks formed as a way of resisting mainstreams
  • Lea and Young (1993) = argues that there are three explanations for crime and deviance; relative deprivation, relative marginalisation and the formation of subcultures 
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Feminism and youth culture

  • McRobbie and Garber (1976) = girls in studies are presented as passive girlfriends with focus on attractiveness. Most researchers are male and theories of subcultures don't apply to them - Mac an Ghail's "macho lads." Argues that girls take part in "teeny bopper culture" which surrounds romance, fashion and the private domestic sphere of girls bedrooms
  • Blackman (1995) = "new wave girls" - studied a group of girls who did not conform to traditional ideas of hegemonic feminity and resisted masculine, parental and school control. This shows the blurred division between subcultures 
  • Smart (1976) = parents exercise greater control of girls which means they're restricted to the domestic sphere of their bedroom and are invisible within subcultures because it's harder for them to access them 
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Postmodernism and youth culture

  • Sarah Thornton (1994) = "taste culture" - subcultures form based on tastes in music, dress and lifestyle. She also studied subcultural capital - high subcultural capital = in the know about what's cool
  • Maffesoli (1996) = "neo-tribes" - argues that subcultures are now "neo-tribes" as individual's no longer conform to one area of a subculture but rather flit from tribe to tribe - pick and mix society!
  • Redhead (1990) = states that subcultures now develop within the media as youths are now living within a media saturated society
  • MIPS = studied club culture and found no clear gender, class or ethnicity divisions - approves the Postmodernist idea of there no longer being any inequality within society
  • Polhemus (1994) = "supermarket of style" - idea of fluidity within identity and pick and mix societies 
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Interactionism and youth culture

  • Howard Becker (1963) = argues that deviancy is a social construct as it is both culturally and historically relative. Young working class boys are often labelled as deviant which makes them internalise this label and causing their deviancy to be amplified. This process is known as the "self-fulfilling prophecy" which causes deviant and criminal subcultures to form
  • Reiss (1961) = would however argue that "rent boys" were labelled as homosexual but did not internalise this label and instead still considered themselves as heterosexual. Reiss therefore brings up the theory of negotiation, where labels aren't always internalised 
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The role of the media

  • Stan Cohen's study on Mods and Rockers = "Folk Devils and Moral Panics"
  • Jock Young (1971) = argues that there are three stages of deviancy amplification; translation of fantasy, negotiation of reality and amplification. Example = a police officer sees a headline stating that black males are more involved in drug use which he is susceptible to believe due to institutuional racism. Upon this, he negotiates this into his job by searching more black people for drugs. As a result, black people are 9 times more likely to be stopped and searched than white people 
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