Delinquency Theorists

Theorists for "Are youth delinquent?"

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  • Created by: Eloise
  • Created on: 10-05-12 15:53

Cohen 1955

  • Youths react to rejection and create their own norms, roles and values because they get status frustration
  • Because they are faced with failure, instead of trying to succeed, youths choose a delinquent subculture
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  • Subcultural theorist
  • Strain theory; the means and the goals of what people will get
  • Anomic Paradigm

    The gap in between the means and the goals is Anomie

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Cloward and Ohlin

-Illegitimate opportunity structure

  • Youths commit crime because they can't get a good education or a job


  • Not everyone gets pulled into the illegitimate career structure
  • Women have more blocked opportunities than men
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Miller 1962

  • Focal Concerns; trouble, toughness, excitement, smartness and fatalism
  • Focal concerns generate those emotions
  • Youth Subcultures have their own independence away from mainstream society


  • Ignores females
  • Many middle class also adopt focal concerns
  • Not all working class adopt focal concerns
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Other Theories


  • Youths go into a Anomic breakdown


  • Youths drift in and out of delinquency

Box (argues against Matza)

  • Some people stay delinquent for longer than the youth ages
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James Tilley


good as a last minute revision thing but could have more detail to be more useful in every day to day revision? :D

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