Subcultural theories

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  • Created by: lottiem98
  • Created on: 21-06-16 10:10

Cloward and Ohlin (1960): illegitimate opportunity

  • Parallels between the opportunity structure and the legal one 
  • Hobbs: "You can have a criminal career with the right connections and qualities"
  • 3 responses to this:

1. CRIMINAL Local subcultures exist so an infividual can work their way up

2. CONFLICT No subcultures so they turn to violence as means of coping on their own

3. RETREATIST Individual response. Usually involves drugs and alcohol 

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Cohen (1955): Status frustration

  • Criminal behaviour not for gain, but thrill (18% of crime is vandalism)
  • Middle class boys are educated and can therefore go on to achieve the best jobs 
  • Working class boys desire to have this but dont have the means to achieve this
  • Therefore, they reject mainstream values and replace them with their own antisocial values 
  • This can often start at school
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Muller (1962): Focal concerns

  • Different values to explain crime
  • Deviance linked to lower class males more specifically
  • 6 focal concerns among working class males which can lead to deviance

1. SMARTNESS Look good, be whitty

2.TOUGHNESS Be stronger than others

3.EXCITEMENT Important to look for thrills

4.AUTONOMY Dont be pushed around

5.FATE Little chance to overcome fate

6.TROUBLE Trouble always finds me

  • A working class male may appear to be tough and smart so he can join peers and be accepted into the subculture
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