A2 SOCIOLOGY ~ SUBCULTURAL STRAIN THEORIES ~ CRIME AND DEVIANCE

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  • Created by: AJ
  • Created on: 09-04-13 20:13

SUBCULTURAL STRAIN THEORIES

Subcultural strain theories see deviance as the product of a delinquent subculture with different values from those of mainstream society. They see subcultures as providing an alternative opportunity structure for those who are denied the chance to achieve by legitimate means. These theories criticise Merton and seek to build on it!!!!

A.K COHEN: STATUS FRUSTRATION

Cohen agrees with Merton that deviance is largely a lower-class phenomenon. However Cohen criticises Merton on two grounds:

> Merton ignores the fact that much deviance is committed in groups, he focuses too much on individuals alone.

> Merton also ignores crimes such as assault and vandalism and focuses mainly on utilitarian crime such as theft or fraud.

                                  Cohen focuses on deviance among working-class boys, he argues that they face anomie in the middle-class dominated school system.

They can't achieve legitimately (education) so they suffer STATUS FRUSTRATION. In Cohen's view, they resolve their frustration by rejecting mainstream middle-class values,

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