Subcultural theories of Crime & Deviance Unit 4

  • Created by: Paige
  • Created on: 10-05-14 13:53

Subcultural theories of Crime & Deviance

  • seek to explain crime & deviance by focusing on youth or delinquent subcultures
  • subculture = group that undermines norms and values of mainstream society
  • subcultures take mainstream norms and values and inverts them
  • 2 types of subcultural theory: Functionalist & Marxist

Delinquent Subcultures (Cohen - Corner Boys)
Cohen is critical of Merton's Strain Theory as it fails to take into account crimes not linked to the success goals of society e.g. vandalism. Cohen argues working class males commit crime to status frustration. Argues they aim to achieve success goals but fail to due so as they are judged by the middle class measuring rod (judeged on middle class values). Status frustration = frustrated with low status and felt like failures. They respond to this by rejecting the success goals and replace them with alternative norms and values they could achieve. Formed subcultures where prestige is gained through committing crime and deviance. Argued working class males are more likely to committ crime as they don't have the opportunity to achieve the success goals in the correct way.

  • However this doesnt explain why middle class males who do the same as they are not suffering status…


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