Subcultural strain theories: Cohen

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What do subcultural strain theorists see deviance as a product of?
Deliquent subcultures with different values to that of mainstream society
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What do they mean when they say that these subcultures provide an alternative oppourtunity structure?
As working class cannot achieve in the mainstream society's unequal oppourtunity structure, they resort to deliquent subcultures in order to achieve through status/wealth ect. through deliquency.
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Subcultural strain theories both criticise Merton's theory and.....
... build on it
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What 2 ways does Cohen criticise Merton?
1. Merton sees deviance as an individual response to strain (ignoring that a lot of deviance is committed in groups) 2. Merton focuses on Utilitarian crime and ignores other crimes of violence and frustration (Such as violence/vandalism)
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Cohen focuses on the deviance in what group?
working class boys
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Where do working class boys face anomie?
In the middle class dominated school system
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How does their background prevent them from achieving?
They suffer from cultural deprivation/the skills to achieve
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What status are people who fail to achieve in the middle-class school system?
They are at the bottom of the official status hierarchy
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According to Cohen, what do the working class suffer from as a result from being at the bottom of the official status hierarchy?
Status frustration
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How do lower class boys resolve their frustration?
Rejecting mainstream, middle class values and turning to others in the same situation as them
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What does Cohen call this group of people rejecting mainstream goals and coming together?
A deliquent subculture
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What are the values of a delinquent subculture characterised by?
spite/hostility/contempt for those outside the subculture
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What does Cohen mean when he says that a delinquent subculture inverts the values of mainstream society?
The values that society condemns, the subculture praises.
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An example of this is:
Mainstream society expects regular school attendance and respect for property whereas the deliquent subculture praises truancy and vandalism (Such as graffiti)
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Whereas Merton's concept of innovation only accounts for utilitarian crime...
...Cohen's ideas of: alternative status hierarchy/value inversion/status frustration to explain non-utilitarian deliquency
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However, like Merton, Cohen assumes that...
...working class boys start off sharing middle class success goals (only to reject them when they fail) and ignores the possibility that they didn't share these goals in the first place and so never saw themselves as failures
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Card 2

Front

What do they mean when they say that these subcultures provide an alternative oppourtunity structure?

Back

As working class cannot achieve in the mainstream society's unequal oppourtunity structure, they resort to deliquent subcultures in order to achieve through status/wealth ect. through deliquency.

Card 3

Front

Subcultural strain theories both criticise Merton's theory and.....

Back

Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4

Front

What 2 ways does Cohen criticise Merton?

Back

Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5

Front

Cohen focuses on the deviance in what group?

Back

Preview of the front of card 5
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