Subcultural Crime And Deviance Case Study

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A subculture is a culture within a culture that shares some norms and values with mainstream society while possessing some of their own, which are usually deviant as a deviant act is one that goes against the norms and values held by the majority of the people. Different structural theories take different approaches while studying subcultural crime and deviance although they agree that it is “best understood by looking at groups involved in order to identify what causes members to be attracted to rule breaking” (Item A).

Functionalists view subcultures as arising from anomie in Merton’s strain theory as the strain of goals and the means of achieving them cause people, particularly those of working class backgrounds, to rebel and replace some
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Cohen ignores female delinquency, focusing on only working class boys of which he assumes are set to underachieve and fail. He fails to note that not all working class boys deviate into subcultures in and after education and also that agencies of social control such as the police have negative stereotypes against WC youths which may mean they are more likely to be stopped, searched, and found guilty of crime. It should also be noted that Cohen’s study is over 60 years old and may not apply to today’s society. Marxists would also criticises Cohen’s views, claiming that people are not frustrated at their class but rather the capitalist societal structure that creates it. WC boys that are unable to succeed due to a lack of cultural capital rebel, forming subcultures of like minded youths that make crime and deviance inevitable. Willis found that the boys in Cohen’s study did not share the same definition of success as MC boys. Instead, he found that they defined educational failure as success as the education system was not required for the jobs they desired. Although, Cohen may argue that this is just status frustration, as the boys cannot progress through a system based on status which they lack, and so turn to subcultures and deviation. Both of these theories however assume that all WC boys turn to subcultures and ignore the criminal subcultures of the middle …show more content…
This suggests that Miller views working class culture as inferior to middle and upper-class culture meaning this subcultural approach limits our understanding of subcultural crime and deviance because it assumes that all WC boys are incapable of thinking about more than these focal concerns. He also offers no explanation for the appearance of deviant subcultures and instead groups the working class together as one large subculture. It should also be noted that applying subcultural theories to criminal subcultures like gangs may be difficult as it may be hard to gain access into gangs to properly study its members and apply theory accordingly. In this instance, subcultural theories are limited as it can be difficult to say whether these theories are true in practice of all or the majority of subcultures in today’s

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