The Work Of Richard Cloward And Lloyd Ohlin Essay

983 Words Dec 4th, 2016 4 Pages
Theory is essential for capturing the fundamental nature of criminology. Cultural deviance theories combine social disorganization and strain in order to explain why lower class neighborhoods respond the way they do when they cannot attain a social status. The work of Robert K. Merton’s theory of anomie has further influenced the theoretical work of Richard Cloward, Lloyd Ohlin, and Albert Cohen which elaborates on cultural deviance theories. People share most of the same values and goals such as a nice home, new car, and a good education. However the hierarchical order of social classes makes it difficult to achieve those goals when the legitimate means are unavailable. Let’s take a look at the theory differential opportunity and theory of delinquent subcultures.
The work of Richard Cloward and Lloyd Ohlin suggests that cultural aspirations and the legitimate means of obtaining those aspirations have forced juveniles into joining a subculture (gang) that is delinquent. An important note to this theory is illegitimate opportunities; these are dependent on the stability or instability of a neighborhood, however they exist in both. Adolescents are recruited in stable neighborhoods through professional criminals, drug traffickers, or organized crime groups (Crim pg. 142). In unstable neighborhoods, role models are nonexistent and the opportunity to be accepted by an established gang is negligible. Due to the inability of being accepted they will seek other opportunities; they…

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