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Flashcards in Subcultural Strain Theories Deck (12):

What do subcultural strain theories do to Merton's theory?

They both criticise and build on Merton's theory.


What does Cohen agree with Merton on?

Deviance is a largely working-class phenomenon.


What does deviance result from?

The inability of those in lower classes to achieve mainstream success goals by legitimate means such as educational achievement.


What is the first reason why Cohen criticises Merton?

For seeing deviance as an individual response to strain, ignoring the fact that much deviance is committed in or by groups, especially among the young.


What is the second reason why Cohen criticises Merton?

For focusing on utilitarian crimes committed for material gain, such as theft or fraud. He largely ignores crimes such as assault and vandalism, which may have no economic motive.


What does Cohen focus on?

Deviance among working-class boys.


What do working-class boys face in the middle-class dominated school system?



What do working-class boys suffer from?

Cultural deprivation and they lack the skills to achieve.


What does the working-class boys inability to succeed in this middle-class world leave them in?

The bottom of the official status hierarchy.


What results from them being unable to achieve status by legitimate means?

They suffer status frustration.


What do they face a problem with?

The adjustment to the low status they are given by mainstream society.


How do they resolve their frustration?

By rejecting mainstream middle-class values and they instead turn to other boys in the same situation, forming or joining a delinquent subculture.