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Flashcards in Subcultural Theories Deck (18)
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What subcultural theories are there?

1). A.K Cohen.

2). Cloward and Ohlin.


What theory did Cohen propose?

Status frustration = w/c boys face anomie in the education system.


Why do boys form deviant subcultures?

They are culturally deprived and cant achieve legitimately, and struggle to accept that they are at the bottom of the social hierarchy.

- They get status frustration and turn to others in the same situation, forming a deviant subculture.


How do subcultures provide an alternative status hierarchy for w/c boys?

W/c boys 'invert' m/c values and gain status from delinquent actions - what society praises, they condemn.


How is Cohen's theory different from Merton's strain theory?

It offers and explanation for non-utilitarian deviance =

- The boys commit crimes without financial gain, but status gain.


What's the evaluations of Cohen's theory?

1). He assumes w/c boys start off with m/c values and they reject them --> he ignores the possibility that they never shared them and so weren't reacting to failure.


What does Cloward and Ohlin attempt to explain?

Why different types of subcultures (utilitarian, non-utilitarian and drug-use) occur as a result of failing legitimately.


Why are there different types of subcultures?

- Because there is unequal access to illegitimate opportunity structures (e.g. not everyone can be successful safecrackers).

- Not every community provides the same illegitimate opportunity structures.


What types of subcultures did Cloward and Ohlin identify?

1). Criminal subcultures = criminal adult role models offer youths an opportunity to build an illegitimate career through utilitarian crimes.

2). Conflict subcultures = similar to Cohen, joining a subculture with their own values for status gain (e.g. gangs).

3). Retreatist subcultures = fail legitimately and illegitimately so 'drop out' to substance abuse.


Apply these types of subcultures to Merton's theory?

1) Criminal = like innovators --> they commit crimes like theft in order to achieve societies goals of wealth.

2) Retreatist = like retreatism --> give up on societies goals and means and drop out.


What are the evaluations of Cloward and Ohlin's theory?

:( Ignore crimes of the wealthy and over-predict the amount of w/c crime.
:) Provide an explanation for different types of w/c deviance in terms of different subcultures.
:( Too deterministic = actually subcultures are often in 2 types of subcultures (drug traders = disorganised gang and professional crime).


What theory did Miller discuss?

Focal concerns.


What did Miller focus on?

Instead of w/c belonging to a subculture, they behave anti-socially, attempting to achieve their own goals (focal concerns).


How does Miller oppose Cloward and Ohlin, and Cohen?

He says that w/c people invent their own goals, not attempting to achieve mainstream legitimate goals.


What theory did Matza discuss?

Delinquency and drift.


What does Matza focus on?

Against the view that youths deviate due to different beliefs --> he believes that we all have subterranean values, but respectable people hide them, and youths reveal them.


How does Matza oppose Cloward and Ohlin?

The people that don't hide their subterranean values drift in and out of delinquency, therefore, they rarely adopt a deviant career and aren't committed to a subculture.


What are neutralisation techniques?

Ways accused youths attempt to reason why they broke the law --> this shows moral values, therefore, they don't completely reject society's values.