Subcultural Theory Flashcards Preview

Crime, deviance, social order and social control. > Subcultural Theory > Flashcards

Flashcards in Subcultural Theory Deck (11):

Who proposed sub cultural theory?



What is subcultural theory?

An explanation to why juvenile delinquency has a collective or subcultural character- it is often committed as a large group or gang.


What did Cohen observe about the delinquency of juveniles?

Delinquency is often linked to malicious acts such as recreational drug use or gang violence rather than material goals.


What does Cohen think causes delinquency?

Delinquency is caused by a stain between cultural goals and the institutional means of achieving them. Desires for status and respect.


How do middle class boys achieve their goals?

Through their parents and educational success.


How do working class boys achieve their goals?

Through delinquency as their parents are denied access to materials due to status and lack of financial income.


What is status frustration?

Where working class juveniles are frustrated with their inability to achieve status and so experience a form of anomie- status frustration.


How does status frustration impact working class juveniles?

They develop delinquent subcultures with like minded people, who reverse the norms of the dominant culture and award one another status based on anti-social behaviour.


What does Matza (1964) criticise Cohen for?

There are problems with all subcultural theories, the assumption that all delinquents are different from others is wrong as through studies he has observed that Cohen’s delinquents actually share the same values as wider society.


What is Matza’s evidence to support his argument?

- youths tend to drift between orthodox and delinquent behaviour but eventually grow out of it once they reach adult hood.
- use techniques of neutralisation to justify their behaviour, ‘everyone does it’


Evaluate Cohen.

+ ideas about status and respect are still very relevant to an understanding of contemporary gang culture.
- Willis, working class youths do not share the same definition of status as middle class boys.
- feminists observe that Cohen ignores female delinquency.
- Miller argued that working class juvenile delinquency is not the result of strain. They are merely acting out mainstream values.