1 .One of the boys: black masculinity and the peer group (Similar to Millers subculture)
Pryce and Cashmore comment on how significant the male peer group is in black youth cultures. They argue the peer group helps young black males deal with failure and frustration - retreat into a collective identity - opposite to Merton. Rastafari has become a common culture to cope in the face of racial rejection. For Pryce, the peer group is associated with a ‘hustler’ lifestyle, older role models for teenagers. Cashmore - the peer group - primary source of socialisation for black youth - alternative to their parents who provide only models of deprivation. Schultz also suggests the problem faced by black youth relates to the family -the absence of an adequate male role model. The leads to a retreat into street life - masculine roles are exaggerated and played out. The black peer group provides a kickback from from the forces of racism. Lawrence argues that as a result, it becomes inevitably associated with deviance and criminality. The attitude of both Pryce and Cashmore can be seen to have roots in traditional functionalist theory. - need of male role model. Albert Cohen for instance argued that the peer group, black or white, becomes important in order to cope with social maladjustment. In this case an individual will join a male subculture in order to compensate for social rejection - coping mechanism. Subcultures replace the norms of wider society - own values - gain status.
Downes argues that black youth are seen as doubly disadvantaged – by race and by class position – and are perceived as inevitably ‘countercultural’. The black peer group is thus seen more as an expression of frustrated power and social maladjustment than of positive action.
Many have looked at the concept of power for black masculinity but others have looked at the idea of ‘black macho’ - Aggressive -male power in society. Machismo becomes a symbol of, and a substitute for, the lack of power in society from their class. Bell Hook argues that black masculinity is recognized as dangerous, violent sex maniacs, whose “insanity” is created by their inability to fulfil their masculine destiny in a racist society. The problem lies in that the search for ‘manliness’ remains defined by a dominant white society and when black men resort to machismo, they are subjectively internalising the dominant white ideas of masculinity, rather than creating an alternative. This subsequently results in what Wallace describes as a ‘façade of power’ - gang culture. Black masculinity - response to structural inequality, use peer group to present their power in society. This view is supported be Left Realists, Lea and Young. They argue, that although there may be police racism, it is still likely that young Blacks commit more crime and have higher rates of offending. They suggest they commit more crime because they have more reason to do so. They look to the structural reasons that lead to inequality and unequal opportunities for young Blacks that may result in them turning to crime.