Sub-culturist view of C&D (Cloward and Ohlin (Accept Cohen's view,…
Sub-culturist view of C&D
Cohen accepts much of Mertons view: WC youths internalise mainstream n&v through socialisation. W/c youths blocked due to class structure, leading them to suffer status frustration.
Some w/c youths reject mainstream n&v due to status frustration they feel. These are replaced with delinquent n&v. Delinquent subculture provides alternate means of gaining status and striking back at class system.
Cloward and Ohlin
Accept Cohen's view
Criticise cohen for failure to explain variety of subcultural norms that emerge.
Delinquent subculture depend on access to illegitimate structures, e.g criminal subcultures emerge with access to adult criminal networks, Conflict subcultures which come from lack of access to adult criminal networks but live in an area of territory and violence and retreatist which is lack of access to any so focus on alcohol and drug abuse
Walter Miller 'focal concerns'
Rejects cohen and cloward and ohlins views on structural origins of crime. Criticising the idea that anomie leads to these subcultures, as W/c youths do not accept n&v in the first place
Lower class youths are socialised into lower class values of focal concerns, including toughness, smartness, excitement and fatalism.
Some lower class youths conform to lower class values to gain status in their peer group, crime and deviance follows, delinquency may include assault
S&W of the theory
Fun sub theories generated a great deal of research esp in to gang crime in UK and USA. They have also gained empirical support e.g Willis lends support to miller claiming anti school sub culture are product of w/c youths living upto the working class shop floor they have been socialised into.
Morrison argues underclass are blocked from oppurtunities due to social class and suggests resentment and revenge amongst them
Weaknesses - They too readily accept stats on crime and fail to explain white collar crime and neglect female sub cul delinquency. Empey argues delinquent boys tend to cross between sub cultural devides, validity is questioned. Matza criticises subculturalists for overestimating juvenile delinquency, as they may drift in and out of delinquency.
Marxist sub cultural explanation
The Birmingham for CCS saw youth subcultures within a wider structural context - They were responses to problems growing up working in capitalist society. The subcultures cant change the circumstances the youths find themselves in, they can only find a 'magical solution'.
Style and content are seen as important between groups.
These styles denote resistance to hegemony of capitalism, phil cohen 'skinheads'
Stanley Cohen argues that this view is flawed by explicit political intent, trying to prove w/c subcultures are an aspect of class conflict, the interpretation says more about sociologists than it does the subculture. The resistance through rituals tradition was very much focused on working class boys in highly visible sub cultures, the majority of people who don't join them got ignored. Middle class ignored. Feminists criticise concentration of males.
Left realist sub culturalism
Lea and Young's new left realism applied to concepts of subculture to ethnic minorities
E.g Rastafarianism had been studied earlier in the resistance through rituals tradition. They argued black youths had values distinct from parents, the barriers to achieving british aspirations leads to petty crime. Asians found alternative ways of gaining status and reward.
New right subculturalism
Argues that there is an underclass and its origin is rejection of mainstream n&vs, Welfare encourages this, characterised by single parents, and unwillingness to work and high levels of crime, murray claims this class is responsible for great deal of crime. The only way to do this is to make criminal activity expensive for potential criminal, so would reducing benefits
Criticism: Taylor argues this is due to change in economic structure not the growth of rejectionist subculture
Can be argued that subculture depends on dominant culture, and in fragmented post mod world it becomes harder to claim one exists, if its becoming meaningless fashion the concept has outlived its usefulness
Matza says they're too deterministic. Rejecting the view that C&D result from impact of social forces . Matza points out tht most criminals and deviants conform to n&v most the time and most crime is casual. Also arguing that groups can often nuetralise mainstream norms that influence behaviour, and can be done through denial.