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Subcultural Theory (week 7).docx

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SOCY 275
Stacey Alerie

Theoretical Influences  Chicago School Influence o Natural communities forming within the superorganism o Distribution, dominance, succession, invasion in society o Different groups existing o Sub cultural theories  Competing value systems  Co-existence of natural communities o Competing communities  Shared values, norms, motivation, punishments and reactions  Different for each group  Tradition of values o Pattern of differential social organization  Organization and existence of multiple and competing values Strain theory Influence  Feelings of alienation and anomie can be expressed through cultural values o Subcultures form in response to strain or anomie in society  Merton o Cultural and structural  Institutionalized means  Society is structured so that not everyone has equal access  Strain was on lower classes  Value systems of lower classes, subcultures Subcultural Theories  Subculture o A group sharing common values different from dominant society o Deviance may be normal  Downes and McCormick  Counter Culture o A culture created in opposition to the dominant culture o Opposing set of goals and set of values  Timeline o Progression of Subcultural theories Albert Cohen  Built from Merton’s strain theory Subcultural theory and Strain Theory  Focus on juvenile delinquency  school o Behaviours were negative, purposeless, destructive  Stealing by gangs, not needed or wanted  Could not be explained by strain theory alone  Most delinquency occurred in gangs, groups o Not individual exercise  Purposeless crime was a way to gain status among peers o Way to gain status, attention from their friends o Increased status for some and not others  Gang represented separate culture  Gangs were subculture  Different values, different norms  How does separate culture emerge o Achieved status  Earn that status by competition with peers  Not born into by family  School environment  Competition guided by middle class values  Youth without ascribed status, or achieved status  Lower class  Disadvantaged between ascribed status  Strain  Gang solution  Rebel o Establish value system o Can achieve high status  Youth do not rebel alone  Subcultural values means delinquency ahs a function o Group has different values o Delinquency serves to gain status for the subculture o Delinquency can solve problems for that group  Gain status o Subculture influences our behaviour Rich Cloward and Lloyd Ohlin  Pursuit for wealth o Crime has functional nature  Delinquents in gangs tended to engage in less serious delinquency o Quest for wealth o Driving influence  No legitimate opportunities to gain wealth o Wanted what middle class had o When presented with illegitimate opportunities  More likely to form gain  Emphasis on accumulation of wealth  3 different delinquent subcultures o Criminal gang  Formed to gain wealth  Utilitarian function  Theft  More adult gangs o Conflict gang  Assaults, fighting, more serious crime  Less adults  Emerge when there is no legitimate and illegitimate ways of gaining wealth  Frustration  Lack of social organization and social control  Response against middle class values o Retreatist subculture  Drug use  Cant get to ultimate to goal of wealth  No legitmate and illegitmate ways of gaining wealth  Retreating  Differential illegitmate opportunities o Innovation  Where crime emerges  Criminal gang  Responses to strain and differential illegitimate opportunities o No matter what gang, illegitimate opportunities How subcultures came about Different types of subcultures Walter B Miller – Focal Concerns  Values within subculture  Seeking explanation for gang delinquency  Lower class o Separate culture o Distinct o Tradition  Subcultures in lower class o Focal concerns  Contributed to social conditions in lower class areas  Generated delinquency and gangs  Interaction on streets and peers  Interacted with social conditions  Environment that gangs emerged in
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