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Chapter 6

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University of Toronto St. George
Candace Kruttschnitt

Chapter 6 10/28/2012 5:02:00 PM -Subcultural POV focused on lower class masculinity, delinquency=solution to social problems (rather than the problem) -Similar to conflict theories/societal reaction approaches -60’s & 70’s (Cohen)‘Dominant’ culture white, middle class Time of society categorized into classes, sectors, age, groups, sex roles Delinquents delinquent subcultures (Matza) Labelling theory Emphasis on free will (after 1967), subcultural theory weakened  similar to anomie theory, assumption that deviant behavior originated in socially induced ‘strain’ or ‘tension’ Strain Theory of Albert Cohen -Looked at ‘origins’ of delinquency culture -activities not explained by existing theories (ie. Violence, vandalism, etc.) Cohen argued theory should address character + distribution of both forms of delinquency -Pattern of delinquency displays 6 characteristics: 1. Non-utilitarianism: goods stolen for kicks are given away/destroyed 2. Malice: Destructiveness (ie. Vandalism, break ins) 3. Negativism: much delinquent behavior actually inverted respectable values 4. Short-run hedonism(pursuit of pleasure; self-indulgence): instant gratification existed in delinquent gangs 5. Versatility: Male gnag activities (include theft, vandalism, aggression) 6. Group Autonomy: Gang loyalty came first, other allegiances were subordinate -Lower class, urban teen boys  experience strain in school  schools exist to make children care about social status + academic achievement, but deny this only to (minority of) working class reject the system, turns to gangs, push towards delinquency Theory accounts for much lower rates of delinquency among: Middle class (more likely to attain success by conventional route) Girls (value marriage to successful man than success in own career) Non-urban areas (schools hold less sway than respected crafts/trade) Subcultural Theory of Cloward and Ohlin: -Similar to Cohen but argued that Cohen had underrated the degree of specialization -3 types of delinquent subculture gangs: Criminal: gangs pursing utilitarian forms of robbery/theft Conflict: fighting gangs Retreatist: drug-using gangs **Major source of variation= presence of stable recruitment into adult criminal enterprises -Boys who failed to succeed legally or illegally resort to drugs and ‘hustling’ Neutralization Theory of Matza -Delinquency is willed behavior and does not occur in frequent intervals, mundane, drops off sharply with adulthood -State of drift before delinquency (drift=loosening of controls) Case Study: ‘Sports Machismo May be cue to Male Teen Violence’ Summary: Males who play football or wrestle (or have friends who do) will be more likely to be in a fight, players get cue from parents, fans, coaches who support violence (get popular from winning) -Matza  employs idea of ‘desperation’ in violation Drifter is not less a problem than the compulsive or committed delinquent Elijah Anderson: -‘Code of the Street’- ethnographic account of black life in Philadelphia -There’s a spectrum of adherence to law: One side predominantly religious families, father in home, lawfully employed, etc. Other side, people who achieve conspicuous monetary success through crime (specifically drug dealing) --> dilemma for boys in aspiring families, in danger if they venture out in streets, so need ot fit in  for girls, different because obliged to try to achieve social + economic success by attaching themselves to sexually predatory men (financial source) Subculture Theories: -Subculture theories=good for comparative cross-cultural work e -3 links between delinquency and excitement: 1. Delinquency is the means to buying excitement with the proceeds of theft 2. Delinquency is the raw material of excitement 3. Delinquency is a by-product of the pursuit of actions that are exciting in themselves Strain and Labeling Theory: -Focuses on impact of social reactions on deviance -Becker, Lemert, Cicourel in labeling tradition first to approach social reaction as a variable -State agencies create more deviance by: criminalizing morally disturbing activities (ie. Some drug use) mobilizing bias + unfair heavy penalties against groups (low in power + status) attribute false + stigmatizing features to deviant groups -Gill Luke Street Delinquency area  allocated a cluster of large publicly owned houses in one small neighborhood to families classified as ‘problems’ Families difficult b/c of large size, low incomes, high unemployment Can’t get ‘dead-end jobs’ Banned from local youth clubs Subject to unusually fierce police harassment  Delinquency was the only option (society against them) Marsh soccer hooliganism Behavior is a ritualized form of aggression that would not escalate into r
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