Assess the Usefulness of Subculture and Strain Theory in Explaining Crime and Deviance.

475 Words2 Pages
Subculture theories is a theory where individuals have the same interests, problems and concerns which will form a subculture. Deviance in terms of the subculture of a social group arguing that certain groups develop norms and values which are to some extent different from those held by other members of society. There are a number of sociological theories. Functionalist see shared norms and values as the basis of social order and social solidarity. they consider crime and deviance, ahead of a certain level to be dysfunctional to society, as it is seen as threat to social order. However, they believe a certain amount of crime and deviance is not only ‘normal’ but also healthy to all societies according to Durkheim. Strain theory, Merton wrote an article entitled Social Structure and Anomie. Merton offered a social rather than a psychological or biological explanation. It was a structuralism theory as it saw the structure of society shaping people's behaviour. Albert Cohen was the first sociologist to develop a subcultural theory of working-class crime and deviance. He examined delinquent gangs in low-income, inner-city areas. Delinquency refers to the criminal and anti-social acts of young people. The functionalist believe that the understanding of deviance is the function for society rather than individuals themselves. Even though they believe that consensus is a function required for society. Functionalists therefore, argue that it is important for society to maintain society and the social control. However, the strain theory which is Merton's theory is based upon the theory of functionalist as they encourage anomie of deviance. Merton 1930,highlights the strains between the cultural goals of society and legitimate and regular ways to achieving the goals of success. Merton's work is influenced by the American dream which suggests if you work hard in a good job
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