Subculture Essay

2210 Words9 Pages
Using material from Item A and elsewhere, assess the usefulness of subcultural theories in explaining ‘subcultural crime and deviance’ in society today. (21 marks: 9 A01, 12 A02) Subcultures as mentioned in item A consist of a group of people within society who share the same norms and values as one another as opposed to mainstream culture. For example criminals are part of a subculture because they hold different attitudes towards crime as the general public do. These individuals have rejected the norms of mainstream society and become inverted into their own sub culture in rejection of the main one which has failed them. For example the majority of this criminal subculture will feel materially deprived, which they will blame of society not meeting their needs. They will then resort to crime in order to obtain this materialism. There is also many other cultures within this main sub culture, for example drug takers or hippies. These sub cultures offer a sense of ID to the individual and allows them to integrate into their new society which they may not have otherwise been able to do into main society. However, subcultures alone cannot explain the trend in crime and deviance there are many other factors contributing such as the individual. Merton claims someone commits deviant behaviour when they are unable to achieve socially approved goals. Merton explains that a combination of structural factors (societies unequal opportunities) and cultural factors (strong emphasis on success). He continues with talking about the American dream, for most, the ultimate dream is to own a nice house and drive a fast car, if a working class individual can’t achieve this through legitimate means, Merton predicts they will resort to deviate behaviour in order to achieve this materialism. Merton calls this strain theory, he explains there are 5 different types of individuals;
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