the criminological use of culture and subculture n.
Skip this Video
Loading SlideShow in 5 Seconds..
The Criminological Use of Culture and Subculture PowerPoint Presentation
Download Presentation
The Criminological Use of Culture and Subculture

The Criminological Use of Culture and Subculture

885 Vues Download Presentation
Télécharger la présentation

The Criminological Use of Culture and Subculture

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - E N D - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Presentation Transcript

  1. The Criminological Use of Culture and Subculture Understanding Criminology 2nd November 2006

  2. Lecture Outline • Subculture: Definitions and Typology • Gangs and the variety of adaptations to strain • Social Class and Subculture • Drift Theory

  3. Culture and Subculture • Adaptations of Strain theory, with an awareness of the diversity of deviant forms • Initial focus on gangs and youth delinquency

  4. Subculture: Definitions • A relatively small grouping that develops distinctive norms, values and beliefs. Subcultures provide members with a range of personal resources (e.g. status, capital, excitement) that have often been denied by mainstream society / culture • Subcultural Theory: aim to identify the cause and expressive nature of subcultures

  5. Typology • Reactive / Oppositional Subcultures • The subcultural form is a direct reaction against mainstream culture • Most directly influenced by strain theory • Independent Subcultures • Subcultures develop their own values and norms of behaviour independently of mainstream culture

  6. William Whyte: Street Corner Society • Easier for a “slum” resident to achieve monetary success in a racket, than by conventional means • Role models: college boys v. corner boys • Gang activities highly organised • Pioneering participant observation based study • KEY: expressive nature of subcultures

  7. Sutherland’s Differential Association Theory • Delinquent practices are ‘culturally transmitted’ from one individual to another • Cultural conflict: if “definitions” favourable to law violation outweigh those unfavourable, crime will occur • Applied largely to white-collar crime, but has subsequently been applied to other crime • KEY: Cultural Transmission

  8. National = Strain / Inequality / Limited Opportunities Community = Legitimate and Illegitimate Opportunities

  9. Albert Cohen: “Delinquent Boys:The culture of the gang” • Subculture evolved in response to strain, and a rejection of ‘middle-class values’ • Education paramount: • Make children aware of social status • Key to the constraint of opportunities • Goal: status, not necessarily monetary success • An attempt to understand non-economic deviance • Gangs were a particular form of subcultural adaptation, characterised by:-

  10. Richard Cloward and Lloyd Ohlin • Focussed on the range that adaptations to strain could take, incorporating differential association • Criminal Gangs • Conflict Gangs • Retreatist Gangs • Returned to Merton’s focus on monetary success

  11. Evaluation of Strain Influenced Subcultural Theories • Fits with • Over-representation of working class, urban offenders in gang activity • A dominant / superior middle class culture • Possibly fits with • Gang activity being predominantly male: girls and young women have alternative sources of status? • Doesn’t fit with • Widespread, but petty offending • British experience

  12. David Downes: a British Perspective • In Britain, social class is central to understanding subcultural adaptation • Working class youth had a “realistically low” level of aspiration / fatalism • Delinquency as a ‘fact’ of life, but not a ‘way’ of life

  13. Downes and Subculture in Britain • Key cause of delinquency: boredom and the importance of leisure • little opportunity for excitement (akin to strain) • leisure became the location for excitement and expression of - toughness, daring, panache • Links between leisure and delinquency • proceeds of crime funding leisure • delinquency is itself exciting • delinquency is a by-product of certain forms of excitement

  14. Marxist analysis of sub-culture / counter-culture • Phil Cohen • Economic Decline -> • family tensions • fragmented community • economic insecurity • Mods: socially mobile white-collar worker • Skinheads: emphasising masculinity of hard manual labour

  15. David Matza: Drift and Neutralization • Sees subcultural theories are over-predictive • Drift: a ‘limbo between convention and crime’ preceding delinquency • Techniques of neutralization demonstrate continued commitment to mainstream cultural values • Delinquency represents the exaggeration of “subterranean”, but not deviant values: • the pursuit of excitement • the disdain for routine work • toughness and masculinity

  16. What is a Cultural of Deviance? • Pockets of specific activities providing meaning and resources to the member • E.g. The Gang • A widespread loose affinity between relatively informal groupings • E.g. Anti-globalisation environmental groups • A reflection of temporary adolescent rejection of parental / mainstream values – functional? • A vital mechanism that acts to support and reproduce mainstream culture

  17. Summary • Most cultural theories would expect more criminality than actually seen • Matza and Drift theory would not predict much ‘career criminality’ • Cultural Relativism: a danger that criminality is romanticized: the expressive qualitative nature of deviance is addressed: rarely the same focus on mainstream culture or victimisation