Lesson Objectives• Recap Cohen’s Status Frustration and Alternative Status Hierarchy explanations of crime• Introduce Cloward and Ohlin’s theory of crime committed by young people• Evaluate this subcultural theory
Last Lesson Recap• What reasons are there for young men committing more crimes than any other group?• What is Status Frustration and why does it occur?• How does Alternative Status Hierarchy explain delinquency?• What are some of the evaluation points of Cohen’s theory?
Cloward and Ohlin: 3 subcultures• Agree with Merton that WC youths are denied legitimate opportunities to achieve and that deviance stems from the response to this.• However not everyone adapts to lack of legitimate opportunities by turning to innovation (utilitarian crime). Some resort to violence, others to drugs
The key reasons for these differences is not only unequal access to thelegitimate opportunity structure, but unequal access to illegitimateopportunity structures e.g. not everyone who fails at school canbecome a successful safecracker Can you take my son under your wing? I want him to know everything there is to know about protection racketeering.Peoples’ opportunities to be deviant are different: not everyone getsthe same chances to be crooks; some have better opportunities toenter into a criminal career, particularly if they have access to acriminal subculture.
Depending on their access to the illegitimate opportunity structure,young people can enter into one of three deviant subcultures:Criminal subcultures are established and organized criminal networkswhich provide a learning environment for young criminals from criminalrole models. They are largely concerned with utilitarian crime thatderives financial rewards.
Conflict subcultures develop in areas of limited access to either thelegitimate or the illegitimate opportunity structures.There is little organized adult crime to provide an apprenticeship incriminalityThese are usually areas of high turnover of population and have littlesocial unity or informal social control.Gang violence is a predominant response.
Retreatist subcultures have failed to succeed in both thelegitimate and illegitimate opportunity structures and aretherefore double failures.Their activities centre mainly around illegal drug abuse. And we’re too soft and stupid to be I’ve no qualifications, gangsters. So we just no job and no future get wasted instead. in the normal world...
What similarities and differences arethere between Cloward’s and Ohlin’s retreatist subculture and Merton’s idea of a retreatist adaptation
• Members of different types of deviant subculture might engage in different acts of deviant behaviour.• In small groups, discuss which of the following offences you think would be most likely to be committed by members of ‘criminal’, ‘conflict’ or ‘retreatist’ subcultures.• Are there some offences that might be committed by members of all three subcultures? Vandalism hooliganism illegal possession of knives street fighting using ‘crack’ cocaine theft from shops car theft burglary illegal possession of guns dealing in stolen goods robbery with violence murder taking ecstasy joy riding dealing in drugs
Evaluation Like Merton and Cohen, Cloward and Ohlin ignore crimes of the wealthy and the wider power structure and over predict the amount of W/C crime. Unlike Cohen they try to explain different types of W/C deviance in terms of different subcultures. However they draw the boundaries too sharply between the different types. Actual subcultures often show characteristics of more than one ‘type’ (can you think of any examples?)
Like Cohen’s theory, Cloward and Ohlin’s is a reactiveone- they explain deviant subcultures as forming inreaction to the failure to achieve mainstream successgoals. This wrongly assumes that everyone starts offsharing these same goalsWalter Miller- lower class has its own independentsubculture separate from mainstream culture with itsown values. This culture does not value success in thefirst place so its members are not frustrated by failure. Heagrees that deviance is widespread in lower class butargues this arises out of an attempt to achieve their owngoals not mainstream ones (focal concerns)among middle class people
Burke identifies criticisms of their work also:1) the idea of the criminal subculture is based on gangs in Chicago in the 1920s and 30s so isn’t particularly applicable to modern British society;2) the idea of retreatist subcultures is a ‘grossly simplistic’ explanation of drug abuse which is actually really common
What have Recent Strain Theorists suggested? Page 78
Overview of Key Sociologists• Create a glossary of what the key sub cultural sociologists have said.• Summaries each of them in no more than 25 words.
Use subcultural explanations to explain• http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/womanshour/ 02/2007_26_wed.shtml