Subcultural theories of crime and deviance essay

Phil Cohen (1972) studied the youth of East London in the early 1970s. He examined the immediate and the wider context to determine how two different youth subcultures reacted to the changes occurring in their community. He suggested that the Mod reaction was to the new ideology of affluence. They wanted to show that they had money and knew how to spend it. In contrast, skinheads looked back to the more traditional working class community. Each generation tries to find employment or adapts to unemployment. But the 1920s had very different economic circumstances to later decades. Cohen argued that youth develop a cultural style as a means of coping with their particular circumstances and of resisting the dominant values of society. This casts working class youth as the standard bearers of class struggle. There is little in real terms that youth can do to change society, but resistance offers subjective satisfaction which can be shown through style: the clothes, haircuts, music and language of the different youth cultures. Cohen argued that these styles are not meaningless, but are deeply layered in meaning. This is an application of Marxist Subcultural Theory which synthesised the structuralism of Marxism with the Labelling Theory . The approach matched that of the Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies at Birmingham University (see Crow: 1997). This approach places emphasis on the contents of youth culture and on the differences produced by class background. The assumption is that a capitalist society attempts to achieve hegemony by using the cultural values of society for their own benefit. The domination of the adults is enforced through the system of mortgages, credit cards, and family commitments, and they are seduced into accepting the relative security of capitalism. But the youth are relatively free of long term commitment or responsibility for a family and, with many unemployed, the youth are the weakest point in the structure of hegemony.

In a 2011 study, Brady Robards and Andy Bennett said that online identity expression has been interpreted as exhibiting subcultural qualities. However, they argue it is more in line with neotribalism than with what is often classified as subculture. Social networking websites are quickly becoming the most used form of communication and means to distribute information and news. They offer a way for people with similar backgrounds, lifestyles, professions or hobbies to connect. According to a co-founder and executive creative strategist for RE-UP, as technology becomes a "life force," subcultures become the main bone of contention for brands as networks rise through cultural mash-ups and phenomenons. [25] Where social media is concerned, there seems to be a growing interest among media producers to use subcultures for branding. This is seen most actively on social network sites with user-generated content, such as YouTube .

The idea that crime is caused by biological defects or deficiencies in the offender was not new when advanced by Lombroso, but it received its most emphatic statement in the work of the Italian school. The most influential attack on Lombroso's work was conducted by British criminologist Charles Buckman Goring, who recorded the facial and other measurements of several thousand criminals and noncriminals. In his book The English Convict (1913), Goring concluded that Lombroso's findings had no adequate scientific support and that statistical evidence disproved the existence of a biological criminal type. Although most investigators found Goring's work persuasive, research continued into the possible relevance of inherited deficiencies.

Subcultural theories of crime and deviance essay

subcultural theories of crime and deviance essay

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