Essay on Albert Cohen's Theory

1123 Words 5 Pages
According to Siegel (2013) Albert Cohen developed the theory of delinquent subcultures in his classic 1995 book, Delinquent Boys. Cohen believes that the delinquent behavior of lower class youth actually goes against the norms and values of middle-class U. S. culture. These youths experience what he calls status frustration due to social conditions that enable them to achieve success legitimately. As a result of this social conflict the youths join gangs and become involved in behavior that is “nonutilitarian, malicious, and negativistic. This gang subculture possesses a value system directly opposed to that of the larger society. Their norms of society are completely opposite. Their conduct is right by the standards of their subculture …show more content…
According to Siegel (2013) Albert Cohen developed the theory of delinquent subcultures in his classic 1995 book, Delinquent Boys. Cohen believes that the delinquent behavior of lower class youth actually goes against the norms and values of middle-class U. S. culture. These youths experience what he calls status frustration due to social conditions that enable them to achieve success legitimately. As a result of this social conflict the youths join gangs and become involved in behavior that is “nonutilitarian, malicious, and negativistic. This gang subculture possesses a value system directly opposed to that of the larger society. Their norms of society are completely opposite. Their conduct is right by the standards of their subculture because it is wrong by the norms of the larger culture. According to Cohen, the development of the delinquent subculture is a consequence of socialization practices found in the ghetto or inner-city environment. Cohen suggests that lower-class parents are not able to teach their children the necessary skills for entering the dominant middle-class culture. As a result these youths lack basic skills needed to achieve social and economic success in the demanding U. S. society. Apart from proper rearing they also lack education needed to build a solid knowledge or socialization foundation. Some of the consequences of these deprivations include developmental handicaps, poor speech and communication skills, and inability to delay gratification
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