Examine and Assess the Usefulness of One of the Following Theories of Crime and Deviance in Terms of Explaining Crime and the Social Problems in Modern Society

2181 Words Jul 30th, 2013 9 Pages
Examine and assess the usefulness of one of the following theories of crime and deviance in terms of explaining crime and the social problems in modern society.

A subculture is a cultural subgroup. They are considered opposite from the mainstream culture because of their uniqueness. They form when the mainstream culture fails to meet the needs of a particular group of people. Subculture theories primarily focus on crime and Juvenile delinquency. Theorists believe that if this pattern of offending can be understood and controlled then it will break the transition from teenage offender into habitual criminal. Some of the theories which will be discussed today are developed from functionalism assuming that criminal activity is motivated by
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Figures from the Crime survey for England and Wales have shown that 2.1 million violent incidents were recorded in 2011/2012. It’s been estimated that young people aged 10-17 were responsible for 23% of police recorded crime. In 2010 equivalent to just over a million police recorded crimes.

Considering other theorists who studied subcultures was Richard Cloward and Lloyd Ohlin. Cloward was an American Sociologist and an activist. He influenced the strain theory of criminal behavior. Lloyd Ohlin was an American sociologist and criminologist who taught at Harvard law school, Columbia University and the university of Chicago. Over his career he studied the causes and effects of crime and punishment, especially as it related to youthful offenders and delinquents. This is seen as a functional perspective of subcultural behavior. Many working class youths who cannot gain status legitimately, become frustrated and therefore try to gain status through illegitimate. They create their own subculture and reject the norms and values of mainstream society. Richard Clowen in 1961 said, “ The boy who joins a gang isn’t in a rut. He has aspirations, but no place to go with them”. Both theorists argue that delinquency resulted from the irresponsibility of youths as a symptom of poverty and the lack of alternative opportunities caused by poverty. The conditions underlying delinquency could be resolved through social programs in local communities that will help address the…