Youth Deviance Essay

1376 Words May 15th, 2013 6 Pages
Deviance is defined as the recognized violation of cultural norms. This is an extremely broad definition, and depending on who is explaining it, the above definition can mean a variety of different things. Critically examine the theory of deviance with reference to young people and their membership in deviant subcultures or gangs.

Deviance is associated with young people today and is rapidly on the increase within the street and school environment. Young deviants are engaging in gang membership and subcultures with a means of social belonging, social interest and ethnic identity. There are several sociological and subcultural theories which deem to explain deviance. Some of the theories are functionalist pretentious that criminal
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The Chicago school on gangs urbanized the school into a set of theories arguing that certain groups or subcultures in society have values and attitudes that contribute to crime and deviance. The key focus is on juvenile delinquency. Juvenile delinquency refers to criminal acts performed by juveniles, a juvenile is a young person.

Theorists deem that if this precedent of criminal behaviour can be understood and controlled, it will break the transition from teenage offender into habitual criminal. Subcultural theorists argue that certain groups develop norms and values which are diverse from those held by other affiliates of society. Subcultural theories argue that deviance is the result of individuals conforming to the values and norms of the social group to which they belong. Their subculture allows them to commit certain acts which are seen as deviant.

Albert K. Cohen agreed with this subcultural theory on deviance, where he believed that the development of subcultures is explained in terms of the position of groups or individuals in the social structure.

Sociological theories on deviance diverge from biological and psychological theories that elucidate norm violation in terms of social notion, the development of theories of deviance reflect the social

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