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Unformatted text preview: ety and instead turn to the norms and
values of a delinquent subculture. In this subculture the boys can achieve success because the
social group has different norms and values from the rest of society. So in this culture a high
value is placed upon criminal acts such as stealing and vandalism which are condemned by
In these subcultures the individual who lacked respect in mainstream society can gain it by
committing crimes such as vandalism and truancy. Because the crimes reward the individual
with respect there is not always the need for a monetary value to commit a crime, so the
subcultural perspective explains why people commit nonutilitarian crimes.
Cloward and Ohlin developed Cohen’s theory. They said that there are three different types of
subcultures that young people might enter into; criminal subcultures, conflict subcultures and
Criminal subcultures tend to emerge in areas where there is a lot of organised adult crime,
here there are criminal role models for young people, and they learn how to commit criminal
acts. In these subcultures the young people can climb up the professional criminal ladder by
committing more crimes. These subcultures are normally concerned with utilitarian crimes,
which yield financial reward.
Conflict subcultures tend to emerge in areas where there is little organised adult crime, so
instead of learning how to commit serious monetary crimes the young people instead focus on
gaining respect through gang violence. Retreatist subcultures are for young people who have even failed in the criminal subcultures,
these people are ‘double failures’. They tend to retreat to drugs and alcohol abuse to deal with
the fact that they have been rejected from other subcultures.
Walter B. Miller s...
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