• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Compare and evaluate Subcultural theory and labelling theory

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Compare and evaluate Subcultural theory and labelling theory And their perspectives on crime and deviance. What makes people commit crime or deviance can be analyzed in many different ways, sociologists for many years have came up with many theories that they believe fits patterns of crime and deviance, the two that I am going to compare and discuss are the Subcultural theory and the labelling theory. I will discuss each theory individually then I will compare them to each other to see what similarities they have to each other and if they contradict each other also if they differ, and also see if either of them actually work or play any relevance on today's society. Subcultural theory Albert Cohen in 1955, first developed the Subcultural theory of working class crime and deviance, he took his research from investigating delinquent gangs in low income, inner city areas. Merton had previously wrote an article called, 'Social structure and Anomie', this concluded that people look towards developing a sense of the norm, of gaining the 'the American dream', but find that this is hard to reach with their own norms, so they reach a state of Anomie, a sense of normlessness where anything goes, they take on the attitudes and views of other people to gain 'the American dream' this making them feel Anomie. Cohen agreed with Merton that people's mainstream value of gaining success creates many problems for young working class males; many of them do not achieve well at school and therefore do not gain the skills and qualifications that they need to achieve success. ...read more.

Middle

Labelling Theory The labelling theory is an ideology of Howard Becker (1963); he says that people only become deviants because that is the label that society has placed on them his statement has been frequently used because it represents a change in sociology, a new approach within the sociology of crime and deviance, 'Social groups create deviance by making rules whose Infraction constitutes deviance and by applying those rules To particular people and labelling them as outsiders. From this point of view, deviance is not a quality Of the act the person commits but rather a consequence of the application by others of rules and sanctions to an "offender". The deviant is one to whom that label has been applied; Deviant behaviour is behaviour That people so label.' (Howard Becker 1963) Becker's labelling theory takes the problem away from the deviant and puts it on the agencies of social control, they label a child as a delinquent this is enforced on them throughout schooling and carries on, and it forms the impression in the mind of the person that he/she is a delinquent. So how does the labelling theory define deviance? Society as a whole make the rules, deviant behaviour is therefore someone who disregards these rules. The labelling theory realises that certain acts labelled as deviant are more than likely to be carried out by certain types of people, if you take an example say the police, they tend to stop the target specific groups, studies have shown that these are mainly unemployed young men who are from discriminated against ethnic minorities. ...read more.

Conclusion

Cicourel's (1976) study of police and probation officers was done many years ago, and I feel that this is now out of date and that this does not happen in today's society, with continues calls for equal opportunities this is something that has been eradicated and that the majority of people whom are arrested are treated in the same manner with the same consequences. The criminal subculture is one area that is always going to be hard to tackle, this is where children are more than likely to have been brought up in an area where there is high levels of violence or criminal activity, this needs to be addressed by the police mainly and society as a whole, although I understand that this is a hard pattern to break, some people do not wish to break their patterns of a life time, but they need to be shown what impact it is having on their own children and how it will impact their life chances and prospect of their future. I also believe that the government needs to be looking at this type of subculture and make the approach to help the police by bringing in some form of re-educating the adults. This subculture is something that I feel has been around for years and will take more years to stop. Both theories I feel play relevance to today's societies and will continue for many years to come. ?? ?? ?? ?? Nicci Waterfield Sociology 1 03/01/2008 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Crime & Deviance section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Crime & Deviance essays

  1. Sociological Theories on Crime and Deviance

    Jock Young argues left realism developed as a response to two main factors; the need to take the rising crime rate seriously and to produce practical solutions and the influence of right realism on government policy. Like Marxists left realists see society as an unequal capitalist one.

  2. Access the strengths and limitations of Subcultural Theories in explaining deviance.

    Cloward and Ohlin suggested that the route to delinquency involved one of three subcultures: Criminal subcultures- In this situation, the young delinquents have access to a criminal subculture. Such subcultures emerge in areas where there is already an organised, adult criminal community.

  1. Outline and Assess Subcultural Theories of Crime and Deviance

    They say that there are some people who border on the lines between categories. Also, some believe it is too ethnocentric. Valier (2001), criticised Merton for his stress on the existence of common goals in society. Valier argues that instead of such great social consensus, there are in fact a

  2. Marxism is a structural theory, as people's actions are shaped by society and in ...

    doing so offers no way of dealing with the types of crimes which are of most concern to the members of the population. The third point Marxists contribute to the study of crime is that upper classes when convicted, receive more lenient sentences than the working classes.

  1. Examine the similarities and differences between subcultural theory and strain theory as explanations of ...

    Both examples took alternate routes to reaching the socially constructed goal. Both of these groups have rejected the goals and the means to reach them. The retreatist will stop engaging in society altogether and instead might live in solidarity or in communes with likeminded individuals.

  2. To what extent is Robert Merton's theory of 'anomie' helpful in understanding crime in ...

    They all have not only the right, but the opportunity and ability to achieve great financial success through hard work and dedication. Merton's theory was simple- people are bombarded with such high expectations and 'strain' is put upon them by society to succeed.

  1. Critically Evaluate The Contribution Made By Subcultural Sociologists In Understanding Crime & Deviance

    Individuals who adapt through innovation accept societal goals but have few legitimate means to achieve those goals, thus they create their own means to get ahead. The means to get ahead may be through robbery, embezzlement or other such criminal acts.

  2. What is a gang?

    Daily gang life is generally not very exciting. Gang members sleep late, sit around the neighborhood, drink and do drugs and possibly go to a meeting place in the evening, such as a pool hall or roller rink. They may work a street corner selling drugs or commit petty crimes like vandalism or theft.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work