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This essay will evaluate the claim that deviant behavior is the result of dysfunctional socialization and will be looking at views from Albert K. Cohen, Richard A. Cloward and Lloyd E. Ohlin, and Emile Durkheim.

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Introduction

Evaluate the claim that deviant behavior is the result of dysfunctional socialization. This essay will evaluate the claim that deviant behavior is the result of dysfunctional socialization and will be looking at views from Albert K. Cohen, Richard A. Cloward and Lloyd E. Ohlin, and Emile Durkheim. Cohen agrees with the statement that the dysfunctional socialization causes deviant behavior. Cohen argues that lower-working-class boys hold the success goals of the mainstream culture, but, due largely to educational failure and the dead-end jobs that result from they have little opportunity to attain those goals. Stuck at the bottom of the stratification system, with avenues to success blocked, many lower-working-class boys suffer from status frustration. They replace success goals with an alternative set of norms and values in terms of which they can achieve success and gain prestige. The result is a delinquent subculture. The delinquent subculture takes its norm from the larger culture but turns them upside down. A high value is placed on activities such as stealing, vandalism and truancy. ...read more.

Middle

In such areas a 'learning environment is provided for the young which they are exposed to criminal skills and deviant values. They have access to illegitimate opportunity structure. Other than that, there is also conflict subcultures which develop in areas where adolescents have little opportunity for access to illegitimate opportunity subcultures. Such areas usually have high turnover of population and lack unity and cohesiveness. The response to this situation is often gang violence. Finally, the retreatist subcultures, organized mainly around illegal drug use, because they have failed to succeed in both the legitimate and illegitimate structures. Thus, Cloward and Ohlin agree that deviant behavior is the result of dysfunctional socialization which mainly happens in lower-working-class people. Nevertheless, Roger Hopkins Burke identifies three main criticisms of Cloward and Ohlin. The idea of the criminal subculture is based on gangs in Chicago in the 1920s and 1930s and it is highly debatable how far the analysis would be applicable today. Hopkins Burke also argues that their theory is based upon a false assumption that the working class is a homogeneous group. ...read more.

Conclusion

In any event modern society tends to encourage high expectations of material rewards which are not easy for everyone to achieve. The gap between hopes and reality may result in some people becoming very unhappy with their lot in life. However, Durkheim has been criticized by interactionist. Maxwell Atkinson has different way of examining suicide. Coronels always use cue which a person who dies through drowning at sea is more likely to have committed suicide if their clothes were left neatly folded that if they were not. The folding of the clothes implies premeditation and intent or it could be the usual behavior of a very tidy person. In the 1970s, the Labour Act John Stonehouse was at first thought to have committed suicide when his clothes were found on the beach neatly folded after he had disappeared. It was later discovered that he had disappeared due to his involvement in fraud. Thus, we can conclude that Durkheim's view on dysfunctional socialization causes people to commit suicide is not totally correct due to criticism by Atkinson. In conclusion, this essay has provide the pros and cons of the claim that deviant behavior is the result of dysfunctional socialization. ...read more.

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