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| Deviant Subcultures Essay

Deviant subcultures include people, who have different values and norms from the rest of the society. Deviant subcultures emerge when people lack opportunity to achieve success and some individuals feel neglected by society. Deviant young people seek self-respect, they want to “be somebody” in a local neighbourhood. There are legitimate and non-legitimate opportunity structures. The legitimate opportunity structure includes education, hard work, and a good job. The illegitimate opportunity structure includes criminal enterprises in neighbourhoods.

Al Capone is a famous gangster, who was a part of a street gang, he wanted to control the whole Chicago, and became very powerful in American mafia. There are three delinquent subcultures: criminal, conflict, and retreatist. Conflict subcultures exist, when there are no available opportunity structures, and as a result gangs begin to compete with each other. Retreatist subcultures often use drugs, and these people are those, who are not accepted in legitimate groups or two other subcultures.

Albert Cohen introduced the subcultural theory of delinquent gangs. According to this theory, delinquent young people lack the means for social status achievement, and as a result, they form gangs and invert the conventional expectations. For instance, conventional society confers status for academic achievement, but gangs confer status for academic failure. According to Walter Miller’s theory, gangs are formed as a result of status deprivation. Criminals envy middle-class people, because of what they have, and criminals do not value such traits as hard work and responsibility. Elijah Anderson believes that the street code is a campaign for respect. Richard Cloward and Lloyd Ohlin stated that crime results not only from legal opportunity, but also from illegal opportunity.

In conclusion, I would like to say that deviant subcultures exist because of lack of opportunities, and this is a pressing problem in modern society.

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