Crime and deviance

“Outline and evaluate the usefulness of subcultural approaches to the study of crime and deviance.”

When studying Crime and Deviance, Subcultural approaches can be very helpful. In this essay, I plan to discuss the different strands of subcultural theory, including Differential Association, Cultural transmission and Status Frustration. I will evaluate these theories with other theories such as Durkheim’s Strain Theory and Internationalism. I will then draw a conclusion based on what I have written.

Cultural transmission is the process by which a set of values that allow Crime and deviance to take place are passed on through generations. This idea was developed by Shaw & McKay (1942), ...

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by using his own Strain Theory. In this, Merton suggests that people are socialised into wanting particular things, such as nice houses or cars, etc. However, the majority of people lack the means to achieve these goals. According to Merton, it is this that causes a strain in the structure of society (I.e. there is a conflict between what people have been socialised to expect and what they can realistically achieve through legal means.) Merton argues that this is what leads people to crime and deviance, when trying to find an alternative route to gaining what they want, not through cultural transmission.

Sutherland & Cressey developed Differential Association theory in 1966, after they criticised Cultural transmission theory for being too vague. In their theory they suggest that individuals are more likely to become involved in criminal activities if they receive positive definitions from others around them. This means if people socialise with other people who are involved ...

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own theory. In his theory, he suggests that crime has an integrated function. That is it serves to increase levels of social solidarity (brings the law-abiding people closer together) when there is a moral panic. However, Durkheim also suggests that if the crime level increases too far, it would have the opposite effect; it would serve to weaken moral order and create a state of anomie (normlessness). Therefore, Durkheim would argue that the Differential Association theory was incorrect in its explanation why Crime and Deviance occurs. Although Durkheim’s theory does not provide an explanation for the existence of crime & deviance, so it would appear that Differential Association Theory is ...

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Crime and deviance. (2011, April 4). Retrieved February 23, 2019, from
"Crime and deviance.", 4 Apr. 2011. Web. 23 Feb. 2019. <>
"Crime and deviance." April 4, 2011. Accessed February 23, 2019.
"Crime and deviance." April 4, 2011. Accessed February 23, 2019.
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Added: 4/4/2011 04:48:33 AM
Submitted By: melaina
Category: Legal Issues
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 1482
Pages: 6

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