A subculture is a cultural subgroup. They are considered opposite from the mainstream culture because of their uniqueness. They form when the mainstream culture fails to meet the needs of a particular group of people. Subculture theories primarily focus on crime and Juvenile delinquency. Theorists believe that if this pattern of offending can be understood and controlled then it will break the transition from teenage offender into habitual criminal. Some of the theories which will be discussed today are developed from functionalism assuming that criminal activity is motivated by …show more content…
However, they then developed three possible responses to this problem. The crime committed within these subcultures if often non-utilitarian. This means the crime is undertaken for no financial gain. For example, vandalizing a building or to graffiti a building. This does not make money for the criminal, however it will gain status among their peers. Figures have shown that Graffiti cleanup takes a big chunk out of budgets. In America 80% of the Graffiti is gang related. In 2003 the city of Los Angeles spent $55 million dollars on graffiti removal.
Cloward and Ohlin identify the 3 types of delinquent subculture.
First one being Criminal Subculture, in this situation the young delinquent has access to a criminal subculture. Such subcultures emerge in areas where there is already an organized adult criminal community.
The 2nd type of delinquent subculture is Conflict subculture. Here, conflict subculture develops in areas where there is little opportunity to gain access to a criminal subculture. Such as there is no real opportunity to acquire role models and criminal skills.
The last type of delinquent subculture is the retreatist subculture. In this situation, working class youths will be faced with failure to achieve success either by lawfully or unlawfully. Such a subculture will often revolve around drugs.
David Matza who is an American sociologist developed a theory