Criminal And Delinquent Subcultures Essay

2021 words - 8 pages

Criminal and Delinquent Subcultures

Crime and delinquency subculture reflects on culture patterns surrounding crime and juvenile delinquency. It is created not only by individuals, but as one culture, the American culture. Subculture is derivative of, but different from some larger referential cultures. This term is used to share systems of norms, values, individual, groups and the cultural system itself. Criminal or delinquent subcultures indicate systems of norms, values, or interest that support criminal or delinquent behavior. That’s why many juveniles are linked to the same criminal acts as youngsters. They tend to follow a pattern that is expected in their age group, like stealing. Young people experience their opportunity as being blocked out. They engage in collective actions and adapt pro crime values that reinforce their delinquency.

In a book by Cloward and Lloyd they state that “The youngster who is motivated by a sense of injustice generally commits his first act of deviance in a crime of uncertainty and fear of disapproval”. This statement sounds like appreciation among delinquents is required to sustain satisfaction in their subcultures (p 161).
In criminal subculture the young drug dealers selling drugs was a way to be somebody, to get a head in life and to acquire things like jewelry, clothing, and cars, the symbols of wealth, power and respect. All the things delinquents want at a young age. Crime becomes meaningful to young men and women when they interact with one another and when they participate in youth culture (Sullivan, 1989). Youth violence is considered to be a serious contemporary problem, yet many delinquents are treated as an adult if the crime is function as an adult act.

I find this interesting because may delinquents share the same formality of values and norms that make up there culture. Every young male or female will have experienced some kind of influential crime. What one has done so will the other, that’s how I put it.
While delinquent subculture typically are associated with a broad range of illegal behaviors, among delinquent groups and subculture there is great difference in the nature and strength of group norms, values, and interests. Much of theses behaviors of highly delinquent crimes are results from the act of group processes rather than group norms. Like gangs for instants, they give fairly little of its group life to the pursuit of their behavior. When gangs participate in crime episodes, some members of the gang don’t become involved. According to a article I read by Short, he stated that because subculture typically consist of collections of normative orders- rules and practices related to a common value, delinquents that affiliate themselves in gangs are oriented around a single value (such as being “macho”) are tended to act that way( p. 36). He also states that individuals who are associated with a particular subculture tend also to be associated with other subcultures.


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