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Youth Culture and Identy - Essay Example

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Youth subcultures, a product of social class, reflected the resistance of the youth, specifically the working class, to socio-economic problems facing them (Bennett & Kahn-Harris 2004; Furlong 2009). The subcultures of schooling, deviance and delinquency have theoretical support and real-life associations. Schooling The youth respond differently to schooling, thus adopting either pro or anti schooling subcultures. Members of any subculture are known to gain mutual support, status and belonging from their respective subcultures. According to Furlong and Cartmel (2007) and MacDonald and Marsh (2001), the anti-school working class subcultures substitute their inability to attain the school’s mainstream values with delinquent values, these being the values by which they gain success in their peers’ perspective. Case study 2, for instance, tells of Manjeet, a 14 year old girl who misses school and does not do her assignments. This anti-schooling behaviour could be as a result of being despised in school, being a working student, pushing her into delinquency,  engaging in drug abuse and immorality so as to appear successful before her peers. The anti-school subculture prepares the specific section of the population to assume its workforce role. According to France (2007) and Furlong (2009), working class pupils do not get forced into manual labour; instead, they recognize their limited opportunities, thus ending up in exploitative jobs. Seeing the problems that her family has gone through, including poor economic status, Manjeet could have given up hope of being anything better no matter how much she schooled. This made her take up part-time employment at a local newsagent to deliver papers. Deviance Sub-cultural theories postulate that deviant youth share vivid norms and values that explain their deviance. The sub-culture and strain theory as documented by Robb (2007) indicates that youth deviance results from the strain between goals acceptable in the society and the means, socially approved, to reach them. Nonetheless, achieving goals through socially accepted ways could be beyond their ability due to social deprivation (Jeffs & Smith 2013). The resultant anomie causes them frustration which pushes them to adopting various responses including innovation, retreatism and ritualism. Postmodernism approach to crime postulates that emotions propagate crime, with the youth getting attracted to it because of the thrill (France 2007). Manjeet, for instance, could have been attracted to drug abuse to feel how her peers and elder sister felt. Moreover, status frustration postulate could also explain the deviance among the youth. Furlong (2009) and Shildrick and MacDonald (2006) argue that low esteem and status in school could push one to crime. Probably, the poor performance in school could be pushing Manjeet further into deviant behaviours. As such, instead of working towards excelling in school she chooses to engage in drug abuse and immorality as she felt that nothing worthy would come out of her. In fact, her suicidal thoughts give a clear indication of her low self esteem amid failed relationship and poor performance in school. Delinquency The society has more male than female criminals, Munice (2009) documenting 15% of women in crime. Borrowing from Frances Heidensohn postulate, women stand to lose more than men in case of delinquency, thus their conformity to social norms (Hopkins-Burke 2008). Their domestic responsibilities coupled with the controls that men impose on them discourage their deviance from social norms. Their ways of deviance from soc ...Show more
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Summary

The social separation of youth identity from that of adults and children became apparent in sociology in the 1950s. This could be attributed to youth culture, which according to Williams (2004) indicates that young people, and indeed the youth, shared a common identity and culture which differentiated them from the adults and children. …
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Youth Culture and Identy
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