General Theory of Subcultures: From Delinquent Boys, Albert K. Cohen (1955)

Version:1 / 1    Updated Date:11/13/2014    Original Contributor:Stephen.Chicoine    Latest Contributor:Stephen.Chicoine
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Key Words

Terms & Definitions:
  • innovation - social norm or value that differs from those of the dominant culture
  • mutual_conversation - specific process within the main theory wherein subcultural norms and values are developed
  • position - social and geographic location of the individual
  • problem - perception of a scenario that creates a tension, disequilibrium, or a challenge to the individual
  • subculture - a group of individuals who share norms and/or values that differ from the dominant culture
  • exploratory_gestures - social cue suggesting an innovation
  • solution - method through which a problem is resolved

Scope Conditions:
  1. Group of individuals sharing a common position in society
  2. Communication between these individuals is possible.
  1. If individuals share a common position, then they will experience similar problems
  2. If individuals experience a problem, then those individuals will seek a solution
  3. If individuals experience a problem and have no solution, then the individuals will make exploratory gestures
  4. If exploratory gestures are reciprocated, then the exploratory gestures will be extrapolated until they are no longer reciprocated (process of mutual conversion)
  5. If mutual conversion occurs, then the group becomes a subculture