This essay willlook at certain youth subcultures particularly lad culture and explore how itemerged and how it all links to deviance. How lads partake in crimes mainly dueto alcohol and substance abuse. This essay will look at the statement above andfocus on particular youth subculture and attempt to explain the reasons behindits emergence. This arose in the 1990s due to emergence of the new man in the 1980sand the changing gender roles within the household. Also, the 1990s was a timewhere football hooliganism was at its peak and peaked during Euro ’96 where menendured in loutish behaviour which includes drinking, fighting etc.
In responseto this, the term ‘ladette’ was coined in response of the formation of ladculture. This is where women are able to behave in a boisterous manner, this iswhere activities such as heavy drinking sessions and promiscuous activities arewildly encouraged. One of the main reasons why this occurred is because of howthe gender roles are beginning to change, with more and more women adhering tohigher education it means that they can participate with the drinking cultureat university, also, eventually get jobs and prioritising their careers oversettling down and having children. The influence of subcultures in causingdeviance in society has been researched in order to determine whether anindividual’s subculture encourages or justifies certain forms of deviance.Being quite functionalist in their focus, these theories focus mainly on theinfluences of the norms and values within certain groups of working classmales, and whether they are specifically linked to deviance.The term ‘lad culture’ causes a bit of a stir. Although it impliesuniformity and gives a sense a togetherness since these ‘lads’ are in groups,this is not found everywhere and cannot be found everywhere. Within lad culture,there are distinctive characteristics to follow or be a part of the culturesuch as heavy drinking and promiscuous behaviour.
If you do not conform tothese ideas and ideas and values, you may risk being left out. So, in order tobe a part of this so called ‘lad culture’ and being ‘one of the lads’, you mustpartake in the activities as stated above in order to be a part of their socialgroups. This culture particularly emerges in higher education in the UnitedKingdom (UK), lad culture is often described to be sexist, as a result of thisthe term ‘ladette’ was coined to address this. Their behavior and the manner inwhich lads treat women and their views on how women should be treated as wellas being under the influence of harmful substances such as alcohol and drugscan lead to such deviance taking place and such crimes are on the up such assexual harassment. Lad culture has also caused a certain rape culture todevelop where it is seen what rape is universal and seen that it is inevitablethat it will occur due to sexualization and objectification of women and how itgoes unwarranted and unpunished.
Rape culture was developed in the 1970s in theAmericas and included victim blaming and ‘slut shaming’. As a result of this,along with the evolution of heterosexual relationships, a type of porn has beenintroduced and been made as a result, revenge porn. This is where bitterex-partners put up content that was made privately for the couples use butinstead they have posted it on the internet for the whole world to see, thiscan be anything from a photo to a sex tape.
Lad culture first emerged in the1950’s and was first referenced in an issue of Playboy magazine when it wasfounded in 1953. However, events that took place in the 1990’s such as Euro ’96rematerialized lad culture and also lead to football hooliganism being on theup with both sets of groups seeing heavy drinking sessions and violence andfighting as activities that both groups like to partake in. With the mediavastly changing and having a growing influence in the early 2000s the term ‘ladmags’ were devised for magazines such as Nuts, Zoo and Playboy.Cohen’s study ofthe subculture of lower class males explores whether deviance is a result oftheir failure to internalise middle class values, and subsequent use ofdeviance means to attempt to do so. Very similar to functionalist Merton’sstrain theory, Cohen claims that the lower class males’ failure to enter a middleclass form of youth subculture results in a case of status frustration andrejection of what is regarded as normal behaviour by the middle classthemselves, normally involving partaking in anti-social and generally badbehaviour. However, it is perhaps fair to argue that this behaviour may be moresubjective in terms of committing crime for a thrill instead of their actionsbeing linked to their marginalisation from another subculture.
The influence ofMerton’s strain theory is even more dominant in Cloward and Ohlin’s theory ofan illegitimate opportunity structure. They suggest that crime is committed bythese subcultures in order to obtain socially agreed goals using the means of acriminal hierarchy within the subculture, advancing as they become more andmore deviant. Also, in the force of conflict with another subculture, deviancein the form of violence is often used, or finally if an individual is rejectedfrom a subculture, they are considered as a ‘double failure’ and are likely toturn to abuse of alcohol and drugs. Subculturaltheories have received criticism in their lack of evidence of distinctanti-social values in a subculture. Downes stated that young working classmales were simply excluded from mainstream values, but had not necessarilycreated their own, which justified crime.
Matza argue that the whole of societyshares a set of subterranean values, but the crux is when people choose todeviate and how they choose to justify their actions, by denial or condemnationof others. Understandably, it is also suggested primarily by feminists that fartoo much focus is put on male subcultural theory and deviance. Post-modernistevaluation of subcultural theory suggests that crime is merely seductive,particularly with youth and does not occur as a result of rejection, simply forthe purpose of a thrill. Classed as a functionalist-influenced theory,subcultural theory is believed to presume the presence of a value consensus todeviate from in the first place and fails to explain acts of deviance withinthe subculture itself. Also, oversights are said to occur over gender, asfeminists have noted.