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Status Frustration

Albert Cohen developed Merton's strain theory to try and explain why groups of young working-class men commit deviant acts as a group, and also why those acts would not necessarily be of any material benefit to themselves. He concluded that boys who perform poorly at school (perhaps forming anti-school subcultures) lack status and, out of frustration, develop their own norms and values, often inverting the values of mainstream society. This might include vandalism or violence being praiseworthy and a source of status within the group.

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