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Subcultures and their relative importance

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Identify a subculture that you are part of (or if you cannot identify one in your own experience, describe a friend or relative's subculture). Please respond to the following questions with your thoughts, ideas, and comments. Be substantive and clear, and use examples to reinforce your ideas.

What language, jargon, slang, or specialized terms are attached to your group?
What common values does the group hold?
What common experiences are shared that nonmembers do not experience?
How does this group identified affect your individual identity?
What do people (and you) get out of belonging to this subculture or group?

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The subculture I am most familiar with is being a military family member. The experience of being a military family member is largely insular. That is, the community one interacts with is largely military and, although family members are civilians, the military lifestyle is different from many other areas of American life. For example, many active military families live on or near military bases and ordinary life begins to revolve around the activity on the base. In many instances, once the military member retires, the family remains close to military life through retiring in the city or town where the military member was active.

Most of the time, family life revolves around the deployment schedule of the active duty military member. It is more comfortable to shop and spend time around other military families who are sympathetic to and familiar with deployment schedules. In the Navy, these deployments last for six months or more and are fraught with worry about the loved one so far from home. The military actions of the last two or three decades have required more frequent and longer deployments. A routine begins to develop around these deployments and life without the active military member becomes almost separate from ...

Solution Summary

Identifies the routines of the subculture of being a military spouse.

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Referring to Cohen's article on the culture of the gang, discuss the major problem of adjustment faced by working-class boys.

1. Using Cohen's ideas, relate how a delinquent subculture could resolve this problem.
2. Do you think that Cohen's ideas, although first expressed in the 1950s, have any relevance today for understanding the circumstances of working-class youth? Support your discussion.

What is the major problem of adjustment faced by working-class boys?

The major problem is a loss or respect and a feeling of inferiority. These are caused by the fact that though the lower class boys have fewer opportunities to succeed they are judged by the same standards as the middle class boys who have significantly more opportunities. This loss of respect and feelings of inferiority cause the working-class boys to experience a loss of status in the mixed group of lower and middle class boys.

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