Written by EILEEN CONN
Long-term correspondent Eileen Conn sent me the following thoughts with regard to the Pro- & Anti-Social Behaviour feature Crime and Deviance – the Difference. We agreed to post them in the Blog to see what others might have to say about the points Eileen raises.
A useful analysis and commentary as usual. Thank you!
One thing that went through my mind when reading your piece is to ponder on the subcultures in our UK society which have strong family processes.
Two in particular I often think about are
- criminal subcultures like the Krays, Richardsons, the modern one – Adams (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clerkenwell_crime_syndicate) where it is said the head is in prison but still controlling the empire from inside. The values of these subcultures are very deviant from the main - acceptance of violence, torture and murder, for example, as well as all the actions involved in taking material and finance which doesn’t belong to them, in any way feasible. It may be that the boys that murdered Stephen Lawrence came from the same kind of subculture though not so extreme – but outside the norm, bullying, violence and organised crime mix.
- religious subcultures like some Muslim ones when the value set deviates from the main one in cultural behaviour, eg: attitude to women, gay people, violence and punishment even to murder (‘honour’ killings) to enforce their values.
- In some cases there is a convergence of these two, where immigrant populations have both a minority religious adherence (not just Muslim but also some reported as Hindu and Sikh) and also get engaged in organised crime in the drugs and protection business.
The ‘travellers’ subcultures whether Irish, Romanian, Gypsy or … all share characteristics with some of these other phenomena.
Anyway, I do quite often puzzle about these groupings sparked off by behaviour I observe or news reports I read, and ponder on what is going on, and your new piece got me going again. The thing they all have in common is strong family systems and children growing up with them and perpetuating the subculture.
I will be interested in any thoughts you have, sparked off by what I am saying.