You can use these studies to support/evaluate Miller's Focal Concerns. Questions to consider at the end...
Studied working-class adolescent males in inner-city Liverpool. They referred to themselves as ‘the boys’. Parker studied their behaviours on nights out: When they were out, they said they didn’t go looking for fights, but if anyone hinted that they weren’t tough or that they couldn’t hold their drink, a fight would ensue. Their ability to pick up girls usually depended on how they looked, and their repartee. The essence of a good night out for them was having “a laff”. When they went out, they said they had no idea what was going to happen, though they did say that the thing they hated was being pushed around by bouncers or policemen.
Studied young working class men in London. Downes found no evidence of distinctive values, but found that they were disassociated from mainstream values. By this, he meant that they were more concerned about their leisure time, social lives and having fun than they were about their long-term future or employment – and they were, as a result, more likely to engage in petty crime.
The Case Studies covered in-class as influences on interactionism/labelling theory; useful for inclusion in your essays:
Stephen Box and the Naughty Jury
Box was selected for jury duty in a trial for a woman accused of theft. The money alleged to have been stolen was, Box thought, a relatively small amount. After a short deliberation, the jury found her guilty. Having finished their duty as good citizens, the members of the jury relaxed and started to discuss in a matter-of-fact way how they were going to fiddle their travel expenses and out-of-pocket expenses (the money jury members get through missing work etc. and having to travel to court) by claiming inflated amounts. Box pointed out that many members of the jury ended up ‘fiddling’ more money than the women they had just convicted had stolen.
Edwin Lemert and the Stuttering Boys
Lemert found a community of Native Americans on the Pacific Coast within which speech impediments were very common, particularly among young males. Lemert observed that public speaking was valued within the community; in order to attain the status of ‘manhood’, a boy had to show that he could master public speaking. Therefore if, at a young age, a boy showed any signs of speech defect, the parents reacted with such horror that the child was made aware of the problem and started worrying about it. Lemert argued that the child was made so nervous that it caused him to develop a stutter.
Bronislaw Malinowski and the Incestuous Tribe
Malinowski was investigating the suicide of a young man on a Pacific island. Prior to his suicide, the man had been publicly accused of incest and the islanders appeared to be shocked by the accusation. However, Malinowski soon discovered that incest was very common on the island and, even though it broke the rules, tended to be ignored as long as the people involved were discreet. It was only when an affair become public that the ‘offenders’ were ostracised and potentially driven to suicide.
Crime & Deviance
A2 Unit: G673