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Destiny and Drift: Subcultural Preferences, Status Attainments, and the Risks and Rewards of Youth

John Hagan
American Sociological Review
Vol. 56, No. 5 (Oct., 1991), pp. 567-582
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2096080
Page Count: 16
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Destiny and Drift: Subcultural Preferences, Status Attainments, and the Risks and Rewards of Youth
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Abstract

I combine the concept of drift, drawn from social control theory, and a life course conceptualization to elaborate a paradigmatic model to study cultural stratification. I apply this model in a thirteen-year panel study to examine the effects of adolescent subcultural preferences on later adult status attainments. Adolescents adrift from parental and educational control are more likely than those with more controls to develop mild or more seriously deviant subcultural preferences. I identify two distinct adolescent subcultural preferences: a subculture of delinquency and a party subculture. Among males with working-class origins, identification with the subculture of delinquency has a negative effect on trajectories of early adult status attainment. However, among males from non-working-class backgrounds, identification with a party subculture has a net positive effect when the negative effects of partying on educational performance are removed.

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