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Do you know anyone who has the focal concerns Miller talks about?
In criminology, the focal concerns theory, posited in 1958 by Walter B. [ Miller, attempts to explain the behavior of "members of adolescent street corner groups in lower class communities" as being based around six focal concerns: trouble, toughness, smartness, excitement, fate, autonomy. These focal concerns are described as "areas or issues which command widespread and persistent attention
and a high degree of emotional involvement." Miller's theory, as it is often referred to, views these criminogenic influences as a learned part of the lower-class subculture values. In essence, the theory suggests that delinquency is in fact part of the learned cultural values rather than an anomic reaction to unattainable goals. The focal concerns that Miller outlines all have to do with the individual and how the eyes of other lower-class members perceive them, not how they are perceived by other class members. Also, the fact the focal concerns (toughness, trouble, excitement) are primarily male oriented, Miller’s theory does not take into account why females commit crimes. Finally, this theory cannot account for the reasons why middle-class members commit crime, as well as the white collar crimes from the upper-class population. ]
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