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Understanding of Ferrel’s statement, “Criminal behavior is, more often than not, subcultural behavior”
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Hello Class,

Explain your understanding of Ferrel’s statement, “Criminal behavior is, more often than not, subcultural behavior.”

My understanding is that to Ferrel, criminal behavior only occurs because of a particular group or environment one belongs to. It doesn’t matter whether they are individuals who have not been influenced by another, but rather only those in stereotypical settings such as a gang. These individuals are the only ones to participate in deviant behavior because of the environment they are exposed to. He believes your environment shapes who you become whether that be a criminal or an honest functioning human being in society.

Describe your reaction to this statement. Does it fit with your own personal opinion or perspective about what crime is? Explain why or why not.

When I first read his statement, I immediately felt like he was forcing a stereotype on only those types of people. Upon reading it a few more times, I came to realize that wasn’t what he was saying at all. He was saying environment plays a part in shaping someone’s mind. My personal opinion on criminal behaviors has two parts. One part being that environment plays a huge role in a child’s life and shapes the person they become as adults. This is where I agree with his statement. However, not all children who grow up in bad situations turn out to be criminals. The second part is that mental health can play an enormous role in criminal behavior. One can be an upstanding citizen their whole life until something happens that triggers them.




Ferrell, J. (1995). Culture, crime, and cultural criminology. Journal of Criminal Justice and Popular

Culture, 3(2), 25–42.

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