Subcultural Variations in an Urban Poor Population



The assumption that the poor constitute a subsociety with a homogeneous subculture is examined empirically in an urban poverty sample. The existence of subcultural differences in the sample was tested by using a number of criteria that have been suggested for classifying cultural systems. The data indicate that for the sample studied there are two subcultures–one Black and one White. A hypothesis for the development and persistence of subcultural variations is proposed. The research which is reported and that which is suggested is seen as a necessity for providing an objective basis for the structuring of domestic social change programs.