Walter B Miller

Walter B. Miller: Focal Concerns

      Walter B. Miller idea of focal concerns of the lower class has to do with America as a society. American society has many different values and characteristic patterns of behavior.   As a result, these patterns are a product of a unique cultural system which many people call the lower class. The lower class way of life can be characterized by a set of focal concerns or issues which commands an extensive and relentless concentration and a high degree of emotional involvement. Each focal concern can be conceived as a dimension within which each person has a different story but experiences the same focal concerns. Consequently, these focal concerns have to deal with lower class men and women who disassociate themselves from normal society.
Furthermore, Walter B. Miller has different types of names for each of these focal concerns such as: trouble, toughness, smartness, excitement, fate and autonomy. Each focal concern can be conceived as what certain lower class members display in their every day lives.
One of the main focal concerns according to Walter B. Miller is a concept called trouble. Generally speaking, the concept of trouble has to deal with the lower class individuals particularly young men and women who are looking for encounters of a larger society such as: police, truant officers or teachers.   In other words, trouble for men meant frequently involving themselves into fights or sexual adventures while drinking and for women trouble meant having sexual involvement with unfavorable consequences. Hence, many of these individuals try to avoid getting into trouble as much as possible. By the same token, if these certain individuals are caught they are going to have to deal with the consequences themselves.
The second concept that Walter B. Miller talked about was toughness. Toughness most important component is physical prowess. This is demonstrated by the men’s strength and endurance. Many of these men showed their...