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Examples, of social disorganization theory developed by Clifford Shaw and Henry McKay, is a theory developed by the Chicago school. Social disorganization theory is the theory that crime rates are linked to ecological characteristics. It states that the location of a neighborhood Is directly related to the chance of an individual becoming involved in criminal behavior (William & McShane 2016:56-59). This theory focus is on street crime in a neighborhood setting. Edward Sutherland stated that disorganization in society causes conflict which leads to deviant behavior (William & McShane 2016:58). We can see this in the movie Boyz N the Hood as the characters live in a low- income area where there is not much community involvement. This disorganized community leads individuals to deviant behavior as we see in the case of Doughboy. The neighborhood that Doughboy lives in is very socially disorganized, it does not have any activities in the community and not much community involvement. This could be attributed to the fact that there is a lack of funds to run programs that can help community social organization. In the movie, there is a lot of juvenile delinquency and little social organization. One of the only forms of social organization that is present in the community that Doughboy, Ricky, and Trey live in is the high school football team. So, social disorganization is a key theory to help understand how the environment someone grows up in will impact the crime rates and we can see how this is true in the movie Boyz N the Hood.
Conflict theory explains that engaging in deviant behavior is used to try and resolve the problem of unequal access to social and economic resources (William & McShane 2016:108). Conflict perspective emphasizes the difference in socio-economic class and the struggles between classes as well as the power that the higher classes have over the other classes. The deviant behavior in this movie is caused by the social conditions of South Central Los Angeles. South Central L.A. is an area with a high crime rate and is a low-income area. In the movie, Trey’s father, Furious, tells Trey, Ricky and other neighborhood kids the idea that the upper class has deliberately put the youth in urban areas that make it impossible for them to obtain success and escape poverty. Conflict perspective really emphasizes the inequities between the different class and really emphasizes that all of the other classes are working against the African American community in a capitalist society. The idea of the conflict perspective is that the richer get richer and the poor get poorer. Ricky and Doughboy’s mother, Brenda, hopes to move up in society through her son Ricky who is a star athlete with potential. Brenda hopes that Ricky succeeds so that he can escape poverty and help her escape poverty and move up in society. Everyone who lives in South Central L.A is constantly battling with each other and the other classes to hopefully move up in society and out of poverty. So, by looking at the movie Boyz N the Hood we can see the real example of what conflict theory looks like. We see that there is a very clear distinction between the socio-economic classes and the struggles between the classes as well as within the classes.
In conclusion, the movie, “Boyz N the Hood”, can show us a lot about how different theories about deviance can relate to the real world. We can see how, Doughboy, Trey, Rick and Furious all face adversity and how these theories can help explain why certain people turn to crime and deviance. Although the movie Boyz N the Hood is a completely fictional movie it shows us the realities of people lives and the struggles they face.
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