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The movie Boyz-N-The-Hood written by John Singleton, explains on the social problems in Los Angeles. The movie has three main characters; the first character is Trey, Doughboy, and Ricky Baker who are half-brothers. Trey’s mother Reva and Furious Styles also play an important role in shaping the social problems of the hood Loss Angeles. At the beginning of the movie, we see Tre who is living with her mother Reva, being suspended from school due to misconduct issues (Rafter, 2011). Tre’s teacher however explains to Reva’s mother that Tre is a very bright student with fluency but very temperamental, she requests the mother to guide Tre in the right manner but her mother acts Rude and explains that Tre will go to live with his Father Furious Styles (Singleton, 2008). These is because of the social environment that both Reva and her Son live in an environment that is violent, in that the Tre’s friends in school talk about violence as a normal thing.
The movie explains various criminological and social theories. Some of the criminology theories in the movie are; Strain theory, social conflict, social learning, and social disorganization theory. Doughboy and Trey know each other in a different hood, where Furious Styles lives who is Tre’s father. Doughboy since his early childhood leans on the violent side, which is he copies the older youths and his friend’s brother who was sent to prison, however he left a gun with his small brother. Doughboy and his friend are sent to Juvenile in an attempt of Shoplifting, these leads to detainment for a period of Seven years. While in Juvenile, he read a lot but he ends up not being a believer (Rafter, 2011). After the seven-year period Doughboy comes out of prison but his old habits of leading a gangster lifestyle are still in check with his crew.
Doughboy story can be explained using the social learning theory, social disorganized theory, and strain theory. Social learning in that as Doughboy was growing he grew up in a violent environment, in the movie the issues of being murdered is seen as a normal issue. Doughboy leads Tre and Ricky, and his other friend to see a dead body. The Corpse that lie there is from a shooting incidence, what they term in the hood as being ‘smoked’. Social learning theory occurs when people in a certain environment tend to eager what other people have been doing (Singleton, 2008). The Traditions in the Negros community in LA is all about violence, owning guns, liquor stores, and drug peddling almost everywhere. Doughboy gets these traits almost instantly due to the social learning concept.
The Strain Theory also applies in doughboy in that he is trying to prove a point to her mother and the community. Strain theory, which is associated with proving something, is a great contributor towards criminological activities. Doughboy once wishes he could beat the whole lot of a group of teenagers who took his brothers ball, at some point while he was still young. He then grows wanting to be tough, that no one can bully anyone who is related or close to him. Doughboys mother also like Ricky more than him, thus he grows disliking women and each time tries to prove he can be good but her mother never acknowledges his efforts thud the rudeness.
Social disorganization is evident in the estate that is filled with Negroes all over, people killing each other, the heart of revenge, liquor stores almost everywhere, drug peddling, and school dropouts (Wortley, 2016). Social disorganization is witnessed again in Doughboy, during the murder of his brother by a certain group of three African-Americans (Rafter, 2011). Ricky is murdered in front of his best friend Trey while they were going to buy cereals for Ricky’s child. These incident angers Doughboy who decides to seek revenge with his crew before the day ends, Doughboy, and his crew end up killing the three people who murdered his brother. The end of the movie though see’s Doughboy explaining to Tre how he is tired of all happenings in the hood and needs a change. He explains that life in the hood is not sweet and probably he will be killed, which comes to happen two weeks later after Ricky’s burial.
Tre and Ricky who are best friends in the movie, share almost same characters however with Tre unlike Ricky has received proper upbringing from both parents that is Mr. Furious and Reva. Tre who in his schooldays was highly tempered changes his character to a more reasoning person who does not like shortcuts. These is inspired by his father Furious, and to some extent her mother. Reva while bringing Tre to his father she explains she loves him as the only son and does not want Tre to end up outside every liquor store drinking liquor and leading a gangster life. Furious Styles insists that he is the only one as a father who can teach Tre Styles how to be a man to Reva (Singleton, 2008). Furious Styles acts by his words, that as he natures Tre to a responsible person, he educates Tre on all fields including the sexual field. Furious Styles addresses Tre that if in a sexual encounter, he should wear a condom in all encounters.
Tre uses the Rational choice theory in criminology, Tre with guided instructions from his father is able to make a rational choice that he sees the life in Los Angeles hood needs to change. Tre tends to believe just as his father who is a hardworking businessperson, always explains that the whites want the people in L.A (African-Americans) not to reproduce to great beings. Tre leads a righteous life void from hooliganism together with his friend Ricky who is a greatly talented American Football player (Singleton, 2008). At the end of the movie, Tre goes to the University for Further Studies together with her girlfriend Brandi who instills Faith in Tre. Brandi who is a true believer of the Roman Catholic Church also influences Tre’s character a lot, Brandi is seen advising Tre to always keep of trouble by avoiding the hood gang’s cultures. Tre just like Doughboy is affected adversely by Ricky’s murder, which leads him to team up with Doughboy’s gang but on his way, he insists to be dropped off the car after self-actualization. The Social Control Theory can explain Tre’s decision, that Tre could commit the crimes but were it not for the controls that are set in place he could be in the Revenge mission.
We can do it today.
The Movie Boyz-N-The-Hood by John Singleton is set up in an African-American community in Los Angeles. In an attempt to teach the African-Americans that, a gangster type of life only ends up affecting them either directly or indirectly (Wortley, 2016). The movie also shows the role a certain environment plays, in the upbringing of a child, and it is always rare to bring up good reasoning adults in such an environment. The movie explains the various social contracted criminology theories that in the end have consequences.
- Rafter, N., & Brown, M. (2011). Criminology goes to the movies: Crime theory and popular culture. NYU Press.
- Singleton, J. (2008). Boyz’n the Hood. Columbia Tristar Home Vidéo.
- Wortley, R., & Townsley, M. (Eds.). (2016). Environmental criminology and crime analysis. Routledge.