Hence, the two authors Merton and Bourgois discuss forceful powers in their works. Merton discusses the biological forces, which forces one into crime and Bourgois discusses the same forces, which forces one to engage in crime so as to satisfy their needs.
The second similarity between the two works is that both propose solutions to the forces discussed. According to Merton, social institutions outlining expected social norms should be created in the society to guide the lives of its members. He argues that violation of such norms should be accompanied by appropriate punishments (Merton 676). Bourgois, on the other hand, argues that the solution to the pressing needs of the society is a combination of blaming the system and blaming the victim approaches. If a societal norm is violated, both the system and the victim should bear the blame (Bourgois 34). This is because violation of a societal norm affects everyone involved.
First, the parents of Boyle Heights predicted that they would not resist a prison being put in their neighborhood because this was not the first case. The residents had experienced similar cases in the past, which brought them together to look for solutions to the problems experienced in the region like drug abuse (Pardo 475). Second, the residents of Boyle Heights have been positively transformed by activism. The residents did not resist the prison because they knew that this would be an entrance public attention. Moreover, similar cases had initially transformed invisible women to visible public figures (Pardo 475). Third, the residents of Boyle Heights predicted not to resist a prison being put in their neighborhood because they new this would be the new sense of entitlement to speak for the community (Pardo 469). This way, their voices of illustrating personal change would make them core activists. The individual’s unspoken sentiments would be transformed into collective community voice.