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Analysis of American Gangster - Essay Example

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There are several criminological theories that are used to explain criminal behaviors, such as; social bond theory, self-control theory, social disorganization theory, routine activities theory, strain theory, and social learning theory. In this paper, there are only three theories that outline criminal behaviors in the American society. These theories include routine activities theory, strain theory and social learning theory.
Routine activities theory states that there are three main elements that have to come together in a given space and time for crime to occur. These are the absence of a capable guardian to prevent crime, the presence of a suitable target and the presence of a motivated offender. Therefore, location of criminals determines their objective in carrying out fraudulent activities.
Strain theory is a mode of adaptation that defines deviant behaviors influenced by the structure and culture of a society. It further posits that people have common goals and values. Perfect examples of the values include owning a home, a car, monetary success, and achieving the American Dream. Some people engage in deviant behaviors to achieve their goals because they do not have similar opportunities to fulfill their aims. This is especially in the United States, where everyone is encouraged to pursue the goal of material success, yet not everyone has the same opportunity to achieve the goal. In some communities, normal and routine operations of the society increase motivations to commit crimes.
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This is especially in the United States, where everyone is encouraged to pursue the goal of material success, yet not everyone has the same opportunity to achieve the goal. In some communities, normal and routine operations of the society increase motivations to commit crimes. Social learning theory states that, the behavior of an individual is shaped by observational learning. The environment shapes one’s behavior. If one lives in a society where deviant behavior is part of the normal activities of the society, the person will also be involved in such deviant activities. Learning includes aspects such as direction of rationalizations, motives, attitudes, and drives, and techniques of committing crime. In this case, criminal activities are motivated by culture, values and socialization. The use of these three theories will be demonstrated in an analysis of the film below. American Gangster American Gangster is a story about a drug lord, Frank Lucas, who seizes the opportunity to exploit the benefits of supplying drugs and becomes a criminal kingpin. Lucas was just a driver to a drug lord, Bumpy Johnson, who dies from natural causes. After Johnson’s death, Lucas hardens his status in the following months to become the most innovative drug dealer in the Harlem district of Manhattan. Lucas changed the system and was able to deliver a product that was cheaper and purer compared to his competitors. In his method of controlling the drug underworld, Lucas tries to hide his criminal activities by becoming one of the civil supporters of Manhattan Borough. Through this, he would be semi-legitimate. This becomes suspicious to police detective Ritchie Roberts, who notices that the hierarchy of the drug underworld has ...Show more
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This paper will demonstrate how routine activities theory, strain theory, and social learning theory, can be used to analyze crime in the film American Gangster. Knowledge obtained from this case analysis can be applied to real life situations. …
Author : brionnazieme
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