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Boyz n the Hood and the Portrayal of Sociological Dynamics

Boys in the Hood

The movie “Boyz n the Hood” captures various sociological dynamics. Although the media content was released in the year 1992, the controversies it portrays are still prevalent in modern times. The conflict and order frameworks are heavily utilized in this film to explain the troubles which the main characters endure. The plot of the story follows a group of friends who are struggling to grow and prosper in South Central Los Angeles.

Gender roles and norms play a role from the very beginning of the movie. Tre Styles lives with his mother who is seen as the primary caretaker. Although she is currently unemployed, she is going to school in order to pursue a better job. The father is not mentioned until Tre gets in trouble at school and is suspended for getting into a fight. The stereotype which the movie portrays is how the father of an African American family is not there for his wife and children. Emile Durkheim would believe that the egoistic suicide would be a major factor in the life of the underprivileged families portrayed in the movie. There is not enough integration within the community to hold the family structure together. Because of this, the main characters show a clear lack of purpose and are prone to accept learned helplessness. Due to the lack of any outside entity attempting to reverse this, the issue is seen through past and present generations of the family. The film is also able to show the effects of altruistic suicide. This form of action takes place specifically in the various gangs and cliques portrayed in the community. Many of the gang members have a mentality of doing whatever they can to increase the power and influence of their neighborhood.

Class inequality due to poverty is another integral part of life which the protagonists must face. The poverty decreases an individual’s protentional as it increases the amount of stress one faces in comparison to a family who is well off. This induces a lack of care in scenarios which the person believes is not necessary for survival. In the film, obtaining a proper education from a young age was deemed a waste of time. This creates a cycle of poverty that continues for generations. Contrast to this idea was shown by one of the protagonists named Ricky. The movie made it evident that the path Ricky took in order to separate his future from his past was unique. Many individuals looked up to him and he had a sense of righteousness. This attitude later got him killed in an altruistic suicide manner due to him standing up for someone who was getting bullied. Sociologist Max Weber would say that this form of poverty among minority groups, especially African Americans, arose due to the way they were viewed by the Caucasian race in the United States for the majority of their existence. He may argue that if racism was not prevalent, the issue of poverty would be more evenly dispersed throughout the population.

The lack of regulation and proper assistance from government entities to combat poverty leads to Durkheim’s definition of Anomic suicide. Fatalistic suicide stems from the oppressive behavior in which the individual is placed in. In the movie, there is a scene where the police clearly act in a manner which expresses their disregard for the law. They racially profile a group of minorities who were walking peacefully back home from an event. The police make it clear that they have both physical and mental control and are willing to break the rules in order to maintain their corrupt sense of order. Karl Marx would say that the poverty which the minority population in the movie face is due to the crooked way of the capitalistic system. Although the mother in beginning of the movie is able to supply her child with the bare necessities, the resource distribution is at the point where they are still struggling to thrive. This style of living is similar to Marx’s velvet prison idea in which although the characters in the story are living, they are not free to do what they wish. In a very broad sense, many of the poor due behave how Marx would recommend. Crime is usually a simplification of the reallocation of goods. Crime fluctuated as the condition of poverty became more prevalent.

“Boys N the Hood” shows the viewer how various levels of integration and regulation can deeply effect how a community and population interact. Without equilibrium, problems will arise that lead to numerous forms of suicide.

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