Therefore,in light of this assumption, Dough Boyconforms to the social standards of his community, which within the context ofthe ‘hood’, could lead to prestige, security, and social status.
Theorists within the Chicago School also bring about the Differential Association Theory and the Social Learning Theory. These theories are interrelated and can help tobetter understand the relationship between Ricky,Doughboy, and Tre. To illustrate, Ricky will be further discussed as he seems to best illustrate these theories. Even though Ricky and Doughboy are brothers,they display very distinct personality traits.
Ricky is extremely talented and is offered a University football scholarship,while Dougboy is the thug of thegroup. Since Ricky is offered ascholarship, he understands that he must conform to new higher standards ofconduct and behaviour. For example, whenRicky meets with the representativefor the University, he dresses in formal attire and is able to present himselfrespectfully. Even though this behaviour is out ofhis norm, Ricky understands that he needs to adopt new behaviours that are notas familiar to him. This can be referred to as behaviourmodification.
Further, Ricky understands and accepts that hemust stay out of trouble and study for his SAT’s whichis also out of his cultural norm and which Furious believes to be “culturally biased” (Singleton, 1991). Next, itis clear that Ricky’s character is greatlyinfluenced by his social surrounding. His relationship with Tre and Furious has a significantimpact on his character and well-being, whereby together Tre and Ricky set goalsfor the future and plan on opening a business together. However, when Ricky is with his brother Doughboyhe engages in violent confrontations, as is seen when they get involved in ashooting with a rival gang. This illustrates that the criminal behaviour islearned, and a result of Ricky’srelationship with his brother. At the same time, Ricky also learns a new set of values and behaviours through hisinteractions with Tre, Furious, and the University Representative.
This further exemplifies the social control theory, and is seen when Furious attempts to teach these boys howto behave in certain social situations. Thus, Rickylearns to adapt to separate norms and values depending on the people andsituations that are present in his life. To help in better understanding the ‘boyz’in the ‘hood’, the guest speaker from CHEO (Voss, 2017), explained someindividual factors that can lead adolescents to criminality. An important point that he covered is thatthere are specific and distinct factors that may lead youth and adolescents tocriminality which vary from adults. Voss(2017) explains that adolescents who commit offences are either unique individuals, or very heterogeneous, andthat they exhibit varying emotional and behavioural control ranging from veryimpulsive to extremely controlling. Furthermore, Voss (2017) explains that adolescents are more likely to berisk takers and sensation seekers, which can lead to violence and crime in the lower-classareas. To demonstrate this in thecontext of Boyz N the Hood, after Tre sees Ricky murdered, he reacts impulsively and takes his father’s gunwith the intent of getting revenge on those who killed Ricky. Tre, emotionally charged considers risking his life for the vengeanceof Ricky’s death.
Fortunately, becauseof his upbringing and his father’s guidance, Tre is eventually able to take more control of his anger andemotions and decides to abort his mission in seeking revenge. Unlike Tre, Doughboy believed it was the right thing to do, despite the realityof the consequences of his actions, which eventually leads to his death. Doughboynever had the same family guidance as did Tre,and therefore he was only able to draw upon the valuesof his group of friends and therefore, made what he considered was the rightdecision, that of getting revenge for his friend’s death. This evidently demonstrates a form of neutralization, whereby Doughboy felthis actions were accounted for at the time because revenge is an encouragedbehaviour and a social norm in his environment.