in light of this assumption, Dough Boy
conforms to the social standards of his community, which within the context of
the ‘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 to
better 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 the
group. Since Ricky is offered a
scholarship, he understands that he must conform to new higher standards of
conduct and behaviour. For example, when
Ricky meets with the representative
for the University, he dresses in formal attire and is able to present himself
respectfully. Even though this behaviour is out of
his norm, Ricky understands that he needs to adopt new behaviours that are not
as familiar to him. This can be referred to as behaviour
modification. Further, Ricky understands and accepts that he
must stay out of trouble and study for his SAT’s which
is also out of his cultural norm and which Furious believes to be “culturally biased” (Singleton, 1991).
is clear that Ricky’s character is greatly
influenced by his social surrounding. His relationship with Tre and Furious has a significant
impact on his character and well-being, whereby together Tre and Ricky set goals
for the future and plan on opening a business together. However, when Ricky is with his brother Doughboy
he engages in violent confrontations, as is seen when they get involved in a
shooting with a rival gang. This illustrates that the criminal behaviour is
learned, and a result of Ricky’s
relationship with his brother. At the same time, Ricky also learns a new set of values and behaviours through his
interactions with Tre, Furious, and the University Representative.
This further exemplifies the social control theory, and is seen when Furious attempts to teach these boys how
to behave in certain social situations. Thus, Ricky
learns to adapt to separate norms and values depending on the people and
situations that are present in his life.
To help in better understanding the ‘boyz’
in the ‘hood’, the guest speaker from CHEO (Voss, 2017), explained some
individual factors that can lead adolescents to criminality. An important point that he covered is that
there are specific and distinct factors that may lead youth and adolescents to
criminality which vary from adults. Voss
(2017) explains that adolescents who commit offences are either unique individuals, or very heterogeneous, and
that they exhibit varying emotional and behavioural control ranging from very
impulsive to extremely controlling.
Furthermore, Voss (2017) explains that adolescents are more likely to be
risk takers and sensation seekers, which can lead to violence and crime in the lower-class
areas. To demonstrate this in the
context of Boyz N the Hood, after Tre sees Ricky murdered, he reacts impulsively and takes his father’s gun
with the intent of getting revenge on those who killed Ricky. Tre, emotionally charged considers risking his life for the vengeance
of Ricky’s death. Fortunately, because
of his upbringing and his father’s guidance, Tre is eventually able to take more control of his anger and
emotions and decides to abort his mission in seeking revenge.
Unlike Tre, Doughboy believed it was the right thing to do, despite the reality
of the consequences of his actions, which eventually leads to his death. Doughboy
never had the same family guidance as did Tre,
and therefore he was only able to draw upon the values
of his group of friends and therefore, made what he considered was the right
decision, that of getting revenge for his friend’s death. This evidently demonstrates a form of neutralization, whereby Doughboy felt
his actions were accounted for at the time because revenge is an encouraged
behaviour and a social norm in his environment.