Crime through the Sociological Perspective: All Over but the Shoutin’
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Rick Bragg’s All Over but the Shoutin’ is an autobiography that dives right into both the depth of his destitute upbringing as well as his edgy career as a journalist. Having a neglectful father and a struggling single mother, Bragg and his family went through many hardships that can seem both unreal to some and commonplace to others. As he started to pursue his career as a journalist, he was a first hand witness to many atrocities, such as the riots in Miami in 1991. While reading through the text, it is astonishing how many references there are about different theoretical aspects of crime. There is no question that criminal activity proves to be a chronic issue in our society, but where the real question lies is not in how we can rid…show more content… They tend to focus more on the inequalities of race, class and gender. Symbolic interaction theorists believe that crime is a behavior that is learned through social interaction, meaning that people can be engaging in criminal activity but does not have a sense of whether or not it’s right or wrong in comparison to the dominant culture’s expectations because their actions has always been positively reinforced within their own sub-culture. Whatever the case, each perspective traces criminal behavior to social conditions rather than the personalities of individuals (Andersen and Taylor 162). Now that basic understandings of the theories sociologists use to study crime, we can begin to see how they attribute to some of the problems that emerge because of it. In All Over but the Shoutin’, the first incident that catches my attention within the context of crime is John Sparks, the man who frantically shot the couple in the park. He is described as being a “sexually obsessive man, addicted to alcohol, who had failed at everything he had ever tried.” Sparks serves as a springboard for discussion about the social control theory.
Deriving from the functionalist point of view, the social control theory suggests that deviance occurs when a person’s (or group’s) attachment to social bonds is weakened. According to this, people’s attachment to others forms a subconscious