Essay on The Boondock Saints’ Positive Deviance

1348 Words 6 Pages
The movie The Boondock Saints provides an excellent example of positive deviance through innovation. The Social theory of deviance can easily explain the brothers’ actions. The movie can be used to study deviance as the brothers kill people who are mafia members, breaking the norms of society. Even though the acts they are committing are clearly illegal and deviant, the people of South Boston do not react in a negative way. Since the Social theory is very broad, it will be easier to look at the brother’s acts under three sub theories: Labeling, Conflict and Strain theories. The Social theory of deviance explains why people break social norms, and what their motivation may be for doing so. The brothers undoubtedly break one of the …show more content…
After the brothers kill the first two Russian mafia members, the community gives them the label “The Saints of South Boston”. Because of the positive connotation of the label that they are given by the media, they realize that the people living in the city would not have a major problem with them killing the top members of the mafia to make the city more peaceful.
As they become better at killing the top mafia members, some of the citizens even go as far as to call the brothers “Angels”. With the majority of the city supporting the brothers’ killings, they see no reason why they should stop. Instead they take it to the next level with the help of more positive labels, and make it more of an occupation, they compare themselves to 7-11 as they are not always doing business, but they are always open. Without the labels that the media gives them, it would not be possible to continue on with their work of reducing crime. If the labels were originally negative after their first encounter with the two mafia members, there would be no reason for them to continue, as no one would approve of their acts. After the last scene of the movie, there are interviews with the citizens of South Boston. During the interviews, most of the people are starting to give the brothers negative labels calling them criminals. Since the labels are becoming more and more negative, the brothers leave and go back to Ireland where they grew up. The Labeling theory is
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