The Five Theories Of Deviance

1001 Words5 Pages
In the 1998 film American History X, Derek Vineyard is paroled after serving 3 years in prison for brutally murdering two black men who were breaking into his truck. Through his Brother Danny’s narration of a paper he is writing, it is learned that Derek was the leader of a large Neo-Nazi group known as D.O.C., or Disciples of Christ, that committed many acts of racial crime throughout Los Angeles. During his time in prison Derek decides that hate is a waste of time after being violently raped by fellow white supremacists, and his only friend being a black man, who was only in prison for a misunderstanding. After getting out on parole, Derek learns that Danny is headed down the same racist path as him, and decided that he must put a stop to it. Throughout this film there are many examples of the five theories of deviance; Functional, Conflict, Labeling, Broken Windows, and Differential Association. From Derek’s initial exposure to racism, all the way to him deciding to change, all five theories are exemplified through Derek, Danny, their Father, Cameron, or the D.O.C. as a whole. To being, this movie shows Functional Theory by clarifying rules, bringing groups together, and eventually promoting social change. By Derek being sent to prison, it sets an example for not only Danny, but the entire gang, that being a Neo-Nazi is wrong. While no one heads the warning, it does show them that their actions could land them in jail. Additionally, it also clarified social rules to the
Open Document