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Monster Book

Essay by   •  April 27, 2011  •  1,538 Words (7 Pages)  •  1,503 Views

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“’Eleven, but I’ll be twelve in November’. Damn I never thought about being too young” (Shakur 8). From the standpoint of Sanyika Shakur, he was destined to be a gang member. He grew up with no real father figure in his household and he turned to the gangs as a source of family and structure. This is because when he was growing up, joining a gage was a way of life. By the age of eleven, Sanyika was already educated regarding the details of gangster life. It was his only way of relating to anyone. Just as when one gets when he comes home with a good report card. Sanyika replaced his report card with a gun and looked for acceptance from his homies. His mom was busy working while his real dad was never around. The only way he felt that acceptance or want was to blast somebody or show his respect and loyalty to his hood and his homies.

I could not say that if Sanyika had a father he would not have become a Crip. It would have certainly reduced his chances of being caught up in the “game”. I relate to Sanyika’s struggles with the Social Disorganization Theory. He and his family were raised in the transitional zone. The transitional zone, being South Central L.A., having the highest crime rate, along with the most unemployed residents. So in conjunction with the Social Disorganization Theory, Kody Scott grew up and lived in a socially disorganized neighborhood. Shaw and McKay point out that, “social disorganization stems from ineffective control of kids (Class notes 5/9/2007)”. I observed while reading the book that Kody’s mother was seldom present supervising him. “’You haven’t even asked me if I am hurtin’. No, you too busy fussin’ to show me love, to say something’ kind or nice. No, it’s always fuss fuss fussвЂ™Ð²Ð‚Ñœ (Shakur 184). He, instead, found guns and engaged in shooting and drugs.

“And what about the children? What do we tell them, or our wives? How do we come to grips with the fact that this thing has gotten way too real, out of control like some huge snowball rolling down a hill” (Shakur 382). This relates back to Social Disorganization Theory. The criminal traditions have been passed on from one generation to the next. Every generation wanting more and more respect. Wanting to earn the label of an O.G. or a Ghetto Supersar. Because of this, the effects have snowballed and in Sanyikas conclusion, he realizes the whole gang war has gotten out of control.

“As I read I felt the word seeping deeper into me, their power coursing through my body, giving me strength to push on. I was changing, I felt it. For once I didn’t challenge it or see it as being a threat to the established mores of the вЂ?hood (Shakur 223)”. Muhammads readings helped open Kodys eyes to the oppression and labeling society in which he lived. Such as Cloward and Ohlins Opportunity Theory. Through reading, Kody was able to see the opportunities he and his people were being rejected and that people in other communities were receiving. Because of the blocked opportunities in his neighborhood, it led to strain. From strain you learn ways to cope with the feelings and struggles. In Kody’s neighborhood you deal with strain by shooting or robbing someone.

If Kody would have had someone earlier in his life express interest in him, he might have got out of gang life earlier. Throughout the book, as gruff as he acts, you could still see how much heart he had. Few times he spared lives and stuck up for people when he did not have to. Like most of the theories, a positive role model early in his life might have made a huge impact.

There are many theories that fit Sanyika, but none more fitting than the Assumptions of Conflict Theory. “Ruling class is the class that is comprised of those with money and power” (Class notes 5/18/2007). I think Sanyika Shakur would completely agree with the Assumptions of Conflict Theory. America is a capitalistic economy and those that rule it are those with money and legislation power. Most ruling class want to no social change and those that have been labeled a criminal shall stay a criminal. “’These white folks ain’t playin’ man. They will lock you up, lock you down, lock you in just like they have locked you out of this society. If you haven’t got any marketable skills to sustain an income on your own, man, your chances of survival are slimвЂ™Ð²Ð‚Ñœ (Shakur 228). The subordinate class is oppressed and treated like second rate individuals. Most of subordinate class, do not have any opportunity to get out of the hood. This is partially because they feel like they have no opportunity they turn to crime and drugs.

In conjunction with Conflict Theory would be Primary and Secondary Deviance by Lemert. Primary Deviance states that “everyone has engaged in some sort of criminal activity. Until people are detected they are not criminals. Until they are detected they are never classified as criminals” (Class notes 4/30/2007). Secondary deviance is when someone is caught committing criminal activity. They are then labeled criminals

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