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Social Structure Theory

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Social Structure Theory
Holly Barnes
CJS/231
August 30, 2015
Professor Chris Rosbough

There are several theories created by many thinkers of our time that believes that societal, financial, and social arrangements and/or structures as the main cause of criminal behavior. In society, depending on where you are, there are usually some unwritten norms that are expected to be followed. It can be in a business corporation, out in the streets, at home. Usually there will be two sets of norms that is expected to be followed that causes an individual to feel torn. However, the feeling of being torn is the inner battle of doing the right thing, conscience or keeping yourself alive. The video, “Tent City, Arizona” was chosen to be watched to identify social structure theories and immediately it was noticed that an individual named Ryan, who is a nineteen years old meth user who was given the choice, serve six months in Tent City, or twelve years in a state prison. As the story focused on Ryan, he has lost the support of his mother and his girlfriend who gave birth to his son while he was waiting for sentencing. He started to realize that he wanted to be present for his son as a father because he grew up without his father and knew what he needed to do. Complete his Tent City stint and get out and go be with his son and be a father. He knew that he needed to follow all the rules as required by the officers who enforced the rules, however he also had to be part of the “Woods” group which are the Whites or otherwise he could be turned against. One of the unwritten norms of the prison was that everyone had to be divided by race and support each other. As soon as Ryan came in, he had to be with the “Woods” and try to stay out of the contraband game which would screw up his potential six months stay. He had to tread carefully with the Woods as well as the officers…...

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