City of God

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David Anderson

Criminal Behavior

Essay Paper


City of God

The City of God is based on actual events that occurred in Rio de Janeiro during the 1960's and 1970's. The movie is about the rise and fall of a fearsome sociopath gang leader Li'l Ze, who reigned as king of the drug lords during the 70's. The first part of the movie illustrates some of the forces that mold Li'l Ze into the man he becomes, while the second half shows his ruthless leap to power, followed by the war he wages against opposing gang leaders Carrot and Knockout Ned. The film is narrated by Rocket, a photographer who exists on the outskirts of Li'l Ze's circle of dominance and control. In the film the city is filled with ruthless acts of delinquency and is basically in chaos. There are two theories that I would like to discuss in relation to the city's unusually high criminal acts.

The first theory that I would like to discuss is the social disorganization theory. The social disorganization theory is defined as the decline of influence of existing social rules of behavior upon individuals within a group. In essence, social disorganization is the consequence of a community's inability to realize common values and to solve the problems of its residents, resulting in the breakdown of effective social control within that community. The theory claims that delinquency is not caused at the individual level, but is considered to be the normal response of normal individuals to abnormal social conditions. In the city of God the only common goal of many of its residents was to find a way out. At no point did I witness the city's residence pulling together as a whole to restore Justice and peace. The city was basically run by the most powerful drug lord who was only interested in one thing more power and wealth for himself. The authority in no way tried to restore the law back into the streets of the city of God because they used the wealth and power of the drug...
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