"City of God" Analysis

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Kellene Berry
Sociology 1
Kolstad
05/23/2012
“City of God” Application and Analysis
The movie “City of God” has many examples of sociological theories of crime and deviance. Some of the major theories I noticed throughout the movie were the functionalist theory, including examples of relative depravation, as well as the interactionist theory, including differential association and labeling. There was also evidence of the conflict theory and the control theory throughout the film.

The functionalist theory states that hard work leads to rewards, and when these rewards are not sufficient, deviance arises. Crime and deviance result from “structural tensions and a lack of moral regulation within society” (Giddens). An example of this theory in the movie would be when the main character Rocket decided to get a job to pay for a camera. Rocket was then fired because his boss believed he was part of the “hood”. Rocket did not receive the severance pay that he expected and was unable to purchase the camera he wanted. In turn Rocket began demonstrating acts of deviance. He took his older brother’s gun and began committing robbery. According to Robert Merton, Rocket was a conformist, by taking up a job in order to attain his aspirations. Later when Rocket turned to deviant behavior, Merton would classify Rocket as an innovator, due to the use of illegal means for his success.

Relative depravation is when some see others as having more than them. It’s the difference and distance between the haves and the have-nots. The entire reason Lil Ze` had a problem with Knockout Ned was due to relative depravation. Knockout Ned had a beautiful girlfriend and he was good-looking. Lil Ze` viewed himself as ugly and was seen turned down by women in the movie. Lil Ze` forcefully got what he wanted by shooting up Knockout Ned’s family and raping his girlfriend. Another example of relative depravation was when Lil Ze` saw how much money the drug dealers made in the city. He then...
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