City of God and Angels of the Night: Juvenile Delinquency

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Both videos provide us with several insights in regards to Juvenile Delinquency and Chapter 8, where “critical, life-course, and integrated theories,” was introduced to us. Let’s first begin with factor of the government’s control over crime. As we saw in the videos, the government and their legal systems are not efficient in curbing crime.

A concept of the critical theory is as follows: “Crime is not a value-free concept, but a political concept. Those who control the political system define what is and is not considered a crime. The behaviors of the impoverished are more often considered crimes and are dealt with more severely by the criminal justice system than are the actions of the wealthy and powerful.” This is seen frequently in “City of God.” The criminal justice system in the “City of God” determines who will be responsible for what, even when the person they shot and killed had nothing to do with the original crime. This ties into the Marx theory.

In Marx’s theory, he divides society in two parts: the bourgeoisie and the proletariat. The bourgeoisie control and own the means of production, which consists of the working class, and the proletariat is exploited by this economic system. The underprivileged people who live in this economic system usually are the one who start to break the law. They do so in order to survive and obtain the resources needed to meet their personal needs and provide for their families. We see this in the videos repeatedly when the juveniles start to lead the lifestyle of crime in a desperate attempt to reach success.

As we see in the City of God, it is the children who tend to supplement their lack of financial status for a life of crime in order to get the power they assume is supposed to come with having money. If these children had financial support, they would have had a greater chance in going to school and avoiding a life of crime. As for the females in the “Angels of the Night,” due to the life of poverty they...
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