Crime Theories Within American Gangster

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Suheiry Fermin

Crime theories- American gangster

The behavior theory claims that humans learn their behavior through experiences. They learn how to and commit crimes because they receive favorable incentives for committing the crimes. This theory ties into the social learning theory which claims that people learn their aggressive or criminal behaviors from watching others around them engage in these acts. Another interesting theory is the rational choice theory. The rational choice theory is used to describe why people commit crimes. Under the rational choice theory people weigh the cost and benefit of committing the crime. When the benefit outweighs the cost of the crime the individual or individuals are more likely to commit the crime.

In American gangster the main character Frank Lucas embodies these theories. Frank Lucas became the top drug dealer in his time because he had a mentor. Ellsworth "Bumpy" Johnson was the most successful drug dealer running Harlem and taught everything he knew to Frank Lucas. When Bumpy dies from a heart attack Frank Lucas takes what he learned from Bumpy and builds his own drug empire. Frank Lucas was not born a criminal. He did not know how to kill or distribute illegal drugs when he came into this world. His actions were learned from someone that he worked for and took him under his wing. Of course other factors might have also affected Frank’s actions such as his benefits from engaging in the crimes. For example the idea of transporting drugs straight from Vietnam and cutting out the middle man gave Frank the benefit of being able to have a larger profit. Becoming a drug trafficker instead of buying his drugs from other dealers was a more appealing action for Frank because this way he made more money for himself. Also the way he had his drugs transported made it less of a hassle for him to get caught giving him more opportunity and benefits. Frank Lucas was a man not to be messed with and the movie portrays this...
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