The movie Precious is a 2009 American drama film directed by Lee Daniels. Precious is an adaptation of the 1996 novel “Push” by Sapphire. The film stars Gabourney Sidibe, Mariah Carey, Mo’Nique and Paula Patton. The film takes place in Harlem in 1987 where an obese, 16 year old female named Claireece P. “Precious” Jones lives in a Harlem ghetto with her dysfunctional and abusive mother Mary. The family resides in a Section 8 tenement and subsists on welfare. Precious has been “invisible” to the father who rapes her and to the authorities who dismiss her as just another one of Harlem’s casualties. But when Precious becomes pregnant with a second child by her father, Precious meets a determined teacher and a no-nonsense social worker and other supportive people who inspire her on her journey of education and enlightenment. Precious becomes resolved to improve her life for herself and her children. Gabourney Sidibe received an academy award nomination for her performance and her mother, played by Mo’Nique received the academy award for best supporting actress. This film portrayed several sociological, criminological and deviance issues.
Precious grew up being repeatedly raped since the age of three by her father, resulting in two pregnancies, one of which resulted in a Down’s Syndrome child named “Mongo”. The mother, when not verbally and physically abusing her at length, sometimes taking the time out to sexually abuse Precious as well. The ghetto black boys in the street taunt her when she walks by and shove her to the ground for kicks. Precious’s mom blames her for the fact that she was raped by her father, her mother also repeatedly curses at Precious’s children and treats them with disrespect.
Precious’s mother portrays many criminological theories throughout this movie. The first one that was very prominent throughout the movie was the mom portraying the Classical Theory, which is when crime occurs when the benefits outweigh the costs – when people pursue self-interest in the absence of effective punishments. Crime is a free-willed choice. Mary takes her aggression and issues with Precious’s father out on her daughter. Instead of getting to the root of her issues with him, she treats Precious like a piece of dirt. It is almost as if her mother is getting a sick pleasure out of seeing her daughter suffer, because that is how her relationship is with her own boyfriend. The crimes that she participates in against Precious are all based off her own-free willed choice. No one is making her beat, verbally abuse or rape her daughter.
Precious was born into a family of abuse and neglect. Her own parents would be making love, while Precious was asleep next to them, and then the father would molest Precious. Mary would let him do these heinous acts upon Precious in fear of her own safety. She felt as though it was the only way to get Carl to love her, and keep him from leaving. As the movie continues you find out that the mother actually blamed Precious for stealing Carl away from her, and that the hatred she has towards Precious is due to the fact that Carl loved her more. Unfortunately Precious was born into the Development Life Course theory, which is a developmental process that starts before birth and continues throughout the life course. Some theories predict continuity across the life course; others predict continuity for some offenders and change for other offenders; and some predict continuity and change for the same offender. Precious did not choose this lifestyle but due to the unfortunate circumstances, she was born into this life style. As she grows she continues to make criminal decisions not because she wants to but because she has to in order to survive. She runs away from home, she steals and she continues to lie to authorities about her life at home. In Precious’s case it seems as though this Developmental Life course theory will not continue with her as she grows and matures...
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