saints rough

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Thomas Valotta
Mr. K
July 15, 2014
The Saints and the Roughnecks: A power Discrepancy
 After wild high school experiences and memorable nights out with teenage friends, there comes a time to grow out of this lifestyle and into responsible, young adults. This was definitely the case for the two gangs within the town of Hanibal, the Saints and the Roughnecks. Most members of the two gangs are now respectable men who have achieved college degrees and started their own families, although their teachers from back in high school may tell you a different story. The gangs’ mischievous actions led to the different labelling of the two groups. The two gangs received treatment from opposite ends of the spectrum, the Saints were seen as respectable young men, while the Roughnecks were categorized as nothing but trouble. The teachers’ and community’s perception of the members of each gang has played a role in how the members of each gang’s lives have developed. When contrasting actions and behaviors, social reactions and consequences, and the neutralization tactics used by the two gangs, it is evident that the Labelling Theory effects how both gangs are treated differently as well as unjustly.                 The actions and behavior of the gang members of both the Saints and the Roughnecks are extremely similar. Both gangs commit the same types of crimes and indulge in the same activities. In fact, it can even be argued that the Saints’ actions are more destructive than the Roughnecks. The actions of both gangs during the week are to find any way possible to evade class and leave campus grounds. Although the Roughnecks wanted to skip, they were not as successful as the Saints. It is also apparent that both gangs participated in cheating during nearly every test (William J.C. “The Saints and the Roughnecks”). Moving towards the weekends, the Saints would flee to the Big Town, a large city next to Hanibal. By doing this, they are able to hide their deviant actions from the community of Hanibal. The Saints would participate in delinquent actions such as vandalism, theft, driving under the influence, and speeding. The Saints would play pranks on local cops and rough up innocent motorists with petty tricks, as well as steal from construction sites and leaving their equipment hanging off of things like light posts. Although the Roughnecks enjoyed in participating in similar activities, their hangout was a drugstore within Hanibal (William J.C. “The Saints and the Roughnecks”). Since both gangs are almost identical in their delinquent actions and behaviors, one must look beyond this and into the Delinquency and Drift theory developed by David Matza. Delinquency and Drift is the way in which young people rationalize delinquent behavior and are able to engage in it without feeling any guilt or as if they are doing anything wrong. This usually happens when young people see laws as unfair or that they don’t apply to them and disassociate themselves from the consequences of their behavior. For example, this includes the perception of the roughnecks that police are corrupt. (William J.C. “The Saints and the Roughnecks”). The Delinquency and Drift theory states that those who participate in crimes are still committed to the same kinds of values as every other member of society. This can be seen throughout the lives of the members of the Saints and Roughnecks when the values and norms of society ultimately prevail over their delinquent actions and behaviors as most go on to graduate college, obtain jobs, and raise families. This theory also states that the delinquents may face regret for the actions they’ve participated in. This can be seen in the particular case of Jack. Jack could not let his actions and behaviors from his high school years lay to rest, ultimately forcing him to attempt suicide. It is clear that most delinquent teens will grow into functional members of society, and only receive labels from their social...