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American History X

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American History X
Ryan Reynolds
Housatonic Community College

What Sociological theories present themselves in the movie American History X? Sociology is defined as the study of human behavior and how society impacts us as individuals and as groups. From that definition you know that the setting of the movie has the biggest impact on how the characters are going to act as individuals and as groups. Groups play a major role in this movie. The topic of Nature and Nurture can also be talked about. I believe that there are only two major theories that pertain to American History X and that is Control theory and Labeling Theory. Everything that occurs in this movie trickles down from Control Theory and Labeling Theory. Let me just describe to you the family, setting and the main character in American History X. Derek, the main character, is a young, intelligent very impressionable young man who is raised in a middle class family in Pasadena, California. Pasadena, California is a beach town that is very diverse in ethnicity and has many gangs. Derek’s father kind of instills racism in his children by telling them that illegal immigrants are coming into America and stealing the white man’s jobs. Now Control Theory comes into play when Derek’s father is murdered. I brought up that Derek is very impressionable because he kind of loses it at this point and starts to blame everything bad that is happening in his life on blacks and anybody that is not white like him. He becomes very deviant. The topic of Nature and Nurture comes into play now; I believe that this deviance was nurtured into Derek. If Derek’s father didn’t feed him all of that garbage about illegals stealing their jobs then he wouldn’t have been so angry towards them. There are two systems in Control Theory, Inner Control which is your conscious/Religious belief, Values and fears. The...

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