TheSocial, Political and Legal issues that contribute to Youth Gangs
“Boyzn the Hood” (1991) is a hood film dedicated to depicting theAmerican societies with an appropriate focus on the struggles ofyoung black Americans in the times when gangs represented not onlythe means of livelihood but also a way to satisfy social, economicand political needs. In this film, the director John Singletonclearly expresses that in a community shaped up by violence, drugs,and firearms, the best response even for those who wish to keep outof the trouble is to find a piece (gun). Evidently, despite theefforts both Ricky and young Tre dedicated in legit activities suchas sports and education, they eventually found themselves togetherwith the violent and drug peddler Doughboy, all in pursuance ofcommon goals of revenge and survival.“Boyz N the Hood” presents the underlying factors that promoterecruitment of youths into gangs in search for socially, economicallyand politically acceptable personality.
Throughthe movie, the social factors that contribute to youth’srecruitment into gangs are evident. One such factor is the peer’smembers who challenge each other to seek respect and recognitionamong the groups. In the film, Doughboy is seen valuing respect,pride, and recognition as demonstrated by his violent actions (Boyz Nthe Hood). Parenthood is another social factor determining theyouth’s involvement in criminal activities. In the film, we findMrs. Baker who not only favors Ricky but also emotionally andphysically abusive to Doughboy. As a result, Doughboy dwelled inviolence seeking the recognition he never received from his mother.Mr. Furious Styles is another parent in the movie. As for him,growing up should be about discipline and responsibility for his son,thereby challenging Tre to become a better man. Poverty is anotherfactor facilitating the youth’s involvement in crime (Friedrichs1). Evidently, Doughboy lives a prestigious life by selling drugs. Inaddition, he can afford alcohol and girls, unlike his friends.
Legalissues promoting gangs as evident in the movie include lawlessnessand drug abuse. Lawlessness was a legal issue in South Central LosAngeles as evident when robbers broke into Furious Style’s house.This revealed the need to seek protection because even when he calledthe authority, the police responded later and with no interests ofinvestigating. Similarly, Ricky and Tre gave in to finding a weaponfor protection from the already established violent groups. Drug useis also another legal issue that has attracted the youths to criminalgroups (Friedrichs 1). With a gang, it is easy to obtain and selldrugs in the American black communities. People like Doughboyobtained drugs and alcohol from the established gangs in theneighborhood.
Thepolitical factors evident in the movie are racism and the youth’sdesire for power in the street. The youths in the movies seek gangmembership for power and survival. It is evident in the movie thateven the youths who avoid violence by refusing to join gangs are thevictims because the existing groups harass them. According toFriedrichs (1), this raises the need for the youth to find acollective identity that will help them survive the violence in thestreet.
Racismis a political problem between the white and the black people in LosAngeles factor facilitating gang activities in the film. As furiousstyles explained to his son that the reason there are many guns onthe street is the same as to why there is a liquor store every cornerof the neighborhood (Boyz N the Hood). Simply put, the whites inSouth Central Los Angeles availed these destructive commodities sothat the black community can destroy itself. In addition, the zoningin the town has left the black community without essential resources.
Inbrief, Boys in the Hood takes a unique approach to revealing theunderlying circumstances promoting crime in American communities. Itemphasizes that these social, legal and political factors makeviolence inevitable despite the choices the youths make, therebynecessitating extreme measures for survival and wellbeing.
“BoyzN the Hood”.United States: Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment, 1991. DVD.Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cB14N7Cg2bg
Friedrichs,Matt. "Gangs: Problems and Answers."Web.stanford.edu.N.P., 2016. Web. 11 Nov. 2016.