Share
Explore BrainMass

Foundations Theory for a Case Study on a Deviant

John Rommel was born in 1955 to a lower class family in New York. His father had immigrated over to the United States from Germany prior to the rise of Hitler in 1933. He desired to show pride in his new country, so he worked hard at the docks to earn a living for his family. While he was never made much, he always stressed pride in his work and obeyed the law. He believed this was a firm foundation for becoming successful. John always showed a bright mind and highly intuitive nature, but he never showed any desire for schooling. He saw society as an unfair, unforgiving system that repressed those of lower social status. John was not a violent person; he considered himself very honorable, but he did not have a desire to work like his father did, earning low wages for hours of tedious work to support his family. Instead, he opted for more illegal endeavors—gambling, stealing, and even dabbling in organized crime. However, he never told his father because he did not want to disrespect his family. When he turned 17, he became a drug-runner for the Gambino family because a couple of his close "brothers" had become involved in the business as well. Soon John became involved with more than just drug running; he began to assist the family with offering "protective services" to different shops and businesses in Brooklyn's lower east side. Should the businesses miss a payment or refuse their help, he would instigate certain actions against the business to cause severe damage, enough to ensure the business owner would seek their protection from then on. Eventually, John's employment with organized crime caught up to him as he was arrested at the age of 25. When he appeared in court, his defense suggested that he plead guilty as the prosecution had enough evidence to convict him anyway. When he was sentenced the judge decided to send him to prison for five years, with a potential of being released after three years for good behavior. John noticed his parents sitting in the audience at the hearing, and he began to feel a great sense of shame for what he had done and believed he had brought shame to his family.

1. Why would John be considered a deviant? What social foundations of deviance appear to be evident in this case?
2. Examine the three theoretical foundations of deviance (structural-functional, symbolic-interaction, and socialconflict).
Determine which foundation applies to John's situation and why. Give specific examples.
3. Choose three theories, one within each theoretical foundation, that apply to this case. If a foundation does not have an applicable theory, state why and what behavior could have been exhibited that would have reflected that

Solution Preview

The story is the case study. The questions supplied create the analysis of the case study, which is what the assignment is about. I am supplying the basic answers, which you will then expand on and add information from your class. I also included three references for you to use for more information.

1. Why would John be considered a deviant? What social foundations of deviance appear to be evident in this case?
John did not follow the social norms of good behavior, avoiding harming others, and finding legal work for pay, making money to support himself in ways acceptable to the general society. John's work created threats and harm to others. Illegal drug use was unacceptable in American society, providing those drugs even more so. Additionally, the application of injury or destruction of property and extorting money through acts of both is deemed as unacceptable behavior, deviance, by American society. He did not work and earn a legal paycheck like his father. Social foundations of deviance are those constructs decided by society (and societal power) as not normal or different from acceptable behaviors. Remember that not every society has the same idea about what is deviant and what is not. For example, bribery of officials for business perks is socially acceptable in many countries, but in the United States it is not ...

Solution Summary

Using the case study, a discussion of social theories is given in 851 words.

$2.19