You will need to answer these questions as you would a short answer question or essay question (depending on the length of your response) for an assessment. The questions and subsequent answers should be placed within a word document with proper headings, title page, and reference list (if outside sources are used). Use APA style formatting for this assignment.
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.
Based on what you have just read, and using your textbook as a reference, answer the following questions:
- Why would John be considered a deviant? What social foundations of deviance appear to be evident in this case?
- Examine the three theoretical foundations of deviance (structural-functional, symbolic-interaction, and social-conflict). Determine which foundation applies to John’s situation and why. Give specific examples.
- 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.