American History X Sociological Analysis

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Since the beginning of modern human civilization, there has always been tension for those who do not share the same color, background, culture, or race. People often tend to stick to those who are similar to themselves while also alienating those for are different and who seem to pose a threat. American History X is about an old brother and younger brother relationship and how one person has the ability to influence the other in a big way. Derek Vinyard, who is the older brother and Danny Vinyard, the younger brother, both live in a white supremacist mentality passed down by their father at an early age through racist comments and stereotypes. Their white supremacist ideology results in the imprisonment of Derek when he murders an African American rival when he attempt to steal his car. Derek has always been a big influence for Danny and that resulted in him following the footsteps of his brother through his attitude, appearance, and even his school work. Even though Derek’s father provided the groundwork for his white supremacist mentality,…show more content…
They both define deviance as “a behavior, trait, belief, or other characteristic that violates a norm and causes a negative reaction” (153). An example of deviant behavior that was portrayed in the film was Danny writing his book report on Mein Kampf written by Adolf Hitler. This is considered deviant behavior since the average person would not be so invested in the life and ideology of Hitler. This is the reason as to why Dr. Sweeney told him to rewritten his essay. Another deviant behavior exhibited by Danny was his appearance. He embraces the “skinhead” imagine with his shaved head and his white supremacist apparel. This would be considered a deviant behavior since most people do not proudly and publicly proclaim their racist thoughts and beliefs nor do they want people to know about
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