Structural Strain Theory: The Baltimore Riots

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The purpose of this paper is to examine the recent event regarding the Baltimore riot, an issue that I plan to examine from a structural strain theory perspective. The death of Freddie Gray, a 25-year old African American who sustained injuries and died in custody, as a result of discriminatory practice and excessive force used by the law enforcement, had initiated the Baltimore riot. According to “Damage to businesses from Baltimore rioting estimated at about $9 million”, the Baltimore riot consisted of at least twenty police officers injured, at least 250 people arrested, 285 to 350 businesses damaged, 150 vehicle fires, 60 structured fires, and 27 drugstores looted” (Wenger, 2015) within the timespan of the riot. Some would ponder why would…show more content…
In the article, “Roots of a Riot” one phrase which stood out was “Baltimore’s eruption follows decades of systematic failure.” (Von, 2015). From a sociological structural strain perspective, the individuals of Baltimore were more likely to riot due to the fact that they were not able to reach the cultural goals because of systematic failure; in other words, a lack of institutionalized means. The impoverished communities of Baltimore had a lack of institutionalized means, such as, education, job employment, and role models, and as a result, were neglected the opportunity to reaching the culture goals as other communities. For instance, in “Goodbye to Freddie Gray and Goodbye to Quietly Accepting Injustice”, by Michael Eric Dyson, Dyson statistically states that “the unemployment rate in the community where Mr. Gray lived is over 50 percent; and the high school student absence rate hovers at 49.3 percent” (Dyson, 2015). For this reason, the community which Freddie Gray came from had rebelled against society and rioted. This rebellion is not only seen in the city of Baltimore, but also in Los Angeles and Ferguson, Missouri. After the death of Freddie Gray and Michael Brown, and beating of Rodney King, the people from the oppressed communities had nothing to lose when they had rioted and rebelled since they were not given the equal…show more content…
To end the high rates of unemployment and absence in school in impoverished communities. Some steps we can take are implementing policies that will keep students in school. For instance, community service will be force upon an individual if they miss a certain amount of days of school at a recreation center. Another step is by paying the parents to spend more time in with their children, keeping the children out of trouble and rebelling. In doing so, people will not rebel and have an easier time conforming to the society
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