Gran Torino and A Better Life

Table of contents


This paper covers a lot of information and mostly issues that the young generation is going through currently in society. The movies Crips and Bloods, Gran Torino and A Better Life will be used to make a summary, comparison and contrast of youth experiences in their different lives and backgrounds in the society. Criminology theories will be used to dig deeper into the issues they went through in society as individuals. These theories are utilized to have a better understanding of criminal activities and the causes of each of the issues. Lastly, the theories are going to be used to solve the problems the youths were involved in adequately, and workable ways can be used to make the problems come to an end correctly. Finding a solution to issues and most problems is the best remedy in society, this because you are able to work out ways to eliminate them. This helps to control the sources of the sufferings in the society. By knowing what issues the minorities are going through, it is easy to deal with them individually or rather as a group. It is a good idea for society to start molding the youths as early as now to save the future generations.

Movies Summary

Crips and Bloods: Its origin is America and the activities took place in the southern sides of Los Angeles. The movie mainly emphasized gang violence among to very fierce African American group of gangs. Mainly depicts the social backgrounds of Black Americans which is extraneous. Slaves were freed completely after the end of civil war in America, and they settled in the south part of the country. The blacks faced a lot of issues for example racism, lack of jobs and ridicule and this led to a tough way of living. In Los Angeles, the African Americans youths were not given any access to any programs organized for the whites’ youths for example Boys Scouts. These led to Africans doubting if they had wholly gained their freedom. Law enforcement that contributed to racism led to the blacks need and urge to create their own sense of identity in the society for instance through the creation of their own clubs and gatherings. These gave them a sense of belonging and self-worth in the community. This encourages youths to enhances and better themselves.

Gran Torino: This was produced in the United States by Clint Eastwood who also acted it. This storyline revolves around a soldier rather a veteran who was separated from his family to fight the war and is now too annoyed with the world. Michigan which had a high population of employed whites, has a lot of poor Asians living there. A lot of gangs involved in violence is widely recorded in the area. The veteran is so deeply engaged in racism and has no interest in his children and other people too. Ran Torino depicts the victory that is found in muscularity and how racism is so widely practiced in society. The creation of the movie, genuinely shows how the white muscularity has helped them in society. The Kowalski personality effectively depicts how the whites’ masculinity puts a lot of racism in society and makes African Americans the minority in the society. Even you do not agree to this, and it is so obvious and commonly seen in the society today. Blacks are being oppressed and treated badly by the whites; we do not need to elaborate that because it is seen almost daily. The African Africans will fight to gain self-worth in society.

A Better Life: This movie revolves around immigration and family issues, and it is directed by Chris Weitz. The movie clearly brings out the political issues facing the country without contradicting anything. It clearly shows what people are facing in the United States especially the minorities of the countries, for example, Latinos struggling not to be involved in gangs and violence. Many of the minorities have been struck by poverty and it is quite evident. It depicts how people are faced by problems they can’t save themselves from and these make them go through tough times. The immigrants are not being treated well and these have influenced racism in the greater parts of the country.

Similarities and Differences in the Movies

It should be noted that the juvenile delinquents have been there since time immemorial but in the recent past, the matter has been taken seriously. And this is to ensure things do not go out of hand. After watching the three movies, you are able to comprehend how factors like income level, ethnic backgrounds, and cultural activities affect the community at large. Even if the three movies have been plotted differently, everybody is able to see how they are showing the issues being affected by minorities in society due to different races and ethnicity. The minorities have to struggle to fit in Americans practices. If we look at the criminological theories; the movies are giving us a better understanding of why the individuals go through hardships. If you understand well, you are able to help the young youths to stay safe to avoid getting involved in violent activities. The three films majorly get involved with families that belong to different races in the world, different identities and the issues they few. You will clearly notice that the three have some issues that are common with each other.

Apart from the similarities the three have, the differences among them are also noticeable. First of all, the plot of the three is very different, it depicts families from different backgrounds that are going through issues. The storyline of the three movies is different though the message is almost the same. The gangs involved either did not tuck their shirts or did it too tightly and preferred a certain dressing code to be recognized in the society. It should be noted that the African-American and Hipic gangs still dominate. The endings of the films are not the same for instance in Gran Torino there is guilty of the life the individual lived but the milk is split!.

Similarities and differences of issues among the three different minority groups.

The issues the communities go through are mainly racism involved and oppression of the minority in the society. These issues made them try to attract attention and mainly indulged in violent activities because they are filled with anger and thirst for revenge towards society. Gangs are also a common thing because the minorities wanted to have a sense of belonging and had to stay together with people who understood what they are going through in the hands of superiors. The gangs would riot and at times fight against others and this was a cause of insecurity. The youths felt insecure in the hands of whites because they were being mistreated and they wanted to be as free as the rest in the States. Juvenile delinquency is one of the social problems facing America currently. Throughout the years, there has been an increasing number of arrests which involve minors between the ages of 10-18 years. This social problem is as a result of the high crime rates in America in addition to high arrest rates in the country.

The social issue has affected the youth population since most of the juveniles who have been incarcerated have been influenced hence the rise of recidivism. Functionalist perspective focuses on the stability of the society and the social structure of a country. When it comes to juvenile delinquency, a proponent who believes in the functionalist perspective will view crime as an endemic which will affect the stability of the society. A proponent of this approach believes that juvenile delinquency will be due to the failure of one part of the system. Theoretical implications

Criminology theories mostly those that mainly deal with social perceptions always explain crime as bonds that are done socially, influence and relationships individuals indulge in. The Social Bonds theory will explain how the juveniles get involved in criminal activities and end up indulging in wrongdoings in the society.

According to the research carried out in criminology since the beginning of criminology as a study, there is a relationship between a person’s age and the propensity of the person to commit a crime. Citing relevant living examples, the age of most criminals range between age fifteen years to forty. This can be referred to as a youthful age when a person is vibrant and very energetic. However, there is a distinction between what drives the people below the age of twenty to crime and what drives the people beyond age twenty-five into crime (Munice, 2006). A person in his or her early twenties or his teenage will most likely indulge in criminal activities because of peer pressure or by other environmental factors like poor upbringing. But the person at the age of above twenty-five will indulge in criminal activities to make ends meet. Therefore, it can be hypothesized that criminal activities increase with age from teenage to middle age, after then, age will no longer be a factor of causing crime (Munice, 2006).

`Various other factors affect a person’s propensity to commit a crime. One of the factors is level of income. Poor people are most likely to be involved in committing felonies because they will indulge in criminal activities like a burglary to make both ends meet (Kenshall, 2013). Furthermore, the social environment is also another contributing factor. People raised in societies characterized by rampant crime activities like slums will affect a person to be involved in criminal activities. Such societies offer peer pressure to the person, and in the end, a person will unsuspectingly indulge in criminal offenses (Kenshall, 2013). According to national crime survey, by 2007, 23 percent of high school students were involved in gang activities. Through subsequent analytical research, the number of students involved in criminal activities nationally has been increasing exponentially. It has been prevalent in all the reports that gang groups usually practice their illegal activities within the school compound in several setups such as classroom, lunchrooms and during assemblies.

Crime is an issue that has been in existence for a long while, and people practice it in different ways and forms. There is a need to realize that some causes of crime connected some of the things that people wish to get in life. The perpetrators of crime find themselves in compromising situations, and the only thing that they do is engage in illegal activities so that they satisfy their desires. The social strain theory is on the notion that people take part in crime out of the pressure that they face in the society. Currently, criminology has become very prominent in the society because it is helping society mold on the character needed for a better young generation. The causes of social changes may be through marriages, employment and maybe joining the military in service.

These may contribute to the change of character and personality maybe if the juveniles are trying to fit in their current places and positions in life. If the social bonds have to work, we have to try to curb the impacts they bring to the society at large and these help children not to live in a lot of wrath towards a certain group of people may it be the parents. Young ones get offended very fast and over a long period. And this may make them get involved in criminal activities and breaking the law. They also want to feel a sense of belonging and being associated with a specific group of individuals when they form gangs. The society, in general, should join hands to help children grow when they are morally upright. The criminal justice theory states that a person commits crime out of the pressures they obtain from their social, structural and cultural contexts. These experiences mold them to indulge in criminal activities. In this case, most juveniles go through a lot of family and social pressures.


  1. Hester, S., & Eglin, P. (2017). A sociology of crime. Routledge.
  2. Howell, J. C., & Griffiths, E. (2018). Gangs in America’s communities. Sage Publications.
  3. Kemshall, H. (2013). Crime and social policy.Chichester, West Sussex, UK: John Wiley & Sons.
  4. Muncie, J. (2006). Criminology: The causes of crime. London: SAGE
  5. Roberts, P., & McMillan, N. (2017). For criminology in international criminal justice. In The Criminology of War (pp. 3-26). Routledge.
  6. Rothman, D. J. (2017). Conscience and convenience: The asylum and its alternatives in progressive America. Routledge.
  7. Van Hellemont, E., & Densley, J. A. (2018). Gang glocalization: How the global mediascape creates and shapes local gang realities. Crime, Media, Culture, 1741659018760107.

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