American Gangster Story Line

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Amber Grimes American Gangster The movie that I chose was American Gangster. American Gangster tells a story about how the emerge of drug traffic and trade was in the streets of Harlem, New York. Denzel Washington plays real life gangster- Frank Lucas back in the 70s that was originally from North Carolina. Lucas moves to Harlem and is apprenticed under a notorious crime boss- Bumpy. Frank became involved after seeing how his idol Bumpy had the respect, money and power to do what he wanted. That motivated Frank to become very big in the drug world. Richie Roberts, a New York detective has an objective and that is to bring the drug trafficking and corruption between the police department to heel. Money and drugs are driving the behaviors between the drug dealers in this movie to be outrageous. The reason that I chose this movie is because it fits great into the different theories that I am learning about in class. The theories that I saw take place in this movie was Strain Theory, Differential Association Theory and Subcultural Theory. The first theory that fits into this movie is Strain Theory. According to sociologist Robert Merton, the Strain Theory states that social structures within society may pressure citizens to commit a crime (Fuller 2012). For example in American Gangster; Frank Lucas was seen as superstar and role models in the local communities. Also, Frank fed the poor people in his neighborhood. For every thanksgiving frank would give a turkey to every family. Another example is when Frank would donate money to the poor. The second theory that I saw in this movie was Differential Association theory. According to Edwin Sutherland, the Differential Association Theory is a learning theory that explains criminal behavior in terms of the processes that result in criminal acts (Fuller 2012). For example, in the movie Frank Lucas grew up in a
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