A study of the film blow

Blow was occur America during the 1970's at a time when Nixon's presidential agenda to solving crime related problems didn't expand to the cause of crime but instead, focused on the harsh punishment of offenders because of their anti-social behaviour. Where activities are written into the criminal law and subject to state endorsement by using specific punishment, that activity is a crime. Consequently, drug trafficking and cultivation, in a formal legal sense, are both crimes as defined by the state and punished accordingly. Several theories compete to describe the sources of crime in this film and as such, Strain Theory, Classical Theory and New Right Criminology will mostly inform the next examination.

Georges Early Life

Throughout his childhood, George witnesses the seemingly never-ending battles over money between his mom and dad which culminates in his father needing to declare bankruptcy after his business fails. As a result of his childhood experiences, the young George vows to never be poor, which becomes a core philosophy in his life. Drawing on the relationship between poverty and crime, one might be tempted to consider these particular elements are likely to underpin George's plan of action in later life. However, the structural perspective of poverty and crime is typically not what lead George to crime because of the fact that he was very young and even though the family was poor, there is no suggestion that they lived below the poverty line. This is just a notation.

Georges Initial Decision to Deal Drugs

Aligning George's initial decision to deal drugs your of Classical Theory seems to explain the cause of criminality. For example, George moves along with his friend "Tuna" to California where the 70's lifestyle is portrayed as sun, sand, girls and pot. George goes on to make a free and rational choice in his decision to deal pot and he figured that increases in size from offending (initially small scale) would outweigh the possible costs if caught. Here, it is George's rationality (or lack of) which is the initial reason behind crime. This theory aligns with legal doctrine that emphasises conscious intent or choice such as mens rea (the guilty mind) and therefore, the voluntaristic nature of classical theory using its embedded notion of individual initiative and choice gives us the capability to reconcile with our implied social contract with their state.

Georges Continuing Decision to Deal Drugs

At this aspect, George's substance abuse and chaotic, rich lifestyle pushes him to another level where in fact the cause of crime is no longer predicated on rational choice. Now, the expenses is seen to far outweigh the gain. This is effectively illustrated in two key relationships that George has along with his father and his daughter. At one point, George's father asks him if he is pleased with his decisions in life where George responds by saying that he very good at what he does. George's father replies "you could have been proficient at anything". which indicates evidence of Labelling Perspective. Clearly George is has labelled himself which includes manifested into a self fulfilling prophecy.

Cocas Plant Workers

Poverty in South America through the 1970's saw approximately 45-50 percent of families living below the poverty line which is widely recognised that the desperate attempt to survive poverty is the cause of many, many people embracing the coca and cocaine trade. Strain theory identifies the inadequate or inappropriate means or opportunities by which to accomplish goals. Furthermore, it is these blocked opportunities which cause visitors to pursue criminal avenues and therefore, turn into a product of an inept social order. Strains associated with structural opportunities claim that relationships between poverty and crime are the elements of social structure which underpin a particular plan of action. Ultimately, strain theory recognises that offenders have few conscious choices regarding available choices.

Prison Life

"Danbury wasn't a prison, it was a crime school. I went along with a Bachelor of marijuana, arrived with a Doctorate of cocaine". George's statement will mock the criminal justice system which goes a way to claim that George's behavior lacks general respect for authority. This is based on the definitions and factors behind crime under traditionalist conservative theory.

Deterrence and Retribution

Classical Theory features as the key goal of punishment and deterrence. This is evidenced by the frequency of which George finds himself in and out of jail in which case, the pleasure-pain principle demands that the pain of the sentence will be greater than the pleasure derived from committing the crime. New Right Criminology Kristina says "I thought you couldn't live without your heart retribution

Film B: Thelma and Louise

Thlema and Louise is an American film set in the first 1990's where rising attention to the problem of sexual harassment in the workplace and women's issues were constantly under scrutiny in media and in politics. Amidst this background the testimony that is Thelma and Louise effectively portrays the gender conflict of that era. Thelma and Louise displays a consciousness of popularized feminist concerns, and seeks to incorporate such discourses while simultaneously sticking with the contradictory institutional demands such as the patriarchal anxieties over liberated women. recent nods to feminism has gone to insert women into protagonist roles in traditionally male genres

Women's movements also have brought attention to the ways that social institutions often neglect to protect women against male abuses in the workplace and in the house. Issues once associated with feminism only are actually daily concerns in Canada and in the United States, it doesn't matter how people situate themselves with regards to feminism. Films like Thelma and Louise represent the impact of feminist thought on public discussion.

Thelma and Louise have been split along gender lines, with male critics decrying the film for example of violent, battle- of-the-sexes male-bashing and a threat to American moral standards, and female critics arguing that the film addresses the social experiences of American women, expressing their concerns about sexual harassment and rape, and the law's insensitive treatment of women victimized by such crimes.

In Thelma and Louise, the attempted rape and the subsequent verbal attack are parts that make up the whole of women's social encounters in a sexist society. With this in mind, Harlan's death assumes particular connotations and acts as a lightning rod drawing to it social questions that the film wants to explore. As Putnam explains it, the murder is committed. . . to avenge not only this outrage [the verbal assault after the

sexual assault] but all of the little rapes, the everyday usurpations of female autonomy that women know. Viewed allegorically, the scene portrays the ritual re-enactment of cultural conflicts at the heart of women's everyday lives. You see, the social world is magnified, symbolized, throughout this sequence of crime and redre~s. ~' Harlan represents every misogynist we have ever encountered. Inside the role of feminist avenger, Louise shoots Harlan for Thelma, and as we later learn, for herself in a reaction to a past trauma of which she'll not speak. Harlan is symbolically exorcised, cast out, by Louise's bullet in punishment for all your times a woman's agency has been denied, either through violence or language. STRAIN THEORY

Basic strain theory shows that the foundations of crime and acts of deviancy result from inadequate means of achieving goals which are set by others in society. According to strain theory, improving opportunities to reduce social strain is/was a proper reaction to crime.

Thelma and Louise flee the crime scene because of Louise's conviction that they can not go directly to the police. Strain theory suggests that a great way to avoid crime occurring or even to reduce the possibility of offences being committed in the foreseeable future, is to 'enhance opportunities to be able to lessen social strain. ' Had Thelma and Louise not been force into a "life away from home", they would not have resorted to criminal means to try and escape their mundane lives. This demonstrates the essential tenets of strain theory.

At various points the option of embracing the police for help is presented either by Thelma or by Hal (the sympathetic cop, who would like to help the ladies at exactly the same time that he's tracking them down, bringing with him the force of the law. Thelma and Louise display a consciousness of modern day feminist critiques of the law and its own insensitive, inadequate treatment of women who've experienced male violence. CRIME PREVENTION

Officers incestigating Hals murder the waitress at the street house supplies the key investigator that she "hope[s] it was his wife who did it" and this "I coulda told you he'd conclude buying it. " In such a explanation, the experience of women will be the focus rather than the murder itself WHAT THEORY - FOCUS ON THE VICTIM

Louise says the police wouldn't believe her because "100 goddamn people saw you dancing

cheek to cheek. . . We don't stay in that kind of world!" Thelma and Louise works from our understanding of recent, publicized rape trials where women have been necessary to prove they didn't provoke or deserve the assault. As Carter highlights, The sad truths of real life and the disappointing scenarios of too many recent rape trials have taught women that they will not be believed, however battered and bruised and no matter how well-witnessed the crime. . . Many women understand all too well why Thelma and Louise fled.

Thelma's behaviour here is unexpected since, until this point, she has been passive with Louise making all the plans. Thelma's crime is captured on the store video. The very first time the audience actually sees the crime is on this video, that your police investigators and Thelma's husband are watching as evidence of both women's criminal inclinations. The scene makes us aware of the varieties of interpretations that the spectacle of Thelma - conducting an armed robbery using J. D. 's self-assured patter - can produce. When go through the lens of the law, Thelma, and by extension, Louise are criminals, armed and dangerous. LABELLING The morning after, J. D. steals Louise's $6, 700 in savings, Thelma takes charge, and robs a convenience store. she comes running from the store yelling at Louise to start the automobile. feels she's been stigmatized when you are labeled criminal for credit card fraud. After pursuing all avenues she feels she actually is left without other option but to behave in a way which fits the label.

What nearly all these female protagonists quickly discover. . . is the fact that in the patriarchal society of the diegetic world, there is no place for an active, independent woman. . . . [I]t is, over and over, only through renunciation and sacri fice that they achieve their ultimate goal; indeed, have any hope of achieving it. Those women who refuse to forego their active desires in effect refuse the likelihood of recuperation.

Consequently, they almost always are punished by a kind of filmic moral trajectory that brings a double closure, to the woman's life also to the film's narrative. This is not to imply the cinema is not fascinated with 'bad' women; only that it creates sure that they aren't rewarded for their 'crimes' against society. LINDY CHAMBERLAIN


Through the two women's deaths, the film does indeed reinforce the status quo

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