antagonist characters that threaten the well-being of the ‘boyz’. For example, in the beginning of the film ‘the
boyz’ are walking the streets with a football when suddenly a group of older
African American men begin to intimidate them, steal their football, and insert
their dominance. This group displayed
many of the focal concerns such as
demonstrating a law violating behaviour (trouble), and physical durability of
being fearless (toughness) as described in Williams and McShane (2018). However, the “boyz”
quickly learn to adapt to such situations at a very young age and grow up to
conform to these standards which eventually become normalized for them.
In regards to the causes and influences of deviant behaviours in subcultures
as discussed by Cloward and Ohlin (1960), there is the assumption that, “the
social milieu affects the nature of the deviant response whatever the
motivation and social position of the participants in the delinquent
subculture” (Cloward & Ohlin, 1960: 160).
For example, when Furious delivers
a speech in front of the billboard, a bystander mentions, “What am I supposed
to do, let a fool roll up and shoot me? I’m going to kill the mother fucker
before he shoots me first” (Singleton, 1991).
This demonstrates that because of the social milieu, this reaction is an
automatic and necessary response for many.
Societal Reactions to Lower Class
There are many areas in the movie Boyz N the Hood where societal reactions and larger social
forces are imposed upon the lower class communities. In the movie, these reactions can be seen within
the school setting, during the meeting with the University representative, when
Furious’ speaks in front of the bill
board, and in Ricky and Tre’s encounter with the police
officer. These societal reactions can
lead to negative stigma, which evidently labels
the black communities as deviant and born criminals.