Always Running Luis Rodriguez Analysis

1765 Words 8 Pages
Always Running: Deviance

Luis J. Rodriguez speaks to his readers through elegant, but brutally honest, rhetoric. From word, to sentence, to passage, to chapter his story unveils the truth of struggles among minorities. He reveals the trials of tribulations of a Hispanic’s life in LA as they really were, and in some cases still are. Rodriguez’s real life experiences shows how deviance was only natural because of the type of environment he was in. The special thing about La Vida Loca: Gang Days in L.A. is not only does it talk about his deviant acts and those of the people around him, but why those deviant acts were performed. This helps the reader identify the struggles more accurately and avoid labeling, which another important aspect
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They claim that not only was he deviant because there was lack of legitimate opportunity such as well paying jobs, but also because there was an excessive amount of illegitimate opportunities. What this means is Luis lived in an area where the structure of opportunity favored criminal activity, creating a criminal subculture. Luis wrote about how hard it was for his father, though very well educated, to find a job which paid him well enough to bring his family out of poverty. But more than this, Cloward and Ohlin explain, there were more than enough opportunities for people in the barrios to make ends meet through criminal activity. Examples would be the drug or weapon dealers he used. Now when there were neither legal nor illegal ways for Luis Rodriguez to gain what he wanted, he joined armed conflicts between gangs, which Cloward and Ohlin describe as conflict subcultures. His involvement in several gangs including “The Animal Tribe” is an instance of him participating in a conflict subculture. Another deviant subculture known as the retreatist subculture is when a deviant drops out and abuses alcohol or other drugs. Luis used heroine when times got rough and even contemplated suicide. Now for Americans who read the book, almost all would agree that Luis Rodriguez was an extremely deviant person before his transformation into the acclaimed author and poet. But why do …show more content…
A person with a good job would have much to lose by committing a deviant act, while a person with no job has little to lose. As mentioned before, Luis had very little all the way up through high school, so deviance posed little threat to him since he had so little to begin with. Hirschi gives four different reasons for why Luis was deviant. First is attachment, because he had little attachment to family, especially his brother Rano who abused him greatly when they were younger. School relationships are also important for conformity, and Luis had little of that because he was so often in trouble. The second is opportunity, because he had so little he turned to deviance. Thirdly, involvement in legitimate activities such as sports, jobs, or going to school inhibits deviance. Rodriguez mentions often his lack of athleticism, difficulty in keeping jobs, and earlier on lack of interest in school, all which would make his chances of committing deviant acts that much more likely. Belief is the final type of social control. Hirschi says part of belief is the amount of unsupervised time, which was often for Luis, thus again more likely to be

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