Neutralization In Bernie

1569 Words 6 Pages
The film, Bernie, is about a single, middle aged, Christian, white man named Bernie Tiede who has an occupation as a mortician. Bernie is beloved by everyone in his small town of Carthage, Texas. He is fantastic at his job, a great friend, generous, and an overall kind and caring person. It is believed by some people in the town that he might be gay because he has never had a girlfriend, and he is mostly very friendly to older women, but there is no confirmation about his sexual identity throughout the film. There is no background given on Bernie’s family or his upbringing. All the viewer knows about Bernie is what they see in the film. The film is documentary style with interviews of Carthage’s residents attesting to Bernie’s character (Linklater, 2011). Because Bernie is such a kind and thoughtful person, he brings flowers and other gifts to grieving widows of the deceased, which he comes across at his job. A specific woman in the town, Marjorie Nugent, becomes a widow during the film. Marjorie is very …show more content…
This theory states that people justify themselves when they break the law to explain why it was okay for them to do what the illegal act (Barkan, 2011). Sykes and Matza have established five different techniques that they say people use to justify their illegal behavior. These techniques are denial or responsibility, denial of injury, denial of the victim, condemnation of the condemners, and appeal to higher loyalty. The techniques that apply most to this film are denial of the victim and denial of responsibility (Barkan, 2011). Denial of the victim states that “even if offenders concede that they are about to harm someone or something, they may reason that their target deserves the harm” (Barkan, 2011, pg. 194). Denial of responsibility states that offenders “say that they are not responsible for the delinquent acts they intend to commit” (Barkan, 2011, pg.

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