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How does Horton Hears a Who embody the social conflict theory?

The conflict theory suggests that the law and criminal justice system are mainly in place to protect the interests and norms of the most powerful groups in society, rather than society as a whole. Conflict theory can be seen in Horton Hears a Who, as Horton in the story is an outcast and minority. The society of animals is obviously banded together against Horton, who they see as a crazed menace to society. Horton is continuing to do what he thinks is right, but he does not have any stake in society. Because of this, Horton’s behavior is deemed criminal by the larger and more powerful part of society. The informal controls of the society in Horton Hears a Who seem to be more present than any formal ones. Informal controls consist of the Kangaroo insisting to the community that Horton is crazy and should be chastised. Horton is not like the other animals, and the society tightens its grip on him.  How does David Sexton apply to the Labeling Theory?

David Sexton is a definite product of the labeling theory. After being put in the boy’s home at 15, he basically was given a label that he has carried with him for the rest of his life. It is from this point that he saw himself as a problematic child (his mother said he was incorrigible) and a criminal, he then proceeded to fulfill that role. He was given the label of “criminal” and “drug addict”, so he fulfilled these roles by internalizing these views of himself and allowing them to dictate his actions. This follows as according to the Cooley’s concept of “the looking-glass self”. The problem with the Labeling theory is that it completely ignores how David Sexton became a criminal in the first place. Sexton came from a very troubled background. He described his family as dysfunctional, he had a father who was in a biker gang and eventually murdered, a mother who was a drug addict, and aunt and uncle who ended up committing suicide. He said that from an early age, everything knew and loved was dead. From this perspective we can see that other theories might be more appropriate in trying to discover how David Sexton became a criminal, such as Social Bonding theory.  Market as a Prison relates to strain theory.  The focus on economic success by business creates anomie in society which in turn creates strain on members of society. Merton’s Strain Theory: When one realizes that not everyone can achieve the “American Dream” of equal opportunity for economic success, they assume one of five different adaptations. Type of Adaptation Conformity Innovation Ritualism Retreatism Rebellion Cultural Goal + + -/+ Institutionalized Means + + -/+

4. and behavior of offenders in order to lower the chances they will return to crime after completing the program. Shame. Measurement between aspirations and expectations  Merton has little empirical support  Society maintains a balance of approved social means and approved goals Durkheim’s Influence: Institutionalized norms are weakened in societies that placed an intense value on economic success Durkheim’s types of suicide: 1. escapism Fatalistic – social regulation is completely instilled. hate this sin o Stigmatizing  No effort to reconcile to offender and community (offender outcast)    . victims. 2. o Re-integrative:  Love the sinner. Egoistic – lack of attachment to society Altruistic – death can bring benefit to society. have a dramatic attachment to society Anomic – weak social regulation and dramatic change in their lives. lack of informal social control o Residential Transient Population – how does this lead to crime? o Industrial – low rural Economic Downturn – Anomie. thinking. Providing the right amount of remorse in community acceptance so offenders will not harm in the future. Rehabilitation natural outcome of restorative policies Restorative Goal: modify the attitudes. “disorganized community” Broken Windows theory – people who are renters. 3. and other “stakeholders” in the community. they don’t care as much for the population o Area will not be cared for as opposed to if it was owned    Braithwaite: Crime. have no hope of change Social Disorganization:  Zoning – o Industrial o Zone in transition  Cultural transition of values. Reintegration  Aim toward repairing the damage done to victims and the community while providing reintegrative responses by the criminal justice system.

and thus uses Horton’s so called crime as a way to keep the brutality of a capitalist system and turns the workers (or in the case the other animals) into creatures . The kangaroo in Horton Hears a Who is the perfect example of the majority leader who for her own selfish gain struggles to keep the laws and social norms that will benefit her in place. the haves and the have nots. the other citizens criticize Horton and place his actions as criminal and crazy. Because Horton steps out on this leap of faith to save a town surviving on a puff ball. being the moral elephant that he is. goes against what society believes and continues in his pursuit of saving Dr. Whovie and Horton. Eventually though. the kangaroo is brought to justice by Horton proving to the jungle society that a village does live on this tiny puff ball. Whoovie and the Whos. Horton defies the Social Conflict theory in that he is able to remove the power of the majority (aka the Kangaroo and her little minions) and replace it with a system of happiness. The conflict created between those who fit in and those who do not create a societal clash and thus also label Horton and Dr. The Kangaroos sees her power drifting away. Social demoralization is also apparent in Horton’s journey in that Horton’s actions of crime are seen as a collapse in humanity by reflecting a decline in society. The social conflict theory was created around two central groups. Even though the social conflict theory states laws are put into place to protect the interests and norms of those most powerful in a society that does not necessarily mean that those in power are correct.Horton Hears a Who is a beloved children’s tale involving an elephant who saves and entire town that lives on a weed. Whoovie wrongly. such as all good children’s tales should. The haves are represented in Horton Hears a Who by the Kangaroo and the village people of Whoville and the have nots are Dr. Achieving social acceptance. Horton. This act of out casting Horton can be viewed through the Social Conflict Theory in that the majority have a set of norms that they choose to create and follow through with. leaving those who do not fit the mold to be let on the outside. as well as removing the label of crazy.

. The conflict between the different classes and their power in the main theme of Horton Hears a Who.without a will of their own.