The Theme Of Stereotypes In Punished By Victor Rios

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Stereotypes within our society have shaped the way we perceive each other. Throughout the book Punished by Victor Rios, a lot of stereotypes were not only reinforced but also used against a lot of the boys. A lot of the boys presented throughout the book had never actually committed a crime but they were treated as if they had. These boys were constantly labeled and categorized, like folders into a filling cabinet or a bin. Sure Oakland, California had a lot of gang-infested areas but that does not mean everyone in that area is part of a gang or is committing a crime. Thus, this book really demonstrates how one can be perceived or labeled as a criminal due to his or her surroundings and how these stereotypes can destroy one’s chance of freedom. When reading this book I began to think of how I grew up and how I am a …show more content…

Since I am a minority I was already a bit accustomed with the inequalities or wrongdoings that occur to those of a minority group. Before reading this book I used to think that those who commit crime or engage in delinquent behavior are considered “lazy people” or people who just want “the easy way out;” or maybe they just weren’t trying hard enough to attain that “American Dream”. After reading Victor Rios’s book I realized how much the system has an impact on your future depending on where you come from. Right in the beginning Victor Rios mentions the “youth control complex.” The youth control complex is this idea that the system criminalizes young people for acting in everyday behaviors. (2011; pg.xiv). They are criminalized through schools, families, police officers, probation officers, community centers, the media, businesses, and other institutions. (2011; pg.xiv). These institutions are supposed to be

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