Fox Butterfield

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The novel being discussed is All God’s Children written by Fox Butterfield. Fox Butterfield was a reporter for the New York Times in the 1990’s. He had started out trying to educate the public on crime rates, and their decreasing patterns. He was mocked as his obvious explanation of crime was falling due to prison populations increasing (Mitchell, 2010). Butterfield is also known for his novel of “China: Alive in the Bitter Sea which won a National Book Award, and was part of the Pulitzer Prize- winning reporting team at the New York Times that broke the story of the Pentagon Papers” (Butterfield, 2008). He recently became a national correspondent for the Times, writing about his views and analysis on crime and violence (Butterfield, 2008).…show more content…
Butterfield argues that the reason behind Willie’s horrid behavior is all because of the origin of his family, South Carolina. As I do agree with Butterfield in some aspects, I do not believe that this stemming issue of slavery and bad decisions was the only thing that pushed Willie over the edge. Willie was diagnosed by several psychiatrists and they put words to his behavior, such as depression or antisocial behavior disorder. These words were only diagnosing him, not saying why he was the way he was. In doing my analysis on this book I found that there are many sociological theories that can be applied to his case. The three that stuck out to me the most were labeling theory, social bond theory, and social disorganization theory. Labeling theory, popularized by Howard Becker, I believe had the biggest impact on all the men in the Bosket family, but especially with Willie. Labeling theory is where society creates both deviance and the deviant person by its response to circumscribed behaviors (Schmalleger, 2011, p.110). Once a person has been deemed a bad individual, society has a hard time looking past that label. Throughout the entire story every man in the Bosket family had been labeled as a mischievous, tough and angry man. I believe this label put a strain on the men’s life which in the end forced them to act exactly how people perceived them to be. Willie’s mother, Laura, had been telling him since he was about five years old that he would turn out to be like his father, who was in jail at the time. Those words can impact a child’s perception of themselves immensely. This label on Willie’s back ended up getting him in trouble in the end, when he was put up for attempted robbery, a crime he did not commit, the courts had already seen him as a bad reoffending convict. He had no chance going into court that day to come out as

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