Tyson And The Theories That Apply To His Life
The film regarding Tyson who was a great boxer of his time. He was a man that grew up in rough times, where one needs to be tough and unsympathetic in order to survive and make it. The film shows that this toughness then threw him into an environment of almost ultimate privilege. However, the documentary shows that he is rather repentant of his past today.
The movie’s storyline of Tyson with regard to the theories studied in the course work show that people aren’t generally evil, their behaviors tend to emerge from a complex confluence of circumstances. To say otherwise is an unfortunate oversimplification that causes a great deal of strife and problems (like American style neoconservatism and fundamentalist religion) in the world. It is the type of rhetoric id expect to hear on the "news". Such factors or circumstances that lead to evil behaviors are in line with the strain theory given by Robert Merton. Robert was of the view that “social structures within society may pressure citizens to commit crime.” The same ideologies were seen throughout the movie where poor initial childhood experiences and absence of familial ties or a caring father figure led Tyson to become stone hearted. Even as a child the poor figure was shown to be stuttering which spoke volumes about his state of mind. Belonging to a broken family, he always felt vulnerable and intimidated. His shaking confidence, trembling voice, lisp and high pitched tone as a child was changed drastically when he grew up to be one of the best heavy weight lifting champions of the time. He was even seen in the documentary stating how he never took off his eyes from his opponents giving him an eerie sense of strength and a formidable appearance. In a way, the theory helps establish that his prior childhood experiences as a snubbed child led him to grow up to be someone who was in a domineering and abusive and manic-depressive individual.
The documentary also shows his as a perpetual abuser of women. Even though he is seen as regretting it later on, as per the strain theory, the earlier experiences brought on the worst side inside of him and he was convicted of rape of Desiree Washington and sentenced to jail for a period of three years.
Another theory might serve as a foundation to explain why Tyson grew up to be an evil person. This theory is called social bond theory which was later on evolved as Social control theory. Social Bond theory was developed by Hirschi in 1969. The theory states that “Elements of social bonding include attachment to families, commitment to social norms and institutions (school, employment), involvement in activities, and the belief that these things are important”. Being at a loss of little or no familial relationships, he never indulged in a deviance towards criminal behavior. In fact, most of his criminal behavior originated since he was never attached to any primary caregiver or any potential institutions and was never involved in any such activities to control his desire to demoralize or hurt others in one way or another. The documentary shows clearly how he was aggressively involved in hurting women and using them to fulfill his own desires and saw people as objects to serve his needs. Being in a powerful and domineering position as a heavy weight lifter helped him eradicate any insecurities he had as a child. Tyson fully misused his position to fulfill his personal agenda and desires since there was no attachment figure to stop him and no one to guide him to the right path. Since he felt no love for anyone he never felt a moral need to stay away from such deviant behavior.
Lilly, J. R., Cullen, F. T., & Ball, R. A. (2018). Criminological theory: Context and consequences. Sage publications.
Gottfredson, M. R., & Hirschi, T. (1990). A general theory of crime. Stanford University Press.
Agnew, R. (2007). Pressured into crime: An overview of general strain theory.
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