Saints and the Roughnecks Term Paper

Excerpt from Term Paper :

Saints and the Roughnecks by William Chambliss is a masterpiece study in Seattle suburb in the 1970s and it demonstrates the significance of connecting the macro and micro factors together. (Conformity, deviance and Crime) The Saints and the Roughnecks were two clusters of boys from the same Hanibal High School, who got involved in the same kinds of abnormal behaviors but were branded differently by the public. (Violence; Disease or Attitude) The Saints belonged to upper-middle-class families, while the Roughnecks belonged to a lower socioeconomic setting. (Conformity, deviance and Crime) The saints were a cluster of eight young men of fine, steady, white upper-middle class families on the pre-college track in high school, who were vigorous in school affairs, who associate in unbelievably large amounts of absenteeism, much of drinking and driving, quite a bit of little stealing and vandalism, and loads of deceiving in school, but cope up to uphold a fine appearance. (Theories of Deviance: Conflict Theory)

The Saints were extremely triumphant in school. The typical grade for the group was 'B' with two of the boys having almost a straight 'A' average. Nearly all of the boys were famous and many of them held offices in the school. For one year, one of the boys was vice president of the student body. Six of the boys participated in athletic teams. At the end of their senior year, the student body had chosen ten seniors for special credit as the 'school wheels'; among the ten, four were Saints. (The Saints and the Roughnecks) As teachers had tall hopes for the Saints, they allowed many things to slip when it came to those boys. (Violence; Disease or Attitude)

The everyday anxiety of Saints was to escape from school at the earliest possible time. The boys somehow escaped from school with least risk that they would be blamed of playing hooky through an involved method for getting rightful discharge from class. Having eloped from the solid corridors the boys generally went either to a pool hall on the other lower class side of town or to a cafe in the suburbs. While community inhabitants were aware that these boys infrequently planted a few wild oats, they were entirely ignorant that planting wild oats fully engaged the daily routine of these young men. Their method for concealing absence was so triumphant that teachers did not even recognize that the boys were missing from school most of the time. (The Saints and the Roughnecks)

Deceiving on examinations was widespread in case of Saints as per Chambliss. A boy who was trapped would be most apologetic, would beg culpable and ask for forgiveness. He got the sympathy he wanted as anticipated. Teachers played a part to the dishonesty in their disclosed leaning to give these boys the advantage of the suspicion. When inquired how the boys did in school, and when urged on particular examinations, teachers may confess that they were dissatisfied in John's performance, but would promptly add that they knew that he was competent of doing better, so John was granted a higher grade than he had really got. But Chambliss says that all through the time that he studied the group, he not at all observed any of the boys take homework to home. (Violence; Disease or Attitude) The Saints were perceived by the local police as good boys and believed them to be among the leaders of the youth in the community. The boys were seldom stopped in town for speeding or for rushing a stop sign. When this occurred the boys were always courteous, apologetic and pled for forgiveness. (The Saints and the Roughnecks)

In contrast, the roughnecks are a cluster of six lower-class boys who engage in lots of fighting, generally among themselves or with other lower-class boys and stealing, who are frequently detained, and whose image in the community is awful. (Theories of Deviance: Conflict Theory) The community viewed the Roughnecks as poorly dressed, ill mannered, poor who were moving towards difficulty. Teachers were fully alert on the status of these boys and dealt with them in a different way. (Violence; Disease or Attitude) Teachers, in contrast, viewed the Roughnecks as approaching trouble, as being unconcerned in making something of them. Although most of them went to school more often than the Saints, the cluster of boys had a grade point average just a little above 'C'. They were very steady in their attainment or, in any case, the teachers were steady in their view of the boy's attainment. This disparity in handling towards the boys caused them to consider themselves in a different way. The boys concurred with the view of their teachers. The prospects and objectives offered to the boys were different in line with their social status. (Violence; Disease or Attitude)

The Roughnecks constantly had troubles with the police. (Theories of Deviance: Conflict Theory) A regular affair for the Roughnecks is minor thieving. Sometimes they stole as a cluster and synchronized their works; other times they stole in duo. They never steal unaccompanied. Though the two groups of boys were the same age, and both groups hectic in an equal amount of wild-oat sowing, everybody agreed that the poorly dressed, ill-mannered, poor boys were approaching for difficulty. From the public standpoint, the actual sign that these kids were in difficulty was that they were continuously caught up with the police. Teachers perceived the boys the same manner as the general public did, as approaching difficulty, as being unconcerned in making something of them. A few were also perceived as being incompetent of meeting the academic standards of the school. The majority of the teachers voiced anxiety for this cluster of boys and were eager to pass them in spite of poor performance, in the conviction that failing them would only intensify the difficulty. (The Saints and the Roughnecks)

The lower-class Roughnecks, branded as delinquents, were thus made to think of themselves as outlaws, most of them sustained their abnormal behavior into later life. On the other hand, the majority of the middle class Saints went on to college and thriving occupations. (Violence; Disease or Attitude) Chambliss established that neither group was more aberrant than the other. (Theories of Deviance: Conflict Theory) Chambliss clarified that the differential handling of the two clusters was linked to access to automobiles and how parents branded their abnormal sons. Parents of Roughnecks branded their sons' conduct as criminal while parents of the Saints group branded their sons as involving in undamaging mischief. The Roughnecks kept on to live their lives with the pessimistic tags and kept on to have difficulties with the law. (Conformity, deviance and Crime)

In Chambliss's observation, the saint's conduct had at least as much potential for community damage as the conduct of the roughnecks. The saints driving were dreadful when they were serious and terrible when intoxicated and their wreckage included shifting street signs to create unsafe conditions for motorists and observe the fun. But the saints by no means got branded, and they eventually all went on to college, got degrees, and followed reputable occupations. Two of the roughnecks went to college on football scholarships and were triumphant; as adults the other roughnecks kept on their immature connection with the police and prisons. Chambliss doesn't assert that their ultimate career paths are fully the result of branding, but does see it as an aspect. (Theories of Deviance: Conflict Theory)

It is obvious from Chambliss study that one's class background decides how society brands him. Once branded, it is hard to split from it. Consequently, separating micro- and macro-level factors in the social set-up of deviance will be tricky. (Conformity, deviance and Crime) Both in the study of offense, of race, and of gender, stigma and brands play vital roles. Stigma not only has a straight pessimistic effect on life chances, for instance, if employers view one as unintelligent, unskilled or unreliable, then one is less likely to ever be given the chance to show one's intellect, capability or dependability. The ways in which brands frequently act together and depend on a lack of social and economic resources was specifically evidently exemplified by Chambliss study of branding of students, 'The Saints and the Roughnecks.' The feeling by teachers, police, judges and other gatekeepers that the 'roughnecks' were unlawful and were terrible students led to those gatekeepers acting in such a way that the roughnecks almost generally finished up with a police record and failed to pass out from school. (Self-Fulfilling Prophecies)

Other people act in response, when people differ from what is expected from them. But on what do their responses depend? Do they depend just on the kind of the variation itself is more concerned? If yes, what kind of things? William J. Chambliss was enthralled by these questions, which lead him to study the two groups of criminals in the same high school. Though both groups were concerned with grave and recurring wrong deeds, he found that while one was…

Cite This Term Paper:

"Saints And The Roughnecks" (2004, November 15) Retrieved August 17, 2017, from

"Saints And The Roughnecks" 15 November 2004. Web.17 August. 2017. <>

"Saints And The Roughnecks", 15 November 2004, Accessed.17 August. 2017,