The Role Played By Social Class And Income Inequality In Labeling The Roughnecks As More Deviant Compared To The Saints Essay

Literature Review

The Saints included eight white upper middle class boys who participated in school activities and were considered good students. The Roughnecks included six boys, between 16 and 19years of age, belonging to lower middle class families. Both groups participated in truancy, drinking, theft and other deviant activities however the Roughnecks had a much more negative reputation compared to the Saints.


The Saints used positive excuses in order to be truant and made sure that their request seemed legitimate to the professor. The Saints were more organized and strategic in the way they avoided their classes therefore leaving little possibility of being caught. Since the Saints had access to a car they would drive far away from school so that there would be less chance of being recognized by a family member or anybody from the school.

Quantitatively the Saints were involved in a greater number of delinquent practices compared to the Roughnecks. Since the local police had a positive view of the Saints, they would often easily avoid trouble. The Saints would also avoid police trouble by being well manned and polite in order to escape trouble and made sure their apology appeared sincere. Since the Saints had a good reputation some teachers would grade them leniently because they believed that the Saints were capable of performing better.

The Roughnecks on the other hand did not have a positive image in their society, they were not as presentable and strategic as the Saints. The Roughnecks were constantly in trouble with the police because they are not as organized nor as polite compared to the Saints. The Saints were more apologetic when they were confronted by the police while the Roughnecks had a more hostile approach. The Roughnecks were more visible to society since they did not usually have access to a car and could not escape far away.

Discussion and Conclusions

Since the local community and society in general is more biased against people who openly display their deviant activities this led to the Roughnecks having a more negative image in society compared to the Saints. Since the Roughnecks were labeled as deviants by their local community their delinquent actions led to their labels being reinforced. Most people in the community such as teachers had positive predictions for the Saints future and this led to them fulfilling their prophecy. The Roughnecks also did the same by fulfilling their prophecies by getting in trouble with law enforcement and two of them facing serious life sentences after being charged with first degree murder.

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