The Saints and the Roughnecks
“The Saints and the Rougnecks” is a story everyone can relate to. With all the cliques and
favoritism shown, it is easy to see the point of view from one group or the other. While each group's
deliquency is quite the same, the Saints get much better treatment from their teachers, community, and
police than the Roughnecks do. The Labeling Theory explains the situations and societal reactions to
these two groups very well. The theory states that labeling becomes a major part of self-concept and
that people tend to focus way to much on labels rather than a person themselves.
The Saints were a group of eight “good” white upper-middle class guys. They all made good
grades and participated in several school activites and sports. Each of them were well-dressed, well-
mannered, and drove nice cares. They made it very unapparent to everyone of how much trouble they
actually got into. This group of guys participated in truancy, drinking, wild driving, petty theft,
cheating in school and vandalism almost daily. They would lie to their teachers and make excuses to
get of class as early as they could every day and performing horrible pranks was their favorite activity.
The Saints were really smart about how they went about engaging in such wild behavior; they made
“legitimate” excuses to miss class and went out of town to conspire their pranks. According to the
Labeling Theory, deviance isn't deviant unless specified by society. Although the Saints seemed very
rebellious, they were labeled as leaders of the youth in their community and since they were lead to
believe they were such good guys, they thought highly of themselves and continuously committed
these deviant acts without consequences.
On the other hand, the Roughnecks were a group of six guys who lived on the opposite side of
town that weren't as well-off, well-dressed, or well-mannered and none of them...