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Body Paragraph Exercise 2

Your homework asked you to choose three reasons why or why not Victor Rios has credibility on his study’s subject. If you did not do it then you have to catch up. Otherwise, everyone: take one of the reasons for your pro or con position about Rios’ credibility and write out a body paragraph for it. Begin with your topic sentence. Follow with your concrete detail. Follow with your commentary. Finish with your concluding sentence. I need only one body paragraph for this. You will practice more for homework. This is urgent work! I want everyone to be successful here!

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  1. Christopher A.

    Victor Rios’ is credible source of information due to his prior experience and understanding of the subjects he addresses in his book. As Rios describes the burrito incident in the first chapter he notes that one particular officer stated to him “I was doing no good by studying the them [the boys] and advocating for them.” Rios studied the gang members also known as his friends or “homies”. If Rios found himself so close to the subject of which he was researching then it is quite obvious that he most hold some sense of credibility to that particular argument or situation.

    • Good Christopher. I want to to stretch and write specifically about his “prior experience” and “understanding of the subject.” Then, after you drop a quote from the text, explain what it means. Why is the burrito incident important? Stay with your first claim–that you express in the topic sentence. Develop that one idea throughout the paragraph.

  2. Carlos A.

    Victor Rios is credible on the subject of gang involvement, being a gang member himself in his youth. In Rios’ preface, in his book, “Punished,” he spoke about why he joined a gang. He explains, “I joined the gang seeking the protection that I thought police and other authority figures in my community had failed to provide.” (9). Not only does his own experience share a view but it shows how the reasons why at risk youths join gangs. Therefore Rios past gang life involvement gives him credibility when talking about gangs.

  3. Frank C.

    Victor Rios is credible on the subject of the dangers of being in a gang because he has experienced shootouts, fights, and drugs. For instance, at one point, Big Joe, Victor, and Smiley get in a shootout with another gang and after it’s all said and done, “there he [Smiley] was, face flat on the ground,” implying that Smiley had been shot to death. Dr. Rios saw his best friend die right in front of him, which was the determining factor to him leaving the danger-ridden gang lifestyle. He knew if he were to stay in the gang, he would end up incarcerated or die from other gang-related activities. With all the experience and time he spent in a gang, it’s only obvious to deem Rios of experience in the field pertaining to the dangers of crime.

  4. Linda F

    Victor Rios is credible on the subject of delinquency because he grew up in the “Flatlands” of Oakland. For instance at one point he proposed “I had been on these streets in the past as a resident and as a delinquent and later on in life as an ethnographer, observing the young people who spend so much time of their lives on these streets.”(4) “Flatlands” where Rios grew up was known by some people as associated with crime, violence and drugs. His environment seemed to have an influence in him due to the fact that he was a gang member and had been incarcerated many times because of the trouble gang banging led him to. Rios is able to be a role model to the young people in gangs because he has experience and has been through what they are going through. Fortunately Rios decided to change his life up a lot for good with the support of a teacher, because of that teacher now he is willing to inspire other gang bangers to do good things with their lives.

  5. Alexxis J

    Victor Rios is credible on the subject of gang violence because it is something he himself experienced in his adolescent years while a member of a gang. In his book he talks about his friend Smiley being killed due to gang violence. “We looked for Smiley. He was nowhere in sight. I turned the corner on the car I hid behind. There he was, face flat on the ground. I ran over to him, kneeling over his body and grabbing him, trying to get him to stand up. Smiley had been shot. The bullet hit him in the head”. Although this is not a good experience for anyone to have under their belt, it helps Rios relate to some of the things the kids he is doing research on go through on a daily basis. In many gang related crimes, friends and/or family members usually retaliate out of anger and because they feel that no one understands what it is they are feeling and thinking. Seeing how Rios has been through this situation at one point in his life, it helps him empathize with his research kids; it also gives them an outlet to talk about things that they keep inside because they feel no one cares. Although these kids don’t necessarily know Victor enough to trust him with certain things, seeing that he has been in a lot of the same scenarios as them and can relate to what it is they go through, then it might make it a little easier for them to really open to him.

    • Love it, Alexxis! Great job. You can place the page number right after the quote.

  6. Rico F

    Victor Rios has credibility on criminalization because he has been a victim of it himself. For example, in his book Punished, he states “. . . an Oakland Police Department patrol car pulled into the taco-truck lot. Two officers emerged from the car and ordered us to sit on the curb: ‘Hands on your ass!’.” According to Rios, after the officers were notified that he was a student at UC Berkeley, he was almost immediately disregarded in this situation as dangerous. To solidify this, neither he nor Slick (the Latino boy he is researching) was charged with anything; the officers simply returned to their car and drove away. In clarification, we can see the way Rios was immediately stereotyped, based on his first impression and his choice of company; it wasn’t until learning he was a student at a prestigious school, did the officers show him an semblance of dignity and respect. To surmise, Victor Rios has proven to fit a stereotype used by Oakland police to locate criminals. When coupled with who he spends his time with, this makes him a prime target of hyper-criminalization; both in the past and in the present.

    • Awesome analysis, Rico. I wonder why you chose to use a semi-colon in your last sentence? Good work.

  7. unyque s

    Victor Rios has credibility on his study’s subject of criminalization because he was once in the same scenario. Victor has personal experience from growing up in the “ghettos” of Oakland, California. Not only did he once live in poverty and the brutal streets of Oakland, he was a part of gang affilated crimes and activities and was alsocincarcerated more than once.Giving him a valid sense of credibility and feasibility. Although he was a juevenile delinquent, he managed to overcome those circumstances and change his life. Using his negatively destined past as fuel, He became a sociology professor and the author of two books. Victor uses himself as living proof that even though you may not be in the exact predicament you’d like to be in, there are still other ways to excell. for example , Victor Rios had his first encounter with the police at 12, he was arresetd and sent to juvenile hall, sometimes referred to on the streets as “juvy”.

    • Love it, Unyque! Thoughtful and well-composed. Doing a great job.

  8. Lorenzo L.

    Victor Rios is credible with his research from other professionals because he looks to studies done by professors at accredited universities. For instance, at one point he introduces the findings of another scholar. “Sociologist Elijah Anderson finds that appearing aggressive and willing to commit violence is a self-defense process for some inner-city residents.”(pg.55) According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Sociologists study society and social behavior by examining the groups, cultures, organizations, social institutions, and processes that people develop.” Both the author and Elijah Anderson are sociologists who are credible enough to make a claim about why individuals interact with one another the way they do. Therefore Victor Rios is given credibility on this topic because of his background in sociology.

  9. Sean L

    Victor Rios is credible on how the police treat the youth in the Oakland community because he experiences this interaction for himself. For instance, at one point, “an officer grabbed Slick’s arms and handcuffed him. Another officer did the same to me. One of them lifted us up by the metal links holding the cuffs together, placing excruciating pressure on our shoulder joints” (4). This is a firsthand account of the prejudiced treatment of youths by law enforcement. Without any probable cause, the police officers assume that Slick and Victor are guilty of some crime just because they are a minority youth. Rios’ first-person account of the discriminatory treatment of Oakland youth by police gives him credibility on this topic.

  10. Victor Rios is credible as a researcher in this project because he has the respect amongst those he studies. As he stated in Punished, “Many of the boys acknowledged me as someone they could trust and look up to” (13). In other words, he was trusted by these boys and considered a role model; with trust comes respect. So with Rios having the respect amongst his peers, he is able to establish genuine personal relationships in order to gain factual knowledge of how policing is affecting these marginalized boys.

    • Excellent, Portia! You can expand this!

  11. Preston Tung

    Victor Rios is credible on the subject of gang life because he dedicated a large amount of his time studying gangsters and delinquent first hand. For instance, at one point while talking about his research methods claims to have ” met them in front of their door-steps at 8 a.m. and followed them throughout the day until they returned home late at night.” (8) The fact that he committed so much time and had the courage to experience their lives in a close up view, not only gives him credibility to all people. Had he not gone and experienced their lives first hand there would always be the linger thought in the back of the readers head that he didn’t see the streets so he did not truly know what he was talking about. Victor Rios’s undoubted credible knowledge on gang life truly adds to the authenticity and emotion that this book gives off.

    • Good work, Preston. I will assume you were distracted when you wrote that fragment. 🙂 You have a mature voice and–oooh wait, let me support you in furthering this voice– How can you rephrase that last sentence without the “gives off” at the end. You do not want to end with a preposition or end with such a weak verb.

  12. Zijian C.

    Victor Rios has various information and knowledge about gang problems because of his own personal experience. He has previously been a street gang member in Oakland while he was attending high school. According to his introduction of the book, he notes, “I joined the gang seeking the protection that I thought police and other authority figures in my community had failed to provide.” (Rios ix) Rios explains that he joined a gang for protection. In other words, Rios was once a gang member and probably knew what the street life was like inside a gang. As a former gang member, Rios is trustworthy for discussing gang problem.

    • Good job, Chen. I like how you build this response and see places where you could expand even more. Do you see some too?

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