What was the general purpose of the study (hypotheses)?
The general purpose of the study on the Saints and the Roughnecks by William Chambliss was to investigate on the reasons that made the community, school and police have a perception that Saints were respectable, honest and non-delinquent youth with a good future while they viewed the Roughnecks to be tough and young criminals with a tough future. Secondly, the study aimed at finding out why the Roughnecks and the Saints had varying careers after completing high school, which was expected by most of the community members.
Who were the participants/subjects in the study?
The significant participants of the study included two groups of student from varying schools. The first participant was a group called the Saints consisting of eight auspicious fresh men. The group consisted of fellows from stable and white upper-middle class families and they were extremely active in school affairs. Members of the group were students at Hannibal high school. Different people including community members, teachers, police and their parents believed that they were good young men even though they were not. Moreover, the other participants in the study included a group of young men known as Roughnecks consisting of individuals, who were badly dressed, had bad manners, they were not rich and they were always involved in trouble. Unlike the Saints, the community members, teachers and police officers viewed the group as gangs of boys and they considered them as participants of illegal activities.
How the study was conducted (methodology)?
The methodology used in conducting the study was through observing the seriousness of the offenses that the group got involved. They measured the seriousness by observing the economic costs of delinquent acts thus coming to conclusion. For example, the study claimed that roughnecks stole an average of $5.00 a week but they went for some weeks without stealing thus balancing for the long periods that they did not steal. Moreover, the study claims that the Saints engaged in delinquency activities often but they did not steal costly property. The only thing that could qualify their behavior was the vandalism and theft of gasoline. According to the study, combing all the activities that the Saints participated in, could not amount to $5.00 a week. Furthermore, the study analyzed the seriousness involved in the activities through physical harms and threats that they caused to both the groups and community members. Consequently, the results indicated that the roughnecks were more harmful because they engaged in fighting unlike the Saints who never fought.
What were the results/conclusions of the study?
The findings of the study indicated that it is true that it is easy to notice the visible, poor, non-mobile, outspoken and undiplomatic kids, whether their acts have huge impact to the society or not. On the contrary, the findings further revealed that those children with established reputation such as being bright, disciplined ones, rich and mobile turn out to be invisible in most cases. Consequently, this makes such children participate in more illegal activities and goes unnoticed compared to those who are visible. Moreover, the findings indicated that when it comes the time for such children to leave their adolescent stage, they would follow the path the community members expect of them.
How do the results apply to the material we have covered in class?
The results in this study highly relate with the material covered in class. This is because according to the class material, status plays a significant role in the life of every individual. In this study, the Saints group consisted of individuals from upper-middle class while the Roughnecks were from lower class. Therefore, the class played a significant role in every group. For example, Saints had cars and money enabling them to conduct illegal activities far from their communities, contributing towards the good perception that the community had towards them. On the contrary, the fact that Roughnecks were poor and had no money and cars to travel far from the community, the group got involved in illegal acts within the community hence contributing towards the bad perception that the community had towards them.
Chambliss, W. The Saints and the Roughnecks.