"The Pact" by Davis et al. is a true story that tells the account of three friends who grew up together in an impoverished town. The book tells the success story of the three boys who agree to stick together and help each other to become doctors. "The Pact," tells a story of perseverance and brotherhood that helps young African Americans to achieve what they could not accomplish individually. "The Pact" shows how people can achieve more by working together and supporting each other. Sampson Davis, George Jenkins, and Rameck Hunt by coming together to create a pact gave them more strength and ability because they were able to support each other to achieve their single uniting goal despite their unforgiving background which made them vulnerable to crime. "The obstacles of self-doubt, fear, addiction, easy money, and "good enough" achievements are found in The PACT, but also is suicide, AIDS, gangs, violence, and blatant victimization." This quote depicts the hardships that Sampson Davis, George Jenkins, and Rameck Hunt have to overcome to achieve their common goal. The gunshots sounds and the screeching cars late at night is compared to the chirping of insects at dawn for those who live in the countryside. This quote indicates that the neighborhood was both insecure and crime was a significant problem. The account of success and tribulations that Sampson Davis, George Jerkins, and Rameck Hunt were able to overcome is an encouragement to many people to persevere and also to work together to achieve more than an individual can achieve.
The social learning theory holds that people can learn and influence each other behaviors. In "The Pact" the novel shows the motivation of the three young men by supporting each other which helps them to achieve their goals of becoming doctors. Social learning theory argues that the behavior and conduct of individuals can affect the other people who are in contact with them. Therefore, the choice of friends can play a significant role in the behavior of other friends because people are influenced by what other people do around them (Akers, Ronald 2017). Just like the social learning theory, the three friends in "The Pact" makes a good example of how social learning can influence behavioral outcomes of individuals. According to the social learning theory people can influence each other through observation, modeling, and imitation. The three approaches of learning are very important in "The Pact" because they allow Sampson Davis, George Jenkins, and Rameck Hunt to come together to motivate each other which makes them achieve their planned goals.
Observation learning is the approach to learning in which individuals observe others be able to learn. Apart from family members, friends are very important in the success of an individual in "The Pact" Sampson Davis, George Jenkins, and Rameck Hunt observes each other behavior which helps in their ability to achieve the goal to become doctors despite the challenges they face while growing up. Social learning theory requires individuals to adopt to changes in the environment and change as the environment changes to allow for growth and sustenance (Johnson, Paul et al., 2017, p. 2). In "The Pact" Sampson Davis, George Jenkins, and Rameck Hunt can identify the changing times and the dangers of living in the streets and decide to help each other to become doctors despite being surrounded by poverty and community negligence. Observation learning is very important in behavioral analysis, and it can be used to explain the behavior of Sampson Davis, George Jenkins, and Rameck Hunt who are closely associated and influence each other to achieve a common goal.
Symbolic interactionism refers to the symbols in everyday life and community that affect how people interact with each other (Johnson, Paul et al., 2017, p. 2). In "The Pact," the relationship between Sampson Davis, George Jenkins, and Rameck Hunt represents brotherhood which is very important in promoting interaction within a group and also shared ideologies with the aim of achieving a common goal. The brotherhood between Sampson Davis, George Jenkins, and Rameck Hunt help them to overcome social difficulties such as generational poverty together to achieve their common goal to be doctors. The failure of the three individuals to support each other through brotherhood. The book "The Pact" by Sampson Davis shows the power of friendship that creates a brotherhood bond for Sampson Davis, George Jenkins, and Rameck Hunt to act and reason as one. Reasoning as one helps them to join their efforts to beat the odds and become doctors coming from Newark a city that was filled with temptations, and system breakdown that limited the support the three could get from the society. The pact in the book Pact is not just a pact, but a symbol that represents friendship, brotherhood, and unity between Sampson Davis, George Jenkins, and Rameck Hunt and it was their only chance through which they could have overcame the tribulations they faced in Newark.
Social Conflict Theory
The conflict theory shows a society that is filled with class struggles which depict the conflict in the society and shows the inequality that exists in the community (Johnson et al., 2017, p. 2). In Sampson Davis, George Jenkins, and Rameck Hunt relationship to beat poverty shows the determination of individuals to overcome social inequality against a single race. "The Pact" depicts a story of three boys who are brought up in a chaotic and highly fragmented society and they represent the negative picture of the society in which they could scare people because they looked like poverty itself and grew up being taught that their future was blurred because they were poor.
Functionalism refers to the interdependent of the different social aspects that make the society to function as a whole. In "The Pact," functionalism is indicated in the relationship between crime and incarceration. Many young people in "The Pact" are caught up in crime which attracts a jail time. Crime and prison are highly interconnected in the community, and Sampson Davis, George Jenkins, and Rameck Hunt sometimes find themselves breaking the law after which they are incarcerated with the aim of correcting their behavior (Akers, Ronald 2017).
Structural disadvantage factors are major challenges that Sampson Davis, George Jenkins, and Rameck Hunt face when they are growing up because of their poor and impoverished Newark neighborhood. Social conflict is depicted on how the trio are treated by the law enforcement agencies and also at school where they have to overcome prejudice to attain their goals of becoming doctors. These intertwined lives of the trio depict a remarkable journey through which the three friends can overcome poverty, drugs, and crime to join a prestigious medical school. Throughout this journey of becoming doctors, the authors join hands to overcome the economic, cultural, and generational gaps. This depicts the attempt of Sampson Davis, George Jenkins, and Rameck Hunt to overcome functionalism of the economic, cultural and generational gaps in the society to become doctors. Symbolic interactionism is through racial differences and the high number of gangs and drug abuse which points out on high poverty in Newark.
Drug Abuse, Crime, and Violence
Davis, Jenkins, and Hunt makes a pact to overcome high crime and violence in their black community where most of the young people are involved in drugs and gang violence and does not value education. Davis, Jenkins, and Hunt experiences racism as they are neglected and also many people that they meet have low expectations from them because of their race and poor backgrounds. Despite many humiliating encounters, Davis, Jenkins, and Hunt can persevere and achieve their common goal of becoming doctors.
The ability of Davis, Jenkins, and Hunt to acquire a scholarship is a single step that marks their victory over poverty, and their dreams and hopes are redeemed. However, despite overcoming challenges to acquire scholarships because they could not afford college fees Davis, Jenkins, and Hunt still experience racism and failure after which they contemplate dropping from college. However, through the intervention of Carla Dickson, Davis, Jenkins, and Hunt can persevere and graduate from Seton Hall after which they become doctors. The tribulations faced by Davis, Jenkins, and Hunt makes them even stronger as they vow to overcome poverty and racism against them in college.
The success of Davis, Jenkins, and Hunt shows that unity is strength and young people in poor neighborhoods can achieve more through unity and collaboration. Their success is an indication that more African Americans are hindered by structural poverty and racism in the community. The book shows the problems that African Americans faces in mainstream education institutions and how unity instead of succumbing to division and violence can help the African Americans to achieve greater success. From an individual perception "The Pact" depicts the challenges faced by African Americans to attain academic goals and provides a solution which is perseverance and ability of the African Americans to work together. "I was the only one who had ever even thought of becoming a doctor before that day. The truth is, none of us had seen anything to make us believe it was possible. Sometimes though, you have to step out there and believe in something you can't quite see," (Davis et al., 2002). This quote indicates that greater things can be achieved if people are willing to try, Davis, Jenkins, and Hunt attempt and working together helps them to achieve what they thought was not possible.
Akers, Ronald. Social learning and social structure: A general theory of crime and deviance. Routledge, 2017.
Davis, Sampson, George Jenkins, and Rameck Hunt. The Pact: Three Young Men Make a Promise and Fulfill a Dream. New York: Riverhead Books, 2002.
Johnson, Paul, Wayne Sakamoto, and Safe Schools Director. "Social Learning Theory." Retrieved 25 (2017): 1-2.
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