Opportunity Structure and Crime

"New Jersey Drive" (S1 EP1), Blackmarket -- Viceland, 2016, 24:07 -- https://www.viceland.com/en_us/show/black-market-with-michael-k-williams 

This series explores deviance and crime through multiple sectors of the black market, but the main lesson is all about the social opportunity structure. We see that areas such as Newark, New Jersey, are lacking in jobs, education, and legitimate opportunities for success. As a result, residents turn to an informal economy to survive. In the episode on carjacking (New Jersey Drive) we see that although some individuals make a nice living, none of them are proud or pleased with what they are doing. Additionally, and perhaps more importantly, this show is a great example of Max Weber's verstehen-- empathetic understanding. The people we see here are not presented as freakish delinquents for the audience to gawk at, but rather individuals who do what they need to in order to put food on the table. Instead of getting "though on crime", we see the more pressing problem is the lack of legitimate opportunities to achieve the American Dream.