Gang Involvement Essay

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Gang involvement is becoming a big issue today. It has been associated negatively with criminal acts and deviance. One of their major targets for recruitment are young teens to run their errands. In this essay I will talk about what it means to be in a gang and the different theories that could explain as to how and why young people are being involved into gang memberships and gang related crimes. I will be exploring Edwin Sutherlands Differential association and will talk about how gang and criminal behaviour is learned just like anything else. I will also discuss about how Labelling theory is associated into gang involvement and gang crimes. In this essay, I will discuss how one person is not born deviant but becomes deviant due to their social interaction with others. That deviant nature is not necessarily what you are born with but how you are brought up in society. Gangs are usually identified as a group of (mostly young) people within their own cultural norms either by race, symbols, clothing or affiliation. They organise their lives in the streets, and claim a territory where they usually engage in criminal behaviours. How the public view gangs is based by the media and law enforcement who typically defines crime as an organized act. (UIC.EDU 2013) NZ police regard gangs as organized crime and defines it as “a continuing association of persons having as its object, or as one of its objects, the acquisition of substantial income or assets by means of a continuing course of criminal conduct”(NZ POLICE, 2013) this means that involvement to a gang is often tied to criminal activities. However this, does not mean that being in a gang automatically means that you are a criminal. It means that once you are part of a gang, you are more than likely to be classified as a threat to society and more disposed to committing a criminal act, either through drug

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