Many people are afraid to walk down their streets these days and parents whose kids join gangs often do not know how to handle this situation or how to help them out of this lifestyle. Many of the young teenagers joining a gang end up in prison destroying their futures. As many gangs perform violent crimes that affect a lot of people, it is important to understand the causes of why they form, why kids are eager to join them and what can be done to prevent them from doing this. The functionalist perspective is a good angle to look at this problem and shows how the breakdowns of various social institutions are leading to gangs and why kids join them. This perspective holds that problems of social institutions
Thesis Statement Youth in America join and become involved in street gangs because of a lack of strong social institutions, and for power, safety, and the perceived respect within their community. Background Street gangs have been and will always be a problem in America and in California. One of the biggest problems when it comes to street gangs is, according to Howell, “There is no single, universally accepted definition of a gang or gang member. In fact, neither gang researchers nor law enforcement agencies can agree on a common definition” (Howell, 2012, p.53). Based on information from Howell, street gangs have been around since the early 1800s on the east coast.
The Effect of the Family Membership in a street gang has an extremely detrimental effect on the lives of the young males who join them. Gang members “engage in more violent crimes and have more police contact than non-gang members” (Craig et al. 54) and are also more likely to engage in binge drinking and the use and sale of other drugs (Hawkins, Hill and Lui 1). Gang members also have a negative impact on their communities because of their proclivity towards crime. There are a lot of factors that can push someone towards gang membership, but the extremely young age of many gang members asks us what role does the young boy’s family play in his path to gang membership?
They are more likely to be victims of crime, to get into drug abuse, and to fail at school. Members of street gangs offend at higher levels than their non-gang criminals and also a lot of gang’s are in the ruff areas of the UK. Very often young people’s gangs are loosely structured and do not have a clear leader. This is confusing because it makes it more difficult to distinguish what is a gang from what is simply a group of innocent young people. The gang’s are distinguishable from the group by their willingness to use violence, the importance attached to the defense of territory, and the fact that such groups are not there for a short time.
Along with the lifestyle up bring that a juvenile is surrounded by, the neighborhood and the company they keep can lead them down the path of destruction. “Conformity to peer group behavior and pressure may promote deviance. This is particularly likely among young people, where peer pressure may encourage them to adopt forms of deviant behavior (such as truancy and underage drinking) (Explanations for Patterns of Crime, n.d., p. 2). Because of the peer pressure that most teenagers face, committing these acts is a way to gain social
In nearly every case of gang allegiance, the individual seeks gang membership because he is unable to find these rewards elsewhere. Additionally, there are a variety of cultural factors contributing to gang membership, both within individual communities and society in general. The failure of the police force and judicial system to adequately deter drug trafficking is a primary reason that gangs exist. Poverty, unemployment, fatherless households, and the insidious breakdown of the family structure are all contributing factors to the proliferation of gangs. It is argued in this paper that gang membership is a logical response by young individuals to socio-economic factors beyond their control.
How to Prevent People from Joining Gangs? Many parents and people wonder or worry how to prevent kids from joining a gang. Some people do not even know what gang is, everybody has their own way to explain the meaning in a unique way. Dictionary.com describes a gang as “a group of youngsters or adolescents who associate closely, often exclusively, for social reason, especially such a group engaging in delinquent behavior.” Gangs are a very serious problem and legal guardian play a key role to make sure their youngster does not become a part of a gang. The absence of parents who work too many hours and do not pay attention to their child’s life, practically they leave the streets to raise them.
Gangs are one of the results of poverty, discrimination and urban deterioration. Some experts believe that undereducated young people, without access to good jobs, become frustrated with their lives and join gangs as an alternative to boredom, hopelessness and devastating poverty. Studies have attempted to determine why gangs plague some communities but there has been no definitive answer. Consequently, people working to solve gang problems have great difficulty. They find the situation overwhelming, and the violence continues.
The programs that are trying to stay open have to fight and compete each year for funds just so they can have activities to provide for the youths, they try to not focus on the academics and more of being mentors, and providing a safe space so they won’t have to be outside causing and getting into trouble. Many youths from low income neighborhoods are forced to grow up too quickly because their parent or guardian have to work two and sometimes three
Many people who live in poor conditions sometimes have no other way of maintaining their homes so they resort to stealing. The mind frame that criminals have is that the only way to survive the day to day hardship is to indulge in a life of crime. Another reason that encourages crime in our country is gang