Analysis Of The Book ' Jumped ' By Jorja Leap Essay

Analysis Of The Book ' Jumped ' By Jorja Leap Essay

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Jumped in by Jorja Leap is an autobiographical book about the experiences of a UCLA professor’s struggle to understand the lifestyle of gangs, and to figure out a way to end gang violence. Jorja Leap is an outsider looking at these communities from an intellectual sociological point of view, but she also has her personal biases shown. She stated in the book she is similar to an anthropologist, committing research specifically on gangs to comprehend their motivations. Her research leads her to interact with individuals that were or are affected by gang violence, whether they were the culprit or the victim. A large amount of the individuals she interviewed also want to end gang violence. These people know the negative effects that it has had on their communities and the suffering that it causes. These interviews are the heart of the book; they give a personal insight on those in gangs, a main focus of the book is the hardships on both leaving and staying out of the violent gang lifestyle. This book also has the perspective of the police, which show the gang violence as a more black and white or good versus evil issue, and their militant approach to gang reformation. Jorja Leap holds a view that to stop gang violence, the same members that were once gangbanging need to divert the youth away from the same lifestyle.
The book emphasizes the idea of how difficult it is to leave the gang lifestyle. There are frequent cases of relapse by individuals in the book, who were once out to again return to gangs. This case is brought by what gangs represent to this in the book and what leaving entails them to give up. The definition of gangs presented to the class was, three or more members, share name, color, or affiliation, or must exist in...

... middle of paper ... were suspected of being a gang member, you were pretty much guilty until proven innocent” (31). This is a basis of the confrontation between the police and the communities that breed gang culture, the differing methods of trying to stop gang violence. The gang interventionist’s or (ex-gang members who want to dispel the violence from gangs and work for peace) discussed in the book walk a tight rope between gang culture and civic justice. Even though these gang interventionist intentions are pure, they are still seen as gang members, and shady by the police department. These is the bigger dealt with in the book, the fact that instead of working with those in the community, the police instead are suspicious of them. This relates back to the predator thesis and this mentality that these gang members are no longer regular people, that they are predators above reform.

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