Essay On Structural Inequality Theory

1290 Words6 Pages
Echoing the structural strain theory is the differential opportunity theory, which states that learning environments and opportunities are not equally distributed in the social system and gender, class and ethnicity affects conformity and deviance (Deutschmann, 2007). Taking both theories into account, those susceptible to joining gangs would be people that are deprived of opportunities and resources to succeed, mainly people of the lower class and racial minorities as exemplified by the high volume of emergence of racially exclusive gangs in the past. In the 1970’s, the United States of America lifted its quota on immigration based on nationality and this saw the influx of immigrants from Asia and the West Indies coming into the USA in hopes of getting rich or simply to flee from their war torn native lands. Instead of assimilating into the American culture, these immigrants brought along their own cultural practices and religions, which were rejected by the Americans and resulted in resentment between both parties. Racial discrimination was rampant and these once hopeful immigrants soon found themselves being isolated in the outskirts, jobless and helpless. Members of racial minority groups like the majority aspire to possess material success in life but are void of the means to achieve those (McNulty & Bellair, 2003). The same can be said of the lower class, whose low socio-economic status limit their opportunities for tertiary education which could potentially be imperative in securing lucrative jobs (Curry & Spergel, 1988). Therefore, to satisfy their appetite for success, these people adapt to strain by treading the path of innovators- using illegitimate means to actualise their positively valued goals. Moreover, with global... ... middle of paper ... ...for an increase in gang membership to an extent. Gang membership and in a broader sense, crime and deviance, are social problems which have plagued every society and do not appear to be eradicated anytime in the foreseeable future. However, sociologists and other academics have conjured up explanations like the strain theory, born criminal theory, phrenology and craniometry which have aided law enforcers in their deterrence efforts. According to the structural strain theory, gang membership increase with the presence of a discrepancy between means and goals. The government could open up more avenues for youths to develop their talents. For instance, a college for the arts would serve as a mean to the goals of youths who are artistic but not academically inclined. That being said, more has to be done to prevent youths from falling under the subculture of gangsterism
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