Labeling Theory And Strain Theory Essay

Labeling Theory And Strain Theory Essay

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In New Zealand three main strategies are used to deal with gangs. These are prevention, intervention and suppression. Prevention strategies include community awareness about gangs, changing the community conditions contributing to gang involvement and creating effective facilities for support and crime reporting (Aizon, A. 2012). Intervention strategies include drug and alcohol treatment, counseling, training and employment (Carr and Tam, 2013). Suppression includes policing, and probation searches (Carr and Tam, 2013). The criminological theoretical perspectives drawn on in this essay are labeling theory and strain theory. Labelling theory was developed by sociologist Howard Becker. It focuses on the tendency of majorities to negatively label minorities or those seen as deviant from norms (Carr and Tam, 2013). Strain Theory by Robert Agnew describes gang membership, to result from experiencing different stressful situations, which is termed as strain. Strain is categorised into three subtypes: the removal of positive stimuli, the presence of negative stimuli, and the blockage of goals. The more strain an individual experiences, the more likely they are to decide to join a gang, due to the lack of legitimate means to overcome the strain (Tice, 2013).

The purpose of gang prevention is to prevent youth from becoming gang members (Aizon, A. 2012). Prevention in schools for example antibullying programs can help reduce gang involvement by creating a more positive school environment and reducing incidents of victimization and therefore students ' wont need protection from agang against the bully (Pesce and Wilczynski, 2005). Strain theory can be applied to this as strains such as being bullied by peers, are more likely to develop a ...


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...ities, to deliver the Hard to Reach Youth project. Conflict resolution meetings were conducted, resulting in less violence on the streets of South Auckland and an agreement between a number of youth crew leaders that they would communicate directly with each other in the future. The project encourages family involvement and acknowledges the family as a source of strength and enabler for positive life changes; the project provides an opportunity to be involved in activities, which are not focused on negative perceptions or on negative representations of gang members (Carr and Tam, 2009). When these youth were checked in on a year later there was a large reduction in violence so funding was cut and the program was stopped. This resulted in some of the youth going back to crime and the gangs but most of the youth stayed in education and employment (Carr and Tam, 2009.

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