Gang violence is a huge problem in America today. More and more children are joining gangs every day. It has become evident that these gangs made up of young people are causing numerous problems. Gang violence and gang activities impact all of those around the gang members. The kids in these gangs are hurting themselves, each other, their families, and the communities around them. Those who are associated with the gangs through family ties or just those who are associated with the gangs through geographical location. Before we can understand how gangs effect the people and communities around them we must first understand what gangs actually are. We must try and understand how the gang members think, how they react to certain situations, and what makes them do what they do.
First of all, why do youth join gangs in the first place? Often young people join gangs for a sense of belonging. When children are not getting the attention they need from other people they turn to those who will give them the sense of belonging that they long for. Often gangs form in, areas with weak family and neighborhood controls, especially poor urban slum areas. Children with low parental supervision often spend much of their time on the streets(Lo,38). Once in a gang, the gang becomes the childís family. Everything the child does is for the gang. ìGang members fight to protect what the members value, and to protect the integrity of the group...gang members engage in violent behavior to impress others and to reinforce their own self-esteemî(Lo,40). In order to gain status and respect in a gang, the gang member must give everything for the gang. The gang member must in fact have ìthe willingness to r...
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Lo, Chun-Nui, A Social Model of Gang Related Violence, Free Inquiry In Creative Sociology, Vol 19 no. 1, May 1991, pg. 36-43.
Osgood, Wayne et al., Routine Activities and Deviant Behavior, American Sociological Review, Vol. 61 no. 4, August 1996, pg 635-655.
Brantley, Gangs, Vol.63, FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin, May 1,1994, pp1-8 (Article)
Kennedy, Leslie and Stephen Baron, Routine Activities And A Subculture Of Violence: A Study Of Violence On The Street, Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency, Vol. 30 No. 1, Febuary 1993, pp. 88-112 (Journal)
Lo, Chun-Nui (Celia), A Social Model Of Gang-Related Violence, Free Inquiry In Creative Sociology, Vol 19 No 1, May1991, pp. 36-43 (Journal)
Shakur, Sanyika, Monster: The Autobiography Of An L.A. Gang Member,Penguin Book Ltd., 1993
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