The Effect of Gangs in There Are No Children Here Essay

The Effect of Gangs in There Are No Children Here Essay

Length: 952 words (2.7 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

The Effect of Gangs in There Are No Children Here       


   Throughout There Are No Children Here, a continuous, powerful tension always lurks in the background. The gangs that are rampant in the housing projects of Chicago cause this tension. In the Henry Horner Homes, according to Kotlowitz, one person is beaten, shot, or stabbed due to gangs every three days. In one week during the author's study of the projects, police confiscated 22 guns and 330 grams of cocaine in Horner alone (Kotlowitz 32).

 

For the children of the projects, the pressure to join a gang never waivers. Quick cash and protection are hard forces to resist in a world of poverty and violence. However, the children's role in these gangs is inferior to that of the leaders. At first, the concept of joining is quite attractive. According to Lafeyette, one of the two brothers profiled in the book, " 'When you first join you think it's good. They'll buy you what you want' " (31). However, " 'You have to do anything they tell you to do. If they tell you to kill somebody, you have to do that' " (31).

 

What Lafeyette refers to is frighteningly true. In the inner city, gangs often recruit young children to do their dirty work. Shortly after joining, a fourteen-year-old friend of Lafayette's allegedly shoots and kills an older man in an alley half a block north of Lafayette's building (31).

Acording to Kotlowitz, life in the Henry Horner Homes is controlled to a great extent by gangs, particularly the Conservative Vice Lords. Residents so fear and respect the Vice Lords' control that they refuse to call 911 (34). Snitching can get a resident killed. Even though the Chicago Police Department installed a hot-line number and promise confidentia...


... middle of paper ...


...rime, Social Forces, Vol. 75 No. 2 December 1996, pg. 619-645.

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

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Youth Participation In Gangs Essay example

- Youth participation in gangs actually decreased from 1996 to 2004, but the violence within these gangs has not. Homicides committed by youth gang members still remain as a monumental problem across the United States of America. The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention reported in its 2004 survey of youth gangs that there were an estimated 760,000 gang members that year. Many of the kids affiliated with gangs come from lower income, single parent homes; therefore, the youths of America often turn to gangs to fill the void of not being part of a “family”....   [tags: Youth Gangs Essays]

Better Essays
1135 words (3.2 pages)

Gangs Essay

- Gangs Works Cited Missing Gangs are a violent reality that people have to deal with in today's cities. What has made these groups come about. Why do some kids feel that being in a gang is an acceptable and prestigious way to live. There are many different theories to these questions. On the surface, gangs may appear to be shallow and materialistic; a result of human beings' personal wants, but there are speculations that are more profound. In reference to the way humans are influenced in society, there is valid evidence to distribute blame at negative forces of economic disadvantages, capitalism, and the media....   [tags: Youth Gangs Essays]

Better Essays
1775 words (5.1 pages)

Children and Gangs Essay

- Children and Gangs       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....   [tags: Exploratory Essays Research Papers]

Better Essays
1465 words (4.2 pages)

Effect of Environment in There Are No Children Here Essay

- Effect of Environment in There Are No Children Here In There are No Children Here, by Alex Kotlowitz, the way of life in Chicago's Henry Horner projects has a profound effect on all the residents who live there. The children become desensitized by the constant violence that they are forced to witness every day. Children are forced to walk home from school through the urban war zone of these housing projects. It is not unusual for the children to run home from school to avoid becoming casualties of the ongoing battle between rival gangs....   [tags: There are No Children Here Essays]

Better Essays
649 words (1.9 pages)

The Effects of Gangs Essay

- The Effects of Gangs What is a gang. According to Steven Sachs, a probation officer since 1978, it is "a structured, cohesive group of individuals, usually between the ages of eleven and twenty-five, who generally operate under some form of leadership while claiming a territory or turf," (Sachs XV). Distinctive clothing, the use of special street names, language, symbols and signs, and the committing of organized and spontaneous criminal acts describe some of the characteristics of a gang....   [tags: Exploratory Essays Research Papers]

Free Essays
1394 words (4 pages)

Globalization Of Gangs And The United States Essay

- Globalization of Gangs “Street gangs are proliferating around the world. The United States has unwittingly spurred this phenomenon by deporting tens of thousands of immigrants with criminal records each year” (Papachristos). After reading that quote, I paused to wonder if deportation was the correct solution to the immigrant gang problem in the United States. In the 1990’s I felt the government was just in their decision to deport immigrants with criminal records. Although, twenty years later, as I am reading an article entitled, “Gang World,” for the anthropology course I am taking this fall, I realize the full effect this course of action has had on globalizing gangs....   [tags: Crime, Gang, Illegal immigration, Los Angeles]

Better Essays
766 words (2.2 pages)

Essay on No Hope for the Children in There Are No Children Here

- No Hope for the Children in There Are No Children Here       Henry Horner Homes, an inner-city housing project, is the setting in which the story of two boys growing up in America’s inner-city occurs. The story tracks the River’s family, particularly the two middle boys, Lafeyette and Pharoah, focusing on the strife-ridden times of drugs, death, gangs, and poverty. The author describes how devastating life in the inner city is for a family, but mainly for the children. Public housing complexes were seen as pleasurable places....   [tags: There are No Children Here Essays]

Better Essays
1324 words (3.8 pages)

Gangs Essay

- Being that the closest that I have ever come to gangs or gangs violence is in television of movies, this topic intrigued me. What makes a person want to become part of something that is so violent and dangerous. Why would someone risk everything to put their lives on the line for people that are not even their blood relatives. As I read the material that I found in the library about gangs, I found out a lot about how this children's' though process works. They believe that the gang members are their family; to them it is not seen as the sinister organization of careless violence as it is to us "normal" Americans....   [tags: essays research papers]

Better Essays
696 words (2 pages)

Gangs Essay

- Gangs Since the beginning of the decade, teenage homicides increased by one hundred and fifty percent (Strout, Brian 1996). This sharp increase is largely due to the rapid formation of gang activity throughout the United States (Strout, Brian, 1996). In today's larger cities, gang violence is a reality that people have to deal with every day. As gang related crimes increase, officials are trying to find out why people join and remain loyal to gangs. Unfortunately, experts can only hypothesize explanations for gang involvement....   [tags: Gang Essays]

Better Essays
1389 words (4 pages)

Gangs Essay

- Gangs Introduction I. -A Los Angeles family takes a wrong turn into gang territory and is fired upon. A 3-year-old is killed and her 2-year-old brother wounded. -A Chinese immigrant in Brooklyn is kidnapped by a Chinatown gang which demands ransom payments from her family. She is murdered when the family fails to pay. -Two FBI agents and a police sergeant are murdered inside the Washington, D.C. police headquarters by a gang member. -A Pittsburgh police sergeant walking home with his daughter is killed with his own gun after he stops and confronts a gang spraying graffiti on a street....   [tags: Gang Essays]

Better Essays
3197 words (9.1 pages)