Gangs Essay

Published: 2020-04-22 08:25:15
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A gang can be defined as a group of people who share a common identity, even though that identity may consist of little association with each other. In the modern times, the term gang is used to refer to violent groups. The word gang normally has a negative connotation, though, in a gang which identifies it self in opposition to the conventional norms, gang members may take on a phrase to use as a statement of defiance or identity. Gang actions are not limited to usual organized crime groups. Today, gangs are a permanent element in the urban cities all over the world.

Social scientists have diverse options on if gangs essentially show delinquent and criminal activities or not. Some social scientist argue that gangs are basically a result of diligent subcultures, while others belief that, social disorganization is what produced gangs. Summary of Both Positions; First it is important to review the cause of gangs many social scientists propose that gangs are a product of delinquent subculture. This concept implies that it is because of criminal nature of the society that produced gangs.

Still other social scientists argue that gangs are product of social disorganization. Where social disorganization concept implies that, crime and delinquency over a period and within an area occur due do breakdown or absence of community institutions such as family, church schools and local authorities. These community institutions are the ones that encourage organization of the community and encourage a sense of communal attachment among people who live in close geographical proximity. Thus, with a breakdown of these communal institutions people will gang up to provide and protect themselves.

As Faris (1955) points out, when the community is organized in relation to values articulated in the law, the crime will be abolished, but, when it is not organized, then crime and gangs continues and develops. As (Faris, 1955) observes that crime ratio is an expression of the level of social disorganization of mechanisms that control the society. At the end gangs and crime also contribute to disorganization of the society. (Faris, 1955) I belief that gangs are a result of social disorganization

To analyze this argument it is important to narrow down to some aspects and issues that causes social disorganization which consequently produces gangs. War and riots As it can be seen gangs immerged after World War I when African American moved to the North to work in the industries. This led to gang fights among the blacks and the whites to be so common, at the same time it created a lot of tensions and at the end of the war gang violence started. As also observed in the race riots of 1919, was started by white gangs who were mainly coming from Irish neighborhoods who bordered the black belt.

Thus in a system where there is no proper social structures gangs take over. As shown by the report of Race relations commission of 1922, it reported that gang activities were a significant aspect through out the riots. The reports further states that, if it was not for the gangs the riots could not have gone that far. From this observation, it can be seen clearly that war caused social disorganization which in turn caused gangs to develop. Riots are also seen as causing social disorganization and ultimately it leads to gang development. (Faris, 1955) Depression

Depression causes the society to go through hard times as there is scarcity of social facilities such food and medicine. Looking for example in Italia, the depression are of 1943, caused the community to be disorganized in one way or another. This promoted the formation of gangs to help the community over come the effects of the depression. Gangs were worked for politicians, and availed illegal services and good to the community. (Faris, 1955) observers that, gangs became integral to what he termed as ordered segmentation of ethnic communities of urban cities.

Gangs also got involved in starting community services groups, local business and at time got Federal grants to enhance educational facilities. For example Chicago gangs that were started in 1950s initiated various social projects and business enterprises in the 1960s. These gangs got involved in the projects to try and provide facilities that were missing in the community. As we have discussed earlier gangs are as a response of social amenities breakdown. And gangs come around to offer an alternative or try and provide those facilities. (Faris, 1955)

Urban Crisis Period The disorder of 1960s saw the civil rights groups pressure African- American gangs that were in Chicago and other cities. During this period the gang crime increased and this was because of the political turmoil which was disorganizing the communities. Has it is being observed; when there is social disorganization gangs thrive. Further more there was also the issue of segregation, for instance in Chicago, a leader of Chicago Democratic Party, Richard J Daley, did plan to continue segregation of American blacks in Bridgeport.

This segregation was another reason for development of gangs particularly those formed by the American blacks to counter the move. Apparently, this is a clear reason to show how the gangs develop when there is social disorganization. Politics and Violence During political periods that are marred with violence, social integration is interfered with and social disorganization occurs . this in turn leads to gangs development or thriving. As it can be observed, many gangs in American cities were as a result of revolutionary and also due to civil rights groups which came around to replace the missing power vacuum in the society.

For example, groups like Black Panther Party, and the Brown Berets came out as a result of civil rights influence. Spatial Disruption Spatial disruption involves displacing communities for new development projects; this displacement leads to disorganization in the community and leads to gangs coming up. A good example is the Chicago Housing Advancement (CHA) housing project of Chicago, which displaced of families, this in turn contributed to formation of new gangs as they fought for new turfs. Other social scientists observers that during industrial period, gangs emerged due to ethnic neighborhoods.

Latino and black gangs were formed mainly a result of universal environmental pattern. (Akers, 2000) Thus, from the above explanations it is clear that gangs are as a result of social disorganization, which occurs as a result of weakening of social institutions. The gangs came up in order to replace the missing institutions. As Sellin (1938) a gang researcher points out gangs did not develop as a result of race, it was because of space. Sellin (1938) further points out that, the social disorganization caused by industrial revolution resulted to competition in resources that lead to gangs.

Multicultural Application: Basically the formulators of the social disorganization concept as the main cause of gang were basing their studies in American cities especially Chicago which was notorious for gangs. However, this concept can not be applied in all cities where gangs have developed. Different cultural and social setting will definitely vary in different communities and thus, also the gangs will evolve due to different social issues. For, instance, in India gangs are developed to poverty, which cause people to come together to form gangs.

However, all over the world gangs seem to be involved in criminal activities; this can be attributed to the factor that most gangs resent authorities, and therefore, always want to go against it. Gangs thus still remain unpopular in many civil cultures as they are being associated with bad image of violence and crime. (Akers, 2000) The Critical Literacy In formulating the concept of social disorganization, social scientist must have arrived to this conclusion after various studies. It is clear that when there is breakdown of communal institutions such as family and local government, people will get involved in criminal activities.

Lack of social order creates a vacuum of power and is a recipe for lawlessness. As (Faris, 1955), one of the proponents of the concept explains, increase in criminal activities is characterized by conflict, inconsistency and un-organization of the community. It true that in a community where there is a breakdown of communal institutions is bound to have social disorder since, the relations that hold together the community will be not there, in such cases individual will tend to form their own groups gangs to advance community interests.

However, this concept falls short of it self; gangs develop even in those areas with social order. In addition, there is always, some kind of social organization in any community. (Faris, 1955) The Civic Literacy It is important for the society to acknowledge that they are part of solution t the gang menace. Gangs are usually associated with crime with affects the whole community. Many young people today get lured to gang life and end up getting involved in crimes and end up jailed or even killed. This impact the society negatively since the society loses it prime productive individuals.

At the same time people in crime prone areas live in fear and become less productive. Gangs affect the economy of the society, by creating an atmosphere that is not conducive to development. In cities like Chicago, gangs are involved in a lot of underground activities and drug dealing with contribute negatively to the society. Gangs in these cities have been there for a long time and it seems will remain to be part of the society, it is therefore important for the society to developed ways to resolve this issue.

An important thing the society and the authorities can to is to create an enabling environment that will enhance equality, reduce discrimination and improve the economy; this will go along way in reducing gangs influence. Social facilities like schools, hospitals and recreational facilities should be built and youths encouraged in utilizing them. Though, these measures many not eliminate gangs, they will reduce their influence. (Akers, 2000) For the Science Literacy Criminology, which is the study of crime, is an area in human psychology that can also be used in studying the formation of gangs.

This is so because crime is normally associated with gangs. Criminologists are the psychologist who will be involved in such research activities. One of such criminologist is Sutherland, (1939) who tried to explain the various social issues in Chicago city in relation to crime and delinquency. As Sutherland (1939) observes in his studies that, when industry and business march into a society, the society stops to function efficiently, this means that the norms and tradition that hold the community weaken and may disappear, this leads to criminal activities to increase in the community.

The Values Literacy Generally it is assumed that where there is social disorder, it will lead to criminal activities and social delinquency. Many studies reveal that social disorganization leads to the community values and norms to be eroded. A community without proper set of values thus is prone to immoral activities by the community members which lends to issues such as formation of gangs. Gangs are normally associated with bad things in the society, when one mentions the term gang, one is reminded of crimes, violence and drugs.

Gangs have been associated with immoralities in the society and the nothing good seems to be good about gang life. Frequent, gun battle between rival gang members is common in cities that have gangs such as Chicago. (Akers, 2000) Conclusion Social disorganization resulted to break down of the community social institutions, which thus encouraged formations of gangs. Civil war, industrial development and body social policies such as racial segregation are the major factors that contributed to social disorganization.

Gangs have always been associated with criminal activities and violence, as they fight for supremacy. However, sometimes gangs are also involved in activities to improve the social status of the community. Today, societies have a challenge on how to contain and resolve the issue of gangs in the cities as more youth embrace gang life. Since gangs are a social issue the society needs to come up with measure such as improving the economy and restructuring the social norms and building more social facilities check the gangs. Nevertheless, gangs remain a challenge to modern civil societies allover the world.

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