Street Gangs

In today’s society, and in the society of past generations, there have been street gangs. A gang can be defined as a group of people with a common goal that may include criminal activity. Most legit gangs today use a name, color or tattoo to identify themselves and will use their identity to take control and declare power of a territory or a community. Financial gain, peer pressure and protection are a few reasons why people join gangs and will dedicate their lives to them. The latest information on this subject states that in the United States there are at least 21,500 gangs, whose activities affect our societies. In major cities, gangs have become the number one reason for half of the homicides that occur.

It’s been said, by Steve Nawojczyk the advisor to the Arkansas Attorney General’s Youth Gang Task Force that the Crips and Bloods, two notorious groups on California, have been in existence since the late 60s. Gangs in general can be traced back to a time when pirates were popular.  Street gangs were developed for many reasons but are known for coming together for anti-social reasons. Many of the gangs goals in today’s society is to enhance their reputation and take control of a territory. One way they do this is by making their name known through way of graffiti. Graffiti is how gangs communicate with each other or other times with local authorities, it’s also known as the newspaper for gangs.  Many signs of graffiti are codes that only members can understand. Gangs also exist because of revenge reasons. Taking a drug selling location can cause tension between gangs, and shooting or killing a “homeboy” will cause fights. The third reason why gangs are formed and feared are because of their desire for respect. Groups of friends that are full of pride long to show their importance in some way to the community so they’ll create a gang and make themselves feared as they attempt to own territories.

Gang members that joined for financial gain are usually living in poverty. Most street gangs exist as a moneymaking enterprise, seeking self-benefit. Because the members are poor they tend to commit crimes, their social class is part of the reason why they dwell around run down communities. As brutal a gang may sound to society they actually treat each other like family, usually making sure all their members are taken care of. This factor deals with protection, studies on gangs tell that members come from problematic families. Those without a sense of family protection feel alone causing anger and grief giving them a reason to search the world for a family, such as gangs. In certain scenarios people are born into gangs because they have a blood family member in the alliance. Peer pressure is another driving force to why people join gang. Areas that are dominated by gangs or their greatly popular in school and other public areas tend to be bigger in population because of their influence. In these communities the gang life may seem fun and very profitable. In these situations it usually begins with a few individuals in a group of friends joining a gang and the other friends join as well so they’re not losing any friends and remain in the in-crowd. People who become subject to becoming influenced to join a gang tend to be teenagers who are trying to figure out their place in the world.


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