Class Inequality Affects Youth Gangs- Document


Added on  2019-09-26

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How poverty/SES/structural or class inequality affects why youth joingangs[Type the document subtitle]ABC[Pick the date][Type the abstract of the document here. The abstract is typically a short summary of the contents of the document. Type the abstract of the document here. The abstract is typically a short summary of the contents of the document.]

1A gang is a distinct group of associated young adults, who due to involvement in excessiveillegal activities develop a negative image in the eyes of law or society. There can be variousreasons that youth these days to join gangs and indulge in illegal activities. The most prominentreasons for youth joining a gang can be poverty, people of low socioeconomic status, classinequality, lack of education, lack of self-control, etc. These factors work at three levels i.e.individual, group and societal level. These factors mold the motives and actions of individual atall the levels. Social, economic, and cultural forces push many adolescents in the direction ofgangs. Protection from other gangs and perceived general well-being are key factors. Gangactivities are increasing as a result of excess free time and in order to fill the boredom timeyoung children join gangs. Apart from this gang activities are increasing due to poverty. Insearch of money, youth join gangs to raise their power and indulge in illegal activities to earnmoney. In order to attempt to explain deviance and crime, three main theories have been developed.Differential association theory is one of the social learning theories propounded by EdwinSutherland(Tittle, Burke and Jackson 1986). He stated differential association theory as a set of ninepropositions, which gave three concepts normative conflict, differential association anddifferential group organization that has helped to define crime at the levels of the society, theindividual, and the group. The theory helps us to better understand the subject of youth gangaffiliation. Specifically, the theory resolves around how social interactions of an individualaffects him/her to join gangs. During the process of social interactions, individuals learn varioustechniques, motives, and values for criminal behavior and on the other hand how to rationalizetheir thoughts and actions. The differential association theory defines the learning in the processof social interaction. Therefore, it can be termed as a learning theory.

2Differential association theory explains how the lack of parental supervision, poverty/ low socio-economic status can lead to youth joining gangs. Under socialization process, family and familystructure play the most promising role. In order to shape the behavior of children, the familyadministration is most crucial. When there is the lack of proper family structure and parentaladministration, youth are at a risk of joining gangs. The reason for such results lies in the factthat children expect their parents to teach them on various aspects of life and the way societyruns. In order to summarize the theory, we can say that we learn or adopt the behavior of peoplethat are in close proximity to us or with joining a group of people who are already a gang ofcriminals. Youths with low self-esteem, low confidence, low self-control, low economic statusand antisocial behavior tends to join gangs.Though the theory provided grounds to define deviant behavior and crime, it suffers fromvarious drawbacks. There is a mixed opinion on the theory where one group of scholarshighlights and criticize the flaws of the theories, and another group supports the theory. No doubtthe theory helps to define the reasons for youth joining gangs, but it suffers from drawbackswhich are stated below.Firstly, the theory propounds that the lower socio-economic status people belonging todisorganized society are more likely to commit crimes. But on the other hand, it is unable todefine the reason why crimes are taking place outside the gangs and disorganized neighborhoods.Secondly, the theory does not provide sufficient evidence to explain the influence of socialgroups or learning. Thirdly, it does not explain why people residing in disorganized society nevercommits crimes. And lastly, it fails to explain why individuals who move out of disorganizedsociety still continues to commit the crime. It also fails to take into consideration, the role ofbiological factors in the crime.

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