Dealt With the Issue of Youth Gangs Term Paper

Excerpt from Term Paper :

dealt with the issue of youth gangs and their prevalence in USA. Sociologists have been analyzing youth gangs in urban backgrounds for around 70 years. It has been debated that youth gangs were created in accordance with social events, and that gang members were of loose morals or inadequately socialized entities who tied up together to do delinquent activities in groups rather than as separate entities. This paper shall deal with the major components of youth gangs in the country and shall also emphasize on the policy implications to deal with the youth gangs.

Most of the primitive sociologists and enrollers of the media depicted gangs as tangential groups, wherein their actions were taken into accordance as infringement of the folkways, more than obvious infringements of existential laws. Nowadays the word 'gang' portrays impression of law assailing groups more than the old boys which existed around corners. Recurrently the word 'gang' instills morbid phobia and frustration and exasperation in separate entities and groups because there is an existential belief that they are taking part in perpetrating crime, most of which is associated to drugs. Frederick M. Thrasher in 1927 who has been accepted as the father of urban gang analysis, made a definition of the gang in his seminal work. The 'Gang' as a characteristic group originally created on impulse and then evolved into one through tussle and featured by direct interactions, milling, flow through space as a single entity, tussle and planning. The attitude enhances an orthodox outlook, non-mirroring infrastructure, oneness, group knowledge and association to a local place. (Spergel, p. 267)

The portrayal and the definition of gang has molded through time.

For instance, Walter B. Miller in 1970 made a definition of a gang as a self -enhanced relation of counterparts tied together by one-to-one interests, with noticeable leadership, well-enhanced lines of authority, and other organizational aspects, who perform in context to attain a particular goal or goals which are comprehensive of the conduct of illegitimate action and manipulation over particular segment of land, facility or variety of enterprise. Most of the scholars, who held as a focal point the criminal activity, envisage Thrasher and his counterparts, the "Chicago School" and yet others for the accurate portrayal of a gang. A few other scholars hold in the focal point the circumstances out of which youth gangs are created. Taylor in 1989, for instance, concluded that a section of people turns out to be a gang when it is acknowledged as a gang by the community and/or another gang. Due to the fact that other groups or the section of people as a whole acknowledges the group's activities as anti-social or tangential, the group turns out to be more unified and organized and develops as a gang. Henceforth, on the basis of variant external awareness of the group's activities, it formally turns out to be a gang as it gives out reactions to the awareness. (Esbensen, & Huizinga, p.563).

Review of literature

Curry and Spergel (p.24), and others made a debate that youth gangs and their actions are based on community disarray and/or the malfunction of the family entity. In his analysis of youth gangs in Boston, Whyte concluded that youth gangs came forth in North Boston due to the Great Depression, and these members of the group could achieve more, in the economical and social setup, by tying together more than functioning individually. Also, as per Whyte, youth gangs at that juncture were not aggressive and did not take part in activities that were antisocial and illegitimate. A few primitive studies of this occurrence showed that many of youth gangs' activities were not taken into consideration as aggressive, leave alone criminal. In fact, well before 1946, legislation and policies were not pinpointed toward youth gangs but rather criminal activities, and even though between 1899 and 1945, every state carried out juvenile criminal laws and set up juvenile courts to act against the members of the youth gang. (Klein, p.41)

Turning down of middle class norms was another chief donating aspect to youth gang creation, specifically during the period of late 1950s and early 1960s. During this juncture, youth gangs came to constitute the sub-cultural sections that were turning down the orthodox societal norms. Their norms, aims and/or the ways to attain those aims were not in consistent with those sections of people who came from middle-class America. The impression of youth gangs were mirrored in the generations of "West Side Story: and "Rebel without a cause." More recurrently youth gangs were constituted of separate entities from the lower socio economic division. By the turn of 1960s, scholars were inclined to envisage race as a donating aspect to youth gang creation. Many analytical studies were held in the African-American society and its association to other social institutions. In Wertham and Pilivian's analytical studies of black youth gang member's conflict with the police, the tussle amidst white middle class norms and black youth gang norms was obvious. Wertham and Pilivian pinpointed that the police, from the perspective of white middle class America, were the saviors of the laws of the people. The black youth gangs attitude towards the police- whether verbal harshness or obvious delinquent performances, was simply an opposition towards the traditional white middle class norms. (Wertham; Piliavin, p.32)

Anyhow, some sociological concepts comprehensive of African- American street society cut off from the sub-cultural theory, turning down the assumption that black street society was a subculture with various values from white society. For instance, in his analytical study of street corner "Negroes" in Washington, D.C. Liebow in 1967 made a statement: This interior world which is the black street society does not look like a self-contained, self enhancing, self supporting system or even subsystem with obvious limitations demarcating it from the huge world around it. It is spontaneous, one to one contact with the huger society - it is indeed, an unified segment in it, and is not more important as the values, sentiments and beliefs of the huger society than it is to the blue welfare reinstatement or to the viability of the huger society, such as the policeman, the police informer, the case study worker, the landlord, the dope pusher, the Tupperware shower, the numbers backer or the anthropologist. (Howell, p.21). Yet other analysis and studies summed up that the urban background, the media and the acknowledgement by certain youths that they are not openly embraced by the political powers are also aspects associated to youths taking part in the gang.

By the middle of 1960s, research and analytical studies on youth gang formation summed up yet another conceptual facet. During this time, sociologists debated that youth gangs were created in accordance with social events, and that gang members were of loose morals or inadequately socialized entities who tied up together to do delinquent activities in groups rather than as separate entities. Malcolm Klein's portrayal of a gang mirrors the evolution from a subculture/class analysis to a social reaction study. A gang is any noticeable adolescent group of youngsters who are generally envisaged as a separate sum of others in their neighborhood; acknowledge themselves as an identifiable group, almost differentially with a group name and have been taking part in a required number of criminal events to call for a persistent opposition from nearby residents and/or enforcement agencies. (Klein, p.45) And finally, the chief aim of studies on youth gangs revolved around the association between gangs and delinquency. Nowadays, scholars are inclined to envisage youth gang creation bonded with some attire of criminality, chiefly violence and drug application and dissemination. The existent definition by C. Ronal Huff mirrors this point. What makes a gang aloof from other adolescent groups is the gang's more scheduled taking part in unlawful activities; a more intentional value of these unlawful activities; a greater inclination to make claim of some form of Turf- even though for more current gangs, this turf is not appropriately neighborhood associated and overall, better enhanced leadership. Besides analyzing the chief reason of youth gang creation, academic upholders and practicing people have analyzed and sectioned youth gangs depending on organizational structure or variety of attitude.

Gangs' organizational structures have been featured from loose, disseminated groups with constrained unification, to highly intricate, organized and well-practiced groups. Scholars usually pinpoint to single attire of criminal action that is spontaneous and adapts some specific section of the group's time. Many of the researchers are still searching the organizational structure of the gangs and the various varieties. Anyhow, much of the existent research pinpoints the activities of youth gangs, chiefly but not constrained to drug dissemination and perpetrated violence, the boosting up of female, Asian and Hispanic gangs, and public policy initiatives.

As per a current study of public policy initiatives carried out by Spergel, Curry, Ross, and Chance, there exists five basic plans used all across the nation to associate with the social problem of youth gangs which are: community organizations or neighborhood movement, social intrusion, youth hand…

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