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Delinquent Youth Subculture - Gang - Research Paper Example

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The aim of this paper “Delinquent Youth Subculture – Gang” is to research the phenomenon of youth gangs in the American society. This requires providing answers to the questions above, supported by data from both primary and secondary sources…
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Download file to see previous pages What is the response to youth gangs? The aim of this paper is to research the phenomenon of youth gangs in the American society. This requires providing answers to the questions above, supported by data from both primary and secondary sources. Structurally, I have organized the text into six main sections. The first part or Introduction outlines the aim and focus of the paper. The second section centers on the gangs’ origins and history, as well as explains what a gang is. The third part identifies the types of activities and behavior characteristic of a gang. The fourth section provides some theoretical background to the concept, while the fifth focuses on the societal response to the youth gangs phenomenon. Finally, I conclude the paper with the sixth section that sums up the paper’s findings. Origins and History of Gangs Scholarly sources abound with youth gang definitions, one of the earliest being that of Thrasher (1927). Thrasher explained that a gang should be understood as a spontaneously forming group that is not attached to any specific part of society (Thrasher, 1927). A more recent definition of gangs views the latter as groups that consist of individuals who recurrently associate and are subject to identifiable organization in leadership and internal matters. These groups also identify themselves with or claim to have control over a particular territory within a given community, and are known to engage in illegal (often violent) behavior individually or collectively (Miller, 1975). Youth gangs are also believed to be “any denotable groups of youngsters who a) are generally perceived as a distinct aggregation by others in their neighborhood; b) recognize themselves as a denotable group (almost invariably with a group name); and c) have been involved in a sufficient number of delinquent incidents to call forth a consistent negative response from neighborhood agencies and/or enforcement agencies” (Klein, 1971, p. 13). The origins of modern gangs go back to the 17th century England. The British crime chronicler Pike speaks of the existence of robber gangs on English highways at that time (Pike, 1873, pp. 276-277). Yet, these gangs were reportedly different from the ones that we have today. The gangs with more or less rigid structures appeared in the early 17th century. For example, Pearson tells about London being “terrorized by a series of organized gangs calling themselves the Mims, Hectors, Bugles, Dead Boys… who found amusement in breaking windows, [and] demolishing taverns, [and] they also fought pitched battles among themselves dressed with colored ribbons to distinguish the different fractions” (Pearson, 1983, p. 188). In the United States, the beginning of the street gangs history is related to their formation on the East Coast after the American Revolution in 1783. At the same time, many reputable scholarly sources prefer the later date – the beginning of the 19th century (Sante, 1991). The first gang that operated in the streets of New York was the 40 Thieves. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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