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Gangs in US - Research Paper Example

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From the following research it can be comprehended that the emergence of gang activities in urban environments has occurred through the influences of poverty and the powerlessness that comes from living within lower socio-economic states. …
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Download file to see previous pages The paper tells that gangs in the United States are a result of the structures of society that have created a world in which inclusion is exclusive to certain types of lifestyles, leaving many on the outside of society without enough power to create a place for themselves within mainstream society. Books on gangs by Covey, Duffy and Gillig, Holmes, Tewksbury and Higgins, Howell and Kontos, Brotherton, and Barrios provide an overview of the status of gangs and the responses by public agencies in regard to gang activity. Covey discusses the issue of gangs throughout the world, focusing on the influence of the United States on the development of modern gangs. Duffy and Gillig discuss a global view of teenage gangs, focusing on the socio-economic impact on the emergence of gangs, and the reasons for membership in gangs by members. Holmes, Tewksbury and Higgins discuss the pop culture connection to the increased membership and number of gangs across the United States as well as the power structures within which gangs operate. Howell discusses the history of gangs as well as giving solid statistics on the nature of gangs. Finally, Kontos, Brotherton, and Barrios provide insight into the types of gangs and particularly the nature of female participation in gangs. Through an examination of the relevant information, the nature of gang activity within the United States is revealed along with the potential for effective community action in minimizing gang activity impact on society. Table of Contents Introduction 4 Historic Perspective 4 Current Trends and Future Predictions 5 Current Research 6 Gang Types 8 Public Response to Gangs 10 Summation and Recommendations 11 Gangs in the United States Introduction The emergence of gang activities in urban environments has occurred through the influences of poverty and the powerlessness that comes from living within lower socio-economic states. In recent history the development of the pop culture phenomenon of the ‘coolness’ of gang membership has provided a fertile ground from which the gang culture has grown. The different types of gangs across the United States have allowed for all members of society to have a resource for joining gangs. The following synthesis of literature will reveal the trends and types of gangs that exist within the United States as well as discuss possible solutions to the gang problem that plagues the nation. Historic Perspective The growth of gangs as they emerged in New York can be understood through an examination of migration patterns as immigrants landed on the shores of the United States. According to Howell (2012) the emergence of gang activity can be seen through three phases. The first phase occurred as three elements developed in New York. These elements can be described as “(1) social disorganization in slum areas, (2) the establishment of green grocery stores, and (3) the involvement of politicians in street gangs” (Howell, 2012, p. 4). As social disorganization emerged, the need for control and support developed a need for the emergence of leaders who could help those they considered a part of their social group to succeed. Establishing access to good food, shelter, and economic support so that the members of the groups could find stability is at the core of the development of the early gangs. Early gangs were defined by ethnic origins, the Irish having some of the development of the first gangs in New York. The second phase can be seen as this type of organization of social groups expanded, the Chinese, as an example, developing highly organized gangs in Chinatown in the late 19th century. The 1930s saw the emergence of Hispanic groups who formed gangs in order to assist in survival. By the 1940s there was a development of rivalry between Italian American, African American and Puerto Rican heritage gangs in Harlem, leading to riots and unrest. Gangs were beginning to more routinely target younger members, using the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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