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Upsurge in Gang Recruitment among Children - Research Paper Example

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Studies have identified various reasons ranging from poor economic background, social insecurity, poor education, to biological predisposition, low cognitive capacity, and many other reasons that lead to joining gangs…
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Upsurge in Gang Recruitment among Children
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Upsurge in Gang Recruitment among Children Studies have identified various reasons ranging from poor economic background, social insecurity, poor education, to biological predisposition, low cognitive capacity, and many other reasons that lead to joining gangs. According to Greer, there are various reasons why people decide to join a gang; some join ‘to replace a need that is not being fulfilled’ (n.p). For some others, the reason is a mutual hatred of another sect of society. Some people consider it as a way to gain companionship. However, when it comes to children, the issue becomes more complex. Today, most teachers and parents do not realize the fact that teenagers are widely recruited into gangs. In fact, today gangs are active in small cities and even in villages. This paper will explore to what extent different factors, such as rap music, single parenting, and improper family background, play a prominent role in leading children to gangs and syndicated crimes. Rap music is widely criticized as the principal element that attracts teens to gangs and crimes. Teenagers and youth like rap music because of its quick wording and abruptness, though they do not understand the actual meaning of what the band whispers. In fact, the meaning it contains is often extremely negative and misleading. Their wordings sometimes relate to destructive themes and antisocial or destructive behavior. The impression rap music gives to the public is not appreciable. It does not sound that teenagers receive good direction from it. In all aspects, it misleads the youth. To illustrate, the style, costumes, and vulgar hip hop dance of the rap musicians and bands are highly influential and delude the youth and children. The performers of rap music gain the image of heroes in the minds of teenagers. Even the costumes of the performers resemble those of gangsters and the drug addicts. Teenagers influenced by rap performers try to imitate them closely and start using marijuana and other drugs the names of which sometimes are engraved and depicted on their costumes and musical instruments. Studies made by the American Journal for Public Health reveal that the teens who are being exposed to rap music are more likely to have criminal instincts and antisocial behavior. By closely imitating the protagonists of performances, teens falsely believe that they have absorbed the images of heroes. The studies of Wass, Miller, and Stevenson (qtd. in King et al) found out the fact that teenagers who regularly watch rap music and other performances tend to commit homicide, suicide, and satanic practices. Children who are not adequately taken care of by parents feel that the rap music proclaims their own stories. Therefore, they become fascinated by the stories and music of the streets. Children who do not receive proper care or are brought up by a single parent usually have a feeling that their parents talk at them rather than to them. According to the findings of Wass, Miller, and Stevenson, this conviction makes them relate to a particular genre of music, which has been dictated and performed by people who were raised by only one parent. Only when parents associate with their teens, they feel complete and begin to open up more to their parents. Children join gangs due to the delusion that they can become richer soon. Knowing this desire of the teens, the recruiters offer them drugs and money and present the gang life to them as fascinating. Those children who are not from well-to-do families easily fall for those false promises. The truth is that the manipulators behind the gangs become rich and the gang members receive commissions and remuneration for the services done by them. By the time the ordinary members realize the fact, gang life brings them nothing except denigration and defamation in the society. In some cases, teens turn to violence and gangs due to the lack of care and parental affection. Parents forget their children due to their busy and mechanic office life. The disillusioned children, when a gang offers them ‘love, care, and cohesiveness of a family’, fail to identify the disguised treachery in it (“Parents are the First Lines of Defense.”). Such instances are many in families where children are brought up by a single parent. In total, rap music is a source of negative influences on children. Admittedly, there are a number of musicians and performers who write positive lyrics aiming at bringing about some positive changes in the society. Similarly, the onus of bringing up one’s own children properly must be placed on the parents, because only parents can discern even the slightest changes in the behavior of their children. For the proper development and formation of children, they must be given care, affection, and apt family environment. However, the influence of the aspects discussed above, namely the rap music and single parenting, cannot be undermined in regard to the likelihood of children being recruited by gangs. Works Cited King, Samantha, et al. “Effects of Rap and Heavy Metal Music Lyrics on Adolescent Behavior”. Missouriwestern.edu. 2009. Web. 5 July 2012. Geer, Andy. J. Negotiating With Pre-Terrorists: Police Tactics with Gangs Applied to Current Operations in Iraq. Masters’ thesis. Maxwell Air Force Base, April 2008. Parents are the First Lines of Defense in Combating the Gang Problem”. Robert Walker’s Gang or Us. 6 May 2012. Web. 5 July 2012. Read More
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