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Another Look At Teenagers And Gang

Updated on November 10, 2016

Teenagers in single parent homes are more likely to join a gang than their counterparts. Single head of household frequently work two jobs or at night and are not there to provide supervision, consistent family support and encouragement that are essential to teenagers and their ultimate status as productive citizens. Consequently, when outsiders, in gang form, conspicuously offer the safety and support within the community teenagers unwittingly join the gang.

Trapped With No Way Out

At first, the gang membership offers a promising environment of fun and excitement; however, when the gang leader places a demand on the teenage member to honor the membership with illegal conduct, the gang status loses its appeal. When the full ramification of joining a gang takes hold, the naïve teenager eagerly seeks to fall back into the restrictions and protection of his family but walking away from such a hostile group is rarely an option and at times the only way out is prison or death.

Joined By Others

These trapped young adults reluctantly accepting the inevitability of permanent gang membership are later encouraged to recruit their peers into the gang and frequently do so by appealing to their peers' similar social aspiration. The existing member hipe up the gang fellowship, the benefits of being able to do what one wants, not having to answer to adult authorities and the sometime quick cash associated with the lawless behavior. The false picture of entertainment and excitement captures the attention of the newly recruited teen, with similar single-family background of very little supervision or minimal family association. When these teenagers become gang members, they learn a new way of life, they develop hostile behavior and social skills that do not necessary comply with their community or society.

At The Mercy Of Bad People

When parents are not there to monitor their children, these offspring will cultivate harmful relationships, they will participate in unproductive behavior and engage in outright anti-social activities. Parents who do not monitor their children make them vulnerable and expose them to the unsavory whelms of individuals and groups. These teenagers now have the potential of becoming members of an illegal group of individuals who control the neighborhood with fear and intimidation. Citizens are hostages of the greed and hatred of this small gang of people who manage to gain control of their kids.

Who Makes Up A Gang?

The gang as a unit is violent, materialistic and competitive as it seeks to control territories within a community. Some of these groups evolved from a negligent and disinterest society. The members are usually poor disenfranchised individuals seeking to whittle out a future in a world that chooses to ignore their rights, respect their productivity or their pursuit of happiness.

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CC by Flickr | Source

Their Past

Historically gangs began as a social rebellion against colonial law. The Sons of Liberty, individuals of the Boston Tea Party prior to the Revolutionary War, joined to express discontent and planned ways of overcoming the rule. In the 19th and 20th Century the nature of the group changed from a desire to correct social injustice to a desire to disrupt the social elite by committing “petty crimes” and due to the nature of these crimes were labelled “street gangs”. These street gangs banded together based on nationality, culture or location. It was a group of more than three people, who planned criminal acts to accomplish their mission of materialist gain and conquest. One group might band together to just have fun and cause social mayhem. Another gang might look to destroy property to accomplish their goal of money and power. The third gang might be a violent group that do and sell drugs to gain wealth and power via “predatory” acts of violence and coercion.

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CC by Flickr | Source

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Present Day Gangs

After the 20th Century, gangs were no longer limited to their neighborhoods; they have branched out to different areas within their state as well as expanded to other states. The FBI reported that there were close to 665,000 gang members nationally. These gangs evolved into violent groups of individuals bent on controlling as many areas within and outside their community. What this meant is that gang members were declaring war on each other in the hopes of retaining territorial control.

CC Flickr
CC Flickr | Source

The Return Of Gangs

If you were to ask anyone if gangs still exist, their reflective response would be no. However, according to the FBI gangs exist in the same communities of the recent past. Their actions criminal or otherwise are no longer news worthy, so their existence fall under the radar of public interest. In fact, due to better educational and economical opportunities gangs disbanded little less than a century ago. Of course, the dissolving of gangs is not as simple as development of opportunities, the involvement of the church, non-profit organization, ex-gang members and many more helped in the dismantling of these groups. Reports by the FBI indicate that gangs are reemerging because of the killing of innocent young black boys.

When members of a society feel alienated and repeatedly oppressed, their reflex response will be to lash out at the people or groups initiating the mistreatment and teenagers from single-family homes are the usual victims. What does it say for a society that produces deleterious groups?


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