Gangs And Social Control Theory

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Gang, a word carrying great fear, with no exact or universal definition, that carries similar visuals throughout the nation. The federal definition of the word “gang”, is an association of 3 or more persons that identify as a group and use a collective identity, such as tattoos, colors, symbols or personal styles, which create an aura of fear, with a purpose to engage in violent criminal activities. Membership guidelines & amenities vary by gang, but often they include: protection from other gangs and the general public, control of certain areas, defense of shared rival’s interest, and have a distinct structure. These gangs often meet on a regular basis to engage in criminal activity such as drug trafficking, terrorism, and organized crime(NIJ,…show more content…
The better performance in school, and the disregard for one’s peers’ delinquency, also points toward a more law abiding citizen. Gang members do not have healthy relationships with other gang members, nor do gangs discriminate based upon social class, and while delinquency is discouraged in all societies, the lack of social bonds within these societies fuel gang membership. The social control theory may explain why the MS-13 gang is so powerful, because most often these members are detached from their families, have low education levels, and have no regard for conformity. The lack of attachment to positive role models and discipline, results in an individual that can have poor intellectual and social abilities, not caring about the expectations of others or society, the perfect candidate for an MS-13 gang member. Effective methods of social control must involve the fear of punishment. These gang members do not fear punishment as most are deported to wreak their violent havoc back home, and gain greater power over local and national societies, while avoiding prosecution. The adaptation of this gang to the inter-workings of law enforcement allows the proliferation and constant societal fear to continue indefinitely. The MS-13 gang members will collectively…show more content…
Social theory implies that attachment, commitment, involvement and belief, have strong correlations when it comes to crime. Hirschi states “The person who is attached to conventional people is, for example, more likely to be involved in conventional activities and to accept conventional notions of desirable conduct(Beirne, pg 151). The lack of the gang member’s individual ties to conventional people and norms, the less likely he/she is to be involved in conventional actions. The gang member’s lack of involvement in conventional society’s activities and conducts is replaced by the involvement in a non-conventional society of crime and violence, creating generations of MS-13 conformists, and a continued societal fear throughout North and Central
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