The Roles In Society: The Many Causes Of Gangs

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The media has fed myself and others lies about what gangs truly are and what their purpose is. The overarching theme of gangs is that they are dangerous, full of thugs, blood-thirsty, and out to cause trouble. The truth is that they are more complicated than what society and the media has often made them out to be. There are multiple factors that go into making a gang what it is including why they form, the environment that their society and culture create for them, the structure and laws they enforce within the group, and the harsh reality of how difficult it is to leave. The first lie I was told about gangs is that they are formed with an intent to cause harm to others and to create a dangerous environment. While these situations seem to be prevalent among gangs, it is not their goal to create such an environment. Gangs are generally composed of African-American men living in impoverished neighborhoods who are seeking some sense of stability and support in their lives. The reason they turn towards gangs and gang behavior for this support is that they are “...trapped in a political and economic system that oppresses them” in the United States and not simply joining out of delinquency (Keiser 2007:74). These men, usually quite young, see their community struggle to support itself, watch people rotate in and out of prisons, and understand the struggle they will face in such an oppressive society that they are destined to fight back against. This type of background brings a

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