Transition Into Gang Culture

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Analysis of Juveniles’ Transition into the Gang Culture Slivers of light barrage into your room, cut only by the bars on your window: security. When you lay your head down on the pillow at night and you count nearby gunshots instead of sheep to help you fall asleep; you know your safe because of these bars, but what happens when the sun rises again and you are left to leave the comfortability of those walls? Your walk to school could mean the end if you take one wrong turn or talk to one wrong person. You quickly make your way to school every day while avoiding any unfamiliar routes and faces, but what happens when those routes are now someone else’s “turf” and you find yourself in the exact situation you have dreaded. You are no longer left…show more content…
It causes one to question what the next move is for these juveniles. When put into this situation, many juveniles turn to the men and women who they know will give them the security they need: gangs. While many would argue that this is not the first avenue for security they would take, it is noted that these youths grow up in communities where the subcultures are vastly different than that of other communities. For example, the police may not be seen as protectors of the neighborhood, rather an arm of the government that wishes to oppress. Many would agree that the social disorganization theory gives a better understanding as to why juveniles transition into gangs. The social disorganization theory suggests that youths turn to delinquency based on the community that they live in. Thus, if a community is primarily known to generally participate in criminal behavior, the youth will not have a strong, structured community to…show more content…
For example, between 1975 and 2000 the number of gangs in the United States rose from 4,481 to 30,818. One can find that gangs are no longer retained to the early gang cities such as Los Angeles, Chicago, and New York, rather gangs can be found in almost every state in the country in multiple, larger, metropolitan areas. However, there are still instances of gang affiliation in many rural areas as well. The reason for these transitions is not known for certain, though, one can make the inference that many of these gangs have relocated in an effort to expand their reach with drug distribution across the country. Additionally, these gangs bring with them “cultural carriers”, which are individuals that relocate whom bring prior gang experiences with them. While this is a growing epidemic in the United States, what does this have to do with juveniles that join gangs? This development and migration of gangs allows an ample amount of opportunities for youth to join these gangs. Typically, youth will not go to the gangs, rather the gangs will come to them. Many see this issue of juveniles joining gangs as a very severe issue that needs to be addressed especially because of the malleability of youths’ minds (McShane & Williams,
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