Robert, (2003) has outlined that gang is a group of people associated with criminal behaviors and actions, their aims may be achieving a common or different purposes. In today’s communities, there are a number of gangs and they are classified into different categories which are listed bellow. The first one is the local traditional gangs, they are the gangs that are deeply rooted in the local traditions and are also known as the hardcore gangs.
They are usually made up of a large group of people, the age limit is never considered in this category. Another group of gang is known as the non-traditional association, it is only made up of new members who have never joined any group or rather association. Features of this type of gang are, the members of the gang may not be dedicated towards achieving a common task, in that some members may be up to power and others may be up to protection from exploitation.
Therefore the organization is not tight as compared to the local traditional associations. The last grouping of gangs is the entrepreneur gangs the main need here is to get money through actions and activities that are against the law, they may include drag trafficking, involving in robbery and other illegal actions like prostitution, child trafficking and poaching (Michael, 2000).
The common gangs found in the communities.
Usually the most common gangs in the communities, for example, Los Angeles developed around the year 1970s. During this time the gangs were formed by the black men alone, however, today the gangs comprise of men and women from all over the world. People from every races and social groups are today forming part of the gangs that are found around the world. In the United States, there have been many gangster groupings which include the Vice Lords, the Surenos and the Black Gangster Association.
Another category of gangs currently coming up in the United States is the one which is referred to as the White Supremacists. Them they are not encouraged by poverty like in the case of the Black Gangsters, however their main problem is based on hate crimes and dirty politics. The white gangs basically believe on racism and crimes that are related to racism. They discriminate and intimidate different races in order to take care of their fellow Whites. Their main target is to terrorize other races who are migrating to the United States. They also restrict people from intermarrying different races, as in they are trying to eliminate crossbreeding because it neutralise’s the native Whites with other races which should not be the case.
An example of such gangs is the neo-Nazi, the main target of this group is to prevent the cultural minorities from taking over the American Community. Therefore the group feels like it is entitled to preserve and conserve their culture through approaches like violence, practicing hate crimes and discriminating the minorities’ communities (Howell, 2006).
How people become members of gang
In order to successful become a member of a gang, one needs to have passed a number of tests, like having fought other gang partners from the gang. Permanent members of a gang are always dedicated to their duties by ensuring that they revenge against their opponents who may try to harm or confront them. Actually before a member is sworn into the gang they are usually give a couple of test to decide whether they can manage the difficult situations that gangsters are faced with. The lucky ones who pass these tests are taken as either permanent members or if they like they can renew their contracts with the gang management. These tests may include performing a specific crime such as robbery, murdering someone and many other forms of crimes.
Ways to get youths and other members of gangs out of that group are, being unable to reach the targeted goals of the gang. In that failure to meet the test expectations may lead to the expulsion of a member from the group. One’s expectations in life and future dreams may also lead to someone’s’ resignation from the group, in that a person may decide to change his or her attitude towards races, and the minority communities. However, sometimes it may appear difficult for someone to come out of the gang or groups, since the oaths and sacrifices that are taken are sometimes irreversible. Hence members are forced to remain in the groups for as long as the had agreed with the directors and managers of those gangs (Shelden, 2000).
Problems that lead to the formation of these groups.
According to Irving, (2008) the main reasons why young people join these groups are basically due to lack of money or occupation. It has been noted that many youths and adults who are jobless usually join some alliances which are meant to carry out bad actions. They get into these groups to be able to meet their life expectations and to be able to avoid being overwhelmed with their problems such as lack of basic needs, issues associated with high living standard that they can not afford. Another problem that these people face is the effects of drugs which are harmful to their lives. The influence of drugs can make a person change his or her personality, drugs usually make the abusers feel so high that at some moment they cannot even afford to control themselves.
Also the influence of drug can make someone become partially blind in that, while someone is under the influence of drug they cannot realize that they are committing a crime until that time she or he will be sober. When a person seeks recognition from fellow peers or age group. He or she may be motivated by the actions of gangster just to be recognized. For example hardcore criminals may do anything including risking their live just to be recognized as a hero. That’s why, they never mind dying, but rather leave a record of heroes. Greed and power sometimes may make a person become a member of a gang. Most politicians chose to form illegal groups that they use as tools to attack their opponents. Others refer to these gangs as measures for protection, in that they use those gangs to protect their communities from being attacked by other external communities. Also during political campaigns these groups can be used to pressurize the public to vote for a particular candidate. Those who fail to obey these orders are usually beaten up or murdered (Cathy, 2003).
Sense of belong in a community, can also motivate someone to join an illegal group. People who feel neglected or worthless may chose to join these groups, so that they do not feel left out again. Some are also motivated by the image of the gangsters that already exist, they seem to be attracted by the ways of lives and behaviors of these groups. As in, tattoos that are on their bodies are always attractive and admirable. Their body images are also admirable, that is they usually look healthy and well build up.
Codes and norms of a community sometimes influence the behavior of a person. In that when rules of a certain community demand that a certain age group should join illegal groups there is nothing that can be done to change those rules. Instead people will be forced to follow and obey those rules the way they appear. When there is loss of direction in a community, youths and teenagers too always loose direction. The result of this, is the involvement in illegal activities by youths who may choose to abuse drugs, participate in robbery activities, and get into prostitution in order to make money (Spergel, 2007).
Those who are at high risks of becoming members of gangs are advised to refrain from activities that are suggestive. Such as, tattooing their bodies, socializing with people who are suspected to be members of a gang. Avoid drawing of gang arts on the walls at school or at home, people should also avoid problems in institutions or at home. Parents are advised to treat their children with a lot of care and good parental skills. Youths should also be educated on the bad effects of gangs and how they can avoid involving in negative activities (Henry, 2005).
Cathy, J., (2003). Effects of Gangs. London, Oxford.
Henry, M., (2005). Reducing Youth Gang Violence. Cambridge, University of Cambridge press.
Howell, A., (2006). Kinds of Gangs. Los Angeles, Macmillan.
Irving, A., (2008). What You need to know. California, Longhorn.
Michael, C., (2000). Types of Gangs. Harvard, Harvard University Press.
Shelden, T., (2000). Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice. New York, Oxford.
Spergel, B., (2007). Social Science. Chicago, Macmillan.
Robert, P., (2003). Groups of Gangs. Sydney, Macmillan.