why youth join gangs

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Since the dawn of time, gangs have dominated the streets. Ideally, gangs are still synonymous with brutality because of the competition for dominance over other gangs that might attempt to dethrone them, which has always culminated in the loss of lives. Young children who were meant to live a long life and follow their dreams end up dying in a lake of blood. Any of the reasons that most young people form gangs come from various sources.
Understanding the reasons that young people join gangs gives them a greater chance of reducing the number of young people who wind up in gangs. This will eventually reduce the death toll cases associated with gangs.

II Literature Review

The Gang Power Mentality

Gangs are associated with power, money and kingdoms. From drug cartels to money laundering kingpins, they all revolve around gangs that provide security and power to them. Lead gang members are responsible for recruiting new members to the pack and taking orders from above when to carry out an operation. Due to money and power in most of the biggest gangs, new youths who are usually peasants in the neighbourhoods can’t resist the offer but to join these gangs that terrorize our peace. The gang power mentality works in a way such that gang members believe that there is power and strength in many. The larger a gang, the more powerful it is and the smaller a gang, the least powerful it is. Gangs are usually identified with graffiti, symbols, colours, hand signs etc. Presumably, gangs usually use violence when recruiting new members, and violence is often used as a means of controlling members. In addition, female gang members can be sexually victimized by the male gang members in their gangs. Cases like this can be hardly reported to the public.

Gangs and Crime

Gangs are usually associated with crimes such as theft, car theft, burglary and robbery with violence. From research, it is notable that the gang members reported criminal activities even before joining gangs. It is therefore not clear if gangs are the major reasons for criminal activities or it is the individual mind of a person that is criminally oriented.

Reasons why youths join gangs

Youths end up joining gangs due to different reasons but most of the reasons are usually related. They are:

Community Chaos- Youths that usually live in a neighbourhood that is usually associated with violence are influenced by the chaos that they experience. Poverty and use of drugs in the community usually attract the youth into starting using them. Due to lack of safety in the neighbourhood, youths tend to seek refuge in gangs that b promise to give them security.

Poor performance in school- Truant youths who are academically poor will likely join gangs where they will be appreciated more by the gang members. It is usually the case for academically poor kids to be viewed negatively by their educators. However, they will usually feel more accepted in gangs and this will make them join gangs.

Peer Pressure- peer pressure is usually the main influence in everything good or bad. Youths who end up joining gangs usually grow an interest in being a gang member when his/her friend tells them about the life that they experience in being a gang.

Family conditions- Most of the youths who are born in a poor unstable family associated with violence usually end up joining gangs where they can be able to gain money and basic needs that they could not have gained in their families.

A sense of family-Most of the young people usually feel like they are left out in their homes and not given the attention they desire. This makes them join the gangs that act as a family to them.

To appear cool- Most of the gangs portray a fashionable image that most youths desire. They drive fast cars and always have the latest fashion trends. Some of the youth will die for this thus join the gangs.

Excitement derived from defying the law and participating in activities that are against the law is fun to some of the youth.

Lack of employment opportunities for the youth- When a government is not able to provide enough employment opportunities for the youth, they usually end up having nothing to do and start forming groups that can eventually lead them to join gangs.

Reconciling Discrepancies

One of the major conflicts here is why do these youths join gangs. The answer to this is usually based on the person joining the gang. However, this might not be the case as reported in one of the studies carried out. A gang member in one of the gangs admittedly agreed that his decision to join a gang was influenced by his family. Joining gangs may not be majorly based on violence acts. Gang members have reported being living with parents or stepparents who were alcoholics, abusive (sexual, physical, and emotional), chronic drug-users or involved in illegal activities.

Relevant Theory

A theory on gangs can be divided into 2 parts namely, psychological and criminological. Psychological usually explain the vulnerability that causes youth to join gangs while the criminological focuses on the criminal side. Both of these theories have been explained above according to the reasons youths join gangs. The reason is either criminological or psychologic


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