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Gangs

Essay by   •  November 5, 2010  •  1,457 Words (6 Pages)  •  1,315 Views

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Gangs are a violent reality that people have to deal with in today's cities. What has made these groups come about? Why do kids feel that being in a gang is both an acceptable and major way to live? The long range answer to these questions can only be seen upon, but in short, the answers are much easier to find. On the surface, gangs are a direct result of human beings' personal wants and peer pressure. To determine how to successfully end gang violence we must find the way that these morals are given to the individual unfortunately, these can only be guessed. However, by looking at the way humans are influenced in society, I believe there is good evidence to point the blame at several institutions. These include the forces of the media, the government, theater, drugs and our economic system.

On the surface, gangs are caused by peer pressure and greed. Many teens in gangs will pressure peers into becoming part of a gang by making it all sound exciting. Money is also a crucial factor. A kid (a 6-10 year old, who is not yet a member) is shown that he or she could make $200 to $400 for small part time gang jobs. Although these are important factors they are not strong enough to make kids do things that are strongly against their morals.

One of the ways that kid's morals are bent so that gang violence becomes more acceptable is the influence of television and movies. The average child spends more time at a TV than she/he spends in a classroom. Since nobody can completely turn off their minds, kids must be learning something while watching the TV. Very few hours of television watched by children are educational, so other ideas are being absorbed during this period of time. Many shows on television today are extremely violent and are often shown this from a gang's viewpoint. A normal adult can see that this is showing how foul gangs really live. On the other hand, to a child this gives an image of a violent gang existence as acceptable. 'The Ends Justifies the Means' mentality is also taught through many shows where the "goody guy" captures the "bad guy" through violence and is then being commended. A young child sees this as perfectly acceptable because he knows that the "bad guy" was wrong but has no idea of what acceptable capture techniques are.

Gore in television also takes a big part in influencing young minds. Children see gory scenes and are fascinated by these things that they have not seen before. Older viewers see gore and are not concerned with the blood but rather with the pain the victim must feel. A younger mind doesn't make this connection. Thus a gore fascination is formed, and has been seen in several of my peers. Unfortunately kids that are raised with this sort of television end up growing up with a stronger tendency to become a violent gang member or 'violent-acceptant' person.

So, as you can see if TV leads a child to believe that violence is normal this will create itself in the actions of the child quite, often in a gang situation. This is especially the case when parents don't spend a lot of time with their kids at the TV explaining what is right and what is wrong. Quite often newer books and some types of music will enforce this type of thought and ideas.

Once this mentality is taken in by youngsters they become more and more likely to being easily pushed into a gang situation by any problem at home or elsewhere. For instance, in poor families with many children or upper-middle class families where parents are always working, the children will often feel deprived of love. Parents can often feel that putting food on the table is enough love. Children of these families may often go to the gang firstly out of boredom and to belong somewhere. As time goes on, a form of love or kinship develops between the gang members and the child. It is then that the bond between the kid and the gang is completed because the gang has effectively taken the place of the family.

The new anti social structure of cities also affects the ease in which a boy/girl can join a gang.

"The formation of gangs in cities, and most recently in suburbs, is facilitated by the same lack of community among parents. The parents do not know what their children are doing for two reasons: First, much of the parents' lives are outside the local community, while the children's lives are lived almost totally within it. Second, in a fully developed community, the network of relations gives every parent, in a sense, a community of friends and family who can keep him informed of his child's activities."

In male gangs problems occur as each of the members try to be the bravest. This often leads to all members participating in "one-up-manship". Quite often this will then lead to each member trying to commit a bigger

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