Female Juvenile Gangs

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The topic that is going to be discussed is ‘Apply the functionalist point of view to the phenomenon of female juvenile gangs in Hong Kong and evaluate its explanation’. In Hong Kong, female gangsters occupy a very small proportion of gang population, only 6% in 2001. However, the number of girl gangsters has an increasing trend that rises to 15% in 2005. Girls are also involved in gang activities more actively than before. There are three main parts in this paper. The first part focuses on the definitions of ‘functionalist point of view’ and ‘female juvenile gangs’. Features of girl gangsters like backgrounds, motives of joining gangs and activities in gangs are stated in the second part, with the comparison of other gang members’ features, that is, boy gangsters’ features. Finally, functionalist point of view will be applied to evaluate differences of those features between girl and boy gangsters and to show that female gangs are a diversified group with different motives and deviant behaviour. Functionalist point of view includes Durkheim’s structural functionalism and Merton’s anomie theory. This paper will use anomie theory to explain the phenomenon of female juvenile gangs exclusively. Anomie refers to the situation of normlessness which is the inability to maintain the shared values and norms on individuals. It also means there is an acute disjunction between cultural structures and social structures. Cultural structures refer to the organized set of normative values that govern our behaviour and provide cultural goals to the most members of a designated society, while social structures mean providing institutional norms to regulate the acceptable mode of reaching these goals. As for female juvenile gangs, female is defined as girls who are below the age of 21 and members of gangs. Gangs refer to having stable groupings and regular gatherings, performing deviant behaviour or even illegal activities, and being affiliated with triad sub-culture or triad...
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