Gang Culture (Short)

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Gang membership is on the rise nationwide. Why are we seeing an increase? Several reasons - 1. Identity - Kids join to be a part of something. To be known as a Crip or a Blood offers identity. 2. Recognition - Acknowledgment for 'accomplishments' that they do not receive at home. This recognition builds gangbangers' "juice" or rep within the gang. 3. Discipline - The gang, after being 'jumped in', becomes the child's surrogate family. The gang offers specific rules and pecking orders not received in the home. 4. Love - Could be stated as tough love. Instant Family, willing to defend and protect as well as punish. Once in a gang it is almost impossible to get out, if not suicidal. 5. Money - Was added in the early '80s when Crack came on the scene. Material wealth that would be unattainable if not participating in gang activity. Media is also responsible for the increase in gang participation. Many movies and music glamorize gang lifestyles, enthralling children with thoughts of easy money and the excitement of a being a gangsta. Feelings of fear, racism, hatred, poverty, disenfranchisement, and lack of social values also contribute to joining gangs. Once in the gang a member must follow specific rules and orders set by the 'shot callers' or leaders of the gang. The three most important aspects of gang activity are Reputation, Respect, and Retaliation. Rep is for individuals and the gang in general. Rank in a gang is created by your 'juice' or rep, your experience and criminal activities. Respect is not only for an individual or 'set' (gang) but also for one's territory. Disrespect (dis) is commonplace for rival gangs and almost mandatory for some gangbangers to dis their rivals. Retaliation or revenge is caused by the Dis. No dis goes unanswered or you become 'soft' and lose rank. This is the premise for many drive-by shootings, as well as territory wars. Gang culture is evident nationwide by the Tag (graffiti) gangbangers use to claim territory and to...
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