Social Issue: Gang Mentality
America has always had gangsters, the mafia, and numerous other crime organizations. But now it has gone to another level. Nowadays young Americans are flocking to join street gangs. These street gangs are a way of life, both mental and physical. With so many youths feeling like they need to be a part of something, gangbanging just comes natural. People join gangs for four primary reasons: poverty, peer pressure, boredom, and despair. Poverty causes a gang mentality because there is a desperate need to make money. When there is a lack of money people have a tendency to lean towards crime. The theory is that it is better to do crime as a group rather than as an individual. The odds of a group getting away with illegal activities are much better than one person doing it by themselves. Peer pressure makes gangs a problem also. If gangs are present in a person’s neighborhood or there is a strong gang presence at their school, they feel it is a safety measure to be a part of the gang. Usually teenagers are the targets of gangs because they are very easy to influence. It is easier for teenagers to follow the crowd, so peer pressure is the driving force behind joining a gang. Boredom always plays a major role in gangbanging also. Without something to occupy their time, joining a gang provides an outlet. Despair, the last primary reason for joining a gang, comes from feeling life is hopeless. Many youths were raised in poverty and with parents that are drug addicts, so they see the gangs as their family members. They actually feel that the gang is the only family that they really have. Drug use plays a major role in gangs and provides profits to gang members. There are three major types of gangs that are in existence now. There are ethnic gangs, turf gangs, and prison gangs. Ethnic gangs are built on race or ethnicity. Some ethnic gangs are created for racial hatred. Turf gangs are defined by the territory that they control....
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