Gangs vs Cults

Topics: Gang, Crime, Criminology Pages: 2 (717 words) Published: December 5, 2010
Gangs and Cults

Introduction to Sociology
Gangs and Cults

Gangs and cults at first glance may seem very different, and in some ways they are, but when you look closer their cultures are very similar. Cults promote a particular belief system, recruiting members by tricking them or influencing them to believe what they are teaching or telling them. Gangs pretty much do the same thing. They create glorified myths about the gang that appeal to young recruits, and far too often these myths become the foundation for young aspirations. Gangs differ from cults by promising things like money, sex, power, and materialistic things to their members. In the following essay I will show how the two groups have similar and different cultures when it comes to the use of symbols, behaviors, and language. Symbols are a very important part of the gang culture. Signs and symbols are used to identify a certain gang or to intimidate and disrespect rival gangs. There are times when they are used to identify a group of gangs, referred to as a “nation”. Gang members use tattoos, graffiti, and a particular color of clothing to show who they are affiliated with. Cults use symbols to identify different religious beliefs. Some examples of these signs or symbols are as follows; the inverted pentagram is used in witchcraft and occult rituals to conjure up evil spirits, the hexagram is one of the most potent symbols used in the working of the powers of darkness, and the upside down cross symbolizes mockery and rejection of Christ. Symbols are used in very different ways in the two cultures. Gangs represent their set very proudly and openly displaying who they are affiliated with, while cults mostly display their symbols through jewelry. Slang is the unique language used by the street gangs and prison gangs in America. Gangs have created a language of their own. Some of the words and symbols have a universal use and meaning, while others have an ethnic, cultural, or regional meaning. A...
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