The American street gang was always seen as a unique entity despite how it had changed over time, despite the differences of where it is located and even despite the difference in its substructure (Klein 3). This paper would discuss the unique and general nature of an American street gang. It would discuss the motorcycle gang, Hell’s Angels and how they characterized the unique nature of an American gang. It would also consider the dangerous tendencies of juvenile delinquents in fueling the growth of the American street gang member population.
Gangs never just developed as an accident. Society had inadvertently produced them in such a manner that the only approach to defeating it a social problem would be the confrontation of society’s location with them (Klein 3). In reality, doing this meant having to confront the relationship to street gangs to come face to face with the understanding of our own selves.
Street gangs proliferated around the world. Over the years, gangs had turned global. Much of the credit to this was because of the Internet and how the gang culture had spread online. There were two dominant images of street gangs that dominated the popular consciousness. There were those that were perceived as drug-dealing thugs and the newest form were seen as terrorist organizations (Papachristos 48).
The media had always linked gangs and drugs, even when only small portions of them actually do so (Papachristos 48). An estimate of 34 percent of the gangs in the United States were involved in organized dealing, according to the National Youth Gang Center (NYGC). Although the media like to link gangs and drugs, only a small portion of all gangs actually deal in them. Fewer do so in an organized fashion. The National Youth Gang Center (NYGC) estimates that 34 percent of all U.S. gangs are actively involved in organized drug dealing. However, these gangs that sold drugs were seen to fill the void in the postindustrial urban economy as they replaced manufacturing and unskilled labor jobs that once served as immigrants’ means for social mobility (Papachristos 48). Nature of Street Gangs
The street gangs were always related to insurgency and violence problems. Gang-generated crime was explained to be linked to serious insurgency problems and threats to national security (Manwaring 2). Even if gangs and insurgents had different motives as well as modes of operations, street gangs were still seen to be a mutated form of urban insurgency. The common denominator was seen with how gangs and insurgents in how they depose or control the government.
Gangs were seen to contribute to myriad destabilizers. The causes were listed to be due to increasing poverty, human starvation, widespread disease and a lack of political and socio-economic justice in the country (Manwaring 5). Consequences were reflected in different forms such as social violence, criminal anarchy, refugee flow, illegal drug trafficking, organized crime, and the like.
In the past, the street gang situation were seen to be disorganized and without leadership and resources. However, times had changed. Gangs of today had become more goal-oriented, well-equipped with weapons, vehicles, electronic gadgetry and more than sufficient budgets (Klein 86). Gangs, in the present time, had become major business operations that were usually seen involved with merchandising, franchising retail and wholesale sales as well as market expansion. Commonly, their products involved illicit drugs and rock cocaine was usually the flagship of their life (Klein 86).
According to theorists Short and Strodtbeck on gangs, violent gangs were consisted of socially unskilled youth who were not able to cope with the society around them (Hamm 96). Gang leaders were also theorized to have the power to dictate different levels of organized violence against others (Hamm 96).
Gang membership was also related to a trajectory with real behavioral consequences (Thornberry et...