Influence of Gangs

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By: Susanna Lee
E-mail: lees@student.ucr.edu

Gang Culture has increasingly become a subculture for many teenage youths. Main minority teens, these social outcast are often have no real economic stability and no parental supervision or guidance. As a result, teenagers often rebel and seek comfort in gangs. These gangs provide what is lacking in their lives, a sense of belonging. Minorities are often stereotyped and criticized, especially minorities born into poverty. They are condemned simply because they are not of the same race or of the same class as the majority (often middle class whites). Before these minorities can even prove themselves equal, society already pushes them towards the subculture that has risen out of oppression and rebellion. Gang culture reinforces, and in some cases challenges, the social norms of economic class. Minority gangs typically come from the inner city. Society often blames the inner city teenager for giving into these gangs but still do nothing to help prevent it. Many people fail to realize the difficulty in living in the ghettos. White suburban kids do not have to avoid certain streets just to avoid confrontation. White suburban kids do not have to live with the constant violence on the streets. White suburban kids do not have to worry about drive-by shootings. With so much violence in inner cities, one can only expect teenagers to be easily misguided. Many inner city kids are able to avoid the gang life, however, there are still the others that have succumbed to the lifestyle. With the violence, peer pressure, and the need to fit in, it is not surprising that many troubled teenagers find comfort in gangs. Gangs offer them protection, Friendship, and a sense of belonging. Society often looks at lower-class minority teenager as low-class street hoodlums. Gangs only help reinforce this stereotype. As teenagers growing up, they do not have the nice sports cars of the nice clothes to show off as many other middle, upper-class...
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