gangs





Gangs in Today\'s Cities Gangs are a violent reality that people have to deal with in today\'scities. What has made these groups come about? Why do kids feel that beingin a gang is both an acceptable and prestigious way to live? The long range answer to these questions can only be speculated upon, but in theshort term the answers are much easier to find. On the surface, gangs area direct result of human beings\' personal wants and peer pressure. Todetermine how to effectively end gang violence we must find the way thatthese morals are given to the individual. Unfortunately, these can only behypothesized. However, by looking at the way humans are influenced insociety, I believe there is good evidence to point the blame at severalinstitutions. These include the forces of the media, the government,theatre, drugs and our economic system. On the surface, gangs are caused by peer pressure and greed. Manyteens in gangs will pressure peers into becoming part of a gang by makingit all sound glamorous. Money is also an crucial factor. A kid (a 6-10year old, who is not yet a member) is shown that s/he could make $200 to$400 for small part time gang jobs. Although these are important factorsthey are not strong enough to make kids do things that are strongly againsttheir morals. One of the ways that kids morals are bent so that gang violence becomesmore acceptable is the influence of television and movies. The averagechild spends more time at a TV than she/he spends in a classroom. Sincenobody can completely turn off their minds, kids must be learning somethingwhile watching the TV. Very few hours of television watched by childrenare educational, so other ideas are being absorbed during this period oftime. Many shows on television today are extremely violent and are oftenshown this from a gang\'s perspective. A normal adult can see that this isshowing how foully that gangs are living. However, to a child thisportrays a violent gang existance as acceptable. \'The Ends Justifies theMeans\' mentality is also taught through many shows where the "goody guy"captures the "bad guy" through violence and is then being commended. Ayoung child sees this a perfectly acceptable because he knows that the "badguy" was wrong but has no idea of what acceptable apprehension techniquesare. Gore in television also takes a big part in influencing young minds.Children see gory scenes and are fascinated by these things that they havenot seen before. Older viewers see gore and are not concerned with theblood but rather with the pain the victim must feel. A younger minddoesn\'t make this connection. Thus a gore fascination is formed, and hasbeen seen in several of my peers. Unfortunately kids raised with this sortof television end up growing up with a stronger propensity to becoming aviolent gang member or \'violent- acceptant\' person. "Gangs bring the delinquent norms of society into intimate contactwith the individual."1, (Marshall B Clinard, 1963). So, as you can see ifTV leads a child to believe that violence is the norm this will manifest itself in the actions of the child quite, often in a gang situation. Thisis especially the case when parents don\'t spend a lot of time with theirkids at the TV explaining what is right and what is wrong. Quite oftennewer books and some types of music will enforce this type of thought andideas. Once this mentality is installed in youngsters they become increasinglyprone to being easily pushed into a gang situation by any problem at homeor elsewhere. For instance, in poor families with many children orupper-middle class families where parents are always working, the childrenwill often feel deprived of love. Parents can often feel that putting foodon the table is enough love. Children of these families may often go tothe gang firstly out of boredom and to belong somewhere. As time goes on,a form of love or kinship develops between the gang members and the child.It is then that the bond between the kid and the gang is completed becausethe gang has effectively taken the place of the family. The new anti social structure of cities also effects the ease in whicha boy/girl can join a gang. " The formation of gangs in cities, and mostrecently in suburbs, is facilitated by the same lack of community amongparents. The