SOC3710_Final Paper.docx - Running head YOUTH GANGS Youth...

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Running head: YOUTH GANGSYouth Gangs Option 2Marni Reisman & Megan Shemesh University of Guelph
YOUTH GANGSYouth gang membership has shown a consistent pattern throughout recent years that demonstrates proximal adverse consequences, that strikes upon significant social and economic disadvantages in an adult’s lifespan (Gilman, Hill, and Hawkins, 2014). A youth gang is comprised of several adolescents, who take part in criminal behavior with the general purpose of gaining power, recognition, and control (Royal Canadian Mounted Police, 2014). In general, these youth’s practice violence and intimidation to control other individuals to acquire what they want. Youths who join certain gangs do so because they are bored, lonely, or because they are looking to be accepted by other individuals (Royal Canadian Mounted Police, 2014). Youth gangs have a consistent number rising across Canada, particularly those with broken homes, low socioeconomic status, familial criminality, delinquent peers, and much more (Alleyne and Wood,2010). Gang membership starts at a young age for their initiation process at the average age of 12-18 and continue well into their 20’s or even older (Alleyne and Wood, 2010). As some studieshave shown, youth with less confidence and self-esteem have weak bonds with a prosocial environment, and are more likely to join a gang. The gender composition of gangs consists mostly of males and reflect the ethnic makeup of the neighborhoods they live in (Alleyne and Wood, 2010). Research has shown that groups are homogenous with the ethnic composition, while others can be heterogeneous (Alleyne and Wood, 2010). Criminal behavior has been linkedto youth gangs throughout history, which is generally related to impulsivity, risk-seeking, and peer pressure. Researchers have also related two types of social power that attract youth, which is coercive power, using threats or actual violence to pay, buy, impress, and to delegate status andrank to its members. Another power is with status, delinquents that see status as significant are more inclined to bully, which is ultimately related to gang memberships (Alleyne and Wood, 2010). Former studies have identified particular gang members as “reluctant gangsters”, and 2
YOUTH GANGScommunities are consumed by these members who use crime to make youth fearful of victimization. This threat can lead other individuals to join gangs or an increase in further gang violence. Due to these threats, other citizens tend to assimilate into these gang’s out of mere protection (Alleyne and Wood, 2010). Individuals conceptualize youth gangs to be an important issue to discuss as they bring harm to the youths that are being involved. Youth gang members live recklessly, and are constantly battling with emotional and psychological trauma, injury, and deaths (California Council on Criminal Justice, 1989). When studying youth gangs, it is important to understand that deviant and illegal behaviors among the members can lead to social and economic disadvantages in an adult’s lifespan. Throughout this essay, it will attempt to

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