Gang as an American Enterprise: Expository Essay

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Sewanee University of the South
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Gangs are becoming more popular as the economic opportunities become fewer. The inner-city kids who come from impoverished neighborhoods have almost no chance of joining college. Thus, they will find it hard to get legitimate jobs. This issue makes them get attracted to easy money that makes them join gangs (Kinnear, 2009). Furthermore, gangs are becoming more popular because people still feel that they are marginalized in society because of religion, ethnic group, race, or social status (Kinnear, 2009). This issue makes them feel left out in the community. Thus, they clash with both the customs and laws.

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What Are Fraternities and Sororities?

A gang refers to a group of nay doers whose aim is to cause mischief in society. Therefore, Fraternities and Sororities are not considered gangs (Roberts, 2003). The reason is that Fraternities and Sororities are academic and social organizations with the purpose of filtering the demographics of students by academic interest, ethnicity, or social interest (Roberts, 2003). Therefore, gangs, Fraternities, and Sororities are not the same things. Furthermore, gangs are always violent while Fraternities and Sororities are not as they only become violent with a reason, and to become one, some qualities must be met. Additionally, Fraternities are mostly associated with colleges.

Do Gangs Help or Hinder the Development of Self-Esteem?

The people who join the gangs are the ones who have self-esteem and feel that they do not belong in any group. Therefore, the gangs establish a family, which serves all of them. They also have a leader who ensures that the family is taken care of and he or she hands the rules that they should follow (Carson, 2003). Belonging to a gang develops the self-esteem of an individual as it gives them a sense of belonging and pride. Furthermore, the people who join gangs do feel included and protected (Carson, 2003). However, after one has belonged to the gang, the self-esteem goes down as they will be brutalized and victimized by the gang members that makes them lose the sense of individualism.

Importance of Programs to Prevent Youth From Joining Gangs

Some of the programs that should be put in place to prevent or intervene in the growth of gangs are keeping the young people busy and involved (Howell & United States, 2000). In most cases, when teenagers are faced with problems, they tend to go to other places for recognition, encouragement, or moral support. Family life is an important tool for producing stable and secure teens (Howell & United States, 2000). Therefore, anti-gang programs should be initiated to help in stabilizing the home environment for the youths. Law enforcement and religious organizations can assist to reach and gather the kids that are troubled. Some of the organizations include job corps and YMCA. These groups made them feel important and needed in society, which makes them keep off from the streets.

How a Community Can Fight Gangs?

I agree that community context plays can play a significant role in preventing the influence of gangs. Society can avoid the influence of gangs by initiating programs that will benefit the youths in the community to avert them from engaging in crime. Additionally, they can impede the influence of gangs by having combined service coordination that involves a partnership between the community and police.

Why Do Some Gangs Become a Danger to Their Broader Communities?

Some of the gangs become a threat to their communities since they have strong and large memberships (Padilla, 1992). Furthermore, at times, they are the most organized groups in those communities. For instance, the gangs tend to have more resources as compared to the other organizations in the impoverished areas. Additionally, they become a danger because they have weapons and the readiness to commit various acts of violence (Padilla, 1992).


Kinnear, K. L. (2009). Gangs: A reference handbook. Santa Barbara, Calif: ABC-CLIO.Discussion Forum 2

Roberts, A. R. (2003). Critical issues in crime and justice. Thousand Oaks. Calif.: Sage Publications.

Carson, D. (2003). Handbook of Psychology in Legal Contexts. Chichester: John Wiley & Sons.

Howell, J. C., & United States. (2000). Youth gang programs and strategies: Summary. Washington, D.C: U.S. Dept. of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.

Padilla, F. M. (1992). The gang as an American enterprise. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers Univ. Press.

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