Influence of Gangs Essay
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.
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 teenagers do. Regardless of race or class, people associate material items with identity and status. And with these possessions, people use them as a means of competition to show off their status. However, lower-class gang members are not able to communicate through materialistic possessions. With no economic power, these teenagers often turn to violence as an alternate from of power. With all the violence out on the streets, gangbangers do not care so much about materialist items.What is more important is survival. Middle-class teenagers do not have to fear for their lives every day. Instead they worry more about being accepted into the right crowds and owning lots of expensive items to show off. Most people fail to realize gang members are products of a bad environment that they are forced to live in. Immigrant families arrive with little money and have no choice but to live in bad neighborhoods. Society sees ghettos that are overfilled with immigrants and gangs so all low-class minority teens end up being stereotyped as being gangsters.The violence is not only on the streets but also at home. Often times, lower-class minority teens come from unstable homes. Immigrant parents no doubt already have a difficult time trying to make it in this prejudice society. With hard time the common cycle of poverty, drug and alcohol abuse, and sometime physical abuse arises. As a result teenager often rebel against their parents and find solace elsewhere. Because of the lack of love and guidance from parents, teens often stray from the family and wander blindly into the life of a gangbanger.Many of these ghetto troubled teens feel that they have nothin going for them so choosing this type of lifestyle is their way of getting through life and it is the only way they know to get through llife. Adolescence is the most crucial time to shape a young mind. When the world is against them during these times, many minority teens tend to easily stray from the right path and enter into the wrong crowd. Gangs have become a growing trend, a perfect outlet for many troubled youths. They feel that they have nothing to life for so instead they live for their gangs.Although gang members are typically inner city minority teenagers, there are still many “wannabes” that are attracted to this gang culture. With the growing number gang associated “Rap/Hip Hop Stars”, many middle class white children just want to be part of the crowd. Many of them just to show off their ability keep up with the fast moving trend of society. Although middle-class gangsters challenge the social norms of economic class, these gangsters reinforce the importance of parental support and guidance. Teenagers are always trying to rebel against their parents. When the home is not stable, gangs become the perfect outlet for troubled teens. Gangs are also thought of as ultimate rebellion against parents and society so teens find the life of a gangster extremely appealing. However, suburban gangsters fail to realize the real danger of being in a gang member.Unlike inner-city gangs, living in the projects has not hardened middle-class gang members unlike their counterparts. Instead, these gang members have joined gangs primarily for the purpose of being “hard.” At first, it may be fun and games, but when real gangbangers confront them, they are in serious danger. Many middle-class gang members usually back down because they are afraid of confronation from a real hard-core gangbanger. Middle-class gang members do not have the same mentality as hard-core gangbangers. Suburban gangsters have something to live for while inner city gangsters feel that they do not. As a result, when comfronation does arrive, suburban gangsters die at the hands of a real gangbanger.Lower-class minority familes are forced to live in the ghettos and the projects that are surrounded by violence and crime. Children are forced to live in dity neighborhood filled with gangsters and no proper guidance. Throughout their lives violence and gangs have surrounded them and they have become accustomed to that kind of lifestyle. Soon it is the only lifestyle they know to live. Although socioeconomic suppression plays a big part in the gang trend, proper guidance and love from parents are more important than anything. If a child is raised properly then it is less likely that they will even think of living the dangerous life of a gangbanger.