Gangs Sociology

806 Words 4 Pages
Gangs in the United States have evolved from malignant neighborhood groups into lucrative businesses and brutal vigilantes. Harvard University Professor Roland Fryer concludes the Crack Epidemic fundamentally transformed gangs because the booming drug trade incentivized larger and more sophisticated gangs (9). Similarly, the rapidly increasing opioid market in rural and suburban America explains the development of gangs in those areas (Whalen). Unfortunately, addiction and drug sales often bring violence. This turmoil can force afflicted youth into gangs for refuge. This cycle of violence and drugs cripples education systems and family, leaving adolescents with few options (Fryer 24). In order to understand the nature of gang membership, one …show more content…
Particularly in segregated cities such as New York City, gangs use racial tensions to recruit minority members (Freng 137). Even white supremacist gangs rely on discontented rural populations for membership (Bellone). The development of gangs alongside immigration waves suggests an underlying tie between self-image and gang membership. In New York City, for example, African-Americans from the South, and immigrants from Europe and Mexico fueled the development of racially focused gangs, such as the Latin Kings (Howell 3). This phenomenon also occurs in Milwaukee, which suffers from the worst segregation between Hispanic, White and Black populations. Combined with the insecurity many adolescents must face, racial discontent drives teenagers to join gangs that seem to understand their …show more content…
Gang membership allows alienated teenagers an opportunity first to get enough food and then a job that fosters self-confidence. While youth have organized themselves into gangs since the nation’s conception, gangs today have become a domineering presence hindering national progress (Howell 245). From an economic perspective, gangs derive much of their power from the international trafficking of humans and drugs. The global gang system, therefore, requires an international coalition. More importantly, however, researchers cite social issues as the largest factor in gang membership (Freng 138). If governments genuinely want to tackle the American gang issue, then they must recognize the many fronts on which they must battle gangs: prison reform, effective drug policies, education system improvement, and urban

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