Is Youth Join Gangs? Essay

843 Words Oct 19th, 2016 4 Pages
In this paper, I argue that youth join gangs because of a lack of parental supervision, school in-fluence, and socioeconomic status. Differential Association is able explain peer influence and school influence as reasons for youth gang involvement, but it is unable to account for why socioeconomic status lead youth to join gangs. This paper argues that youth join gangs because society presents them with a lack of opportunities, schools have a lack of resources, and their peers, who are in gangs, offer them a home that the other people in their life cannot.
The theory Differential Association, created by the criminologist Donald Sutherland, states that criminal behaviour is culturally transmitted from generation to generation. The belief is that the set of values that an individual is exposed to in their daily life is a strong predictor of whether they will live a criminal lifestyle or not. If a criminal culture is prevalent in a neighbourhood then its in-habitants are more likely to view criminal behaviours favourably.
Differential Association theory frames the issue of crime as a culture war, and that it depends on the kind of people you interact with that will determine who you become. Believers of this theory contend that criminal behaviour is learned though social interactions; many of the times it is with people who you are close with. It is from those interactions that a person learns the tricks of the crim-inal trade, as well as the mind set that normalizes for them…

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