Masculinity And Gang Identity

2191 Words 9 Pages
According to Pitts (2008), the UK and the USA have seen dramatic changes in the economy which have greatly affected many families residing in disadvantaged neighbourhoods. In particular, the BME community has seen an increase in their young males left redundant and stagnant at the bottom of the social class ladder and excluded from the values of society. In their response to their lack of status, respect and power with frustration, black youths have ostensibly resulted to anger and also the formation of alternative values that endorses and normalises gang membership and violence (Pitts, 2008). Likewise, the gang can be seen as a place for gang members to express their masculinity. Although the research on gangs and masculinity is limited in …show more content…
Within the gang, research in the UK and the USA suggest that young people claiming to be involved in gangs are more likely to participate in gang-related activities and more violent behaviours than individuals who do not (Bennett and Holloway, 2004; Bradshaw, 2005; Howell, 1998; RCMP, 2006; Sharp et al, 2006; Smith and Bradshaw, 2005; Thornberry et al, 2003; Youth Justice Board, 2007), especially when it is seen as an opportunity to portray masculinity (Moore, 1978; Stretesky and Pogrebin, 2007). Nonetheless, research claims that there are some similarities between youth gangs in the UK and the USA, such as the high rate of black-on-black violence, increase in girls cliques, selling and …show more content…
1). Although it was developed in South Bronx, New York in 1973 (Blanchard, 1999), today, hip-hop music has grown into a global sensation and has shaped the identity and values of young people around the world (Price, 2006). Besides from being assimilated into youth culture, some reports claim that it is responsible for the increase in gang violence as it holds a negative influence on its young audience (Kurbin, 2005; Ward, 2011). “In 2006, at the British Society of Magazine Editors, David Cameron was reported to have asked the BBC‟s Radio 1 station; "Do you realise some of the stuff you play on Saturday nights encourages people to carry guns and knives?" (Caesar, 2007 cited in Ward, 2011, pg. 16). Furthermore, it is believed that hip-hop lifestyle glamorises gangs and violence (NSPCC, 2009) and young people possessions of lethal weapons tend to imitate certain styles illustrated by rap artists in their lyrics (Bullock and Tilley, 2002; Lemos, 2004; Marshall et al, 2005). In an article for The Telegraph, “Rap music glamorises gun violence” by Sally Pook (2003), David Blunkett reportedly made a statement about gang violence; he stated: “idiots like so solid crew are glorifying gun culture and violence”. Likewise, in his research of “Fear and Fashion”, Lemos (2004) found that while some youths were more likely to carry weapons for self-protection, others

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