The Problem Of Juvenile Gang Membership Essay

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Drive-by shootings, prostitution, rape, vandalism, and drug trafficking all sound like acts that would committed by hardened adult criminals. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Juvenile gang members are committing these terrifying acts as early as eight years of age (Bartollas & Miller, 2014). Between 1988 and the early 1990s, a drastic increase in youth gang membership occurred and is still on the rise today in the United States (Bartollas & Miller, 2014).
There are several speculations as to what drives juveniles to join gangs and commit such crimes. Block and Niederhoffer theorized that gang affiliation is a Normal Part of Growing Up. According to Block and Neiderhoffer, male adolescents need certain experiences when going through puberty (Bartollas & Miller, 2014). Gangs provide a suitable alternative for male juveniles who lack the proper tools to mature in their society.
Miller theorized that Subcultural Affiliation is to be blamed for Juvenile’s affiliation with gangs. Subcultural Affiliation states that there is a distinct lower class in society who commits crime. According to Miller, juveniles exhibit gang behavior as an expression of their culture (Bartollas & Miller, 2014). Gang behavior can also be seen as a way to vent anger and frustration.
Yablonsky’s Social Disorganization theory bears some resemblance to Miller’s Subcultural Affiliation theory. Both theorists believe that gang affiliation is the product of a lower class in society. Yablonsky’s…

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