Hispanic Adolescent Youth Gangs Essay

1399 Words6 Pages
Gangs have been a point of concern for states and societies around the world for centuries. Youth gangs are not exempt from that same categorization and have operated for the same amount of time worldwide. Over the last century however, a proliferation of youth gangs has been witnessed, especially among Hispanic youths immigrating into the United States. Researchers and scholars have offered multiple theories as to why youths, and Hispanics youths in particular integrate themselves into gang organizations. Three schools of thought arise when conducting gang integration research. Rational Economics Theory1 proposes that youths, and all individuals, join gangs for financial and material benefit. Cultural Deviance Theory considers youth gang…show more content…
The theory is backed by considerable psychological research and is not only rooted in sociology and public policy. Rational Economics Theory is utilized as an umbrella argument to explain why all individuals, including youths, become integrated into gang organizations. The theory is downright the same to microeconomic Rational Choice Theory and argues that individuals, in their desire for financial gain or more utility, utilize gangs and criminal organizations as a means to achieve their ends. Gangs are seen as nothing more than businesses or organizations that serve a primary economic function and act to provide financial sustainability for those without the ability to achieve it through other, more legitimate means.
Seymour M. Lipset2 contends that negative traits that plague the American landscape, such as “high crime and economic inequality”, are fundamental characteristics of and are inherently linked to a capitalistic and openly admirable democratic society. Not only does American history reside in the nature for “disdain of authority”, but current American norms signal that everyone must elevate their own status and rise above the ranks, both economically and socially. In analyzing the trends of high crime, acts such as theft, narcotics production and distribution, fraud, etc. are a means to
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