Introduction . The Prevalence, Affects, And Types Of Stigma

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Introduction The prevalence, affects, and types of stigma and stigmatization felt by American gang members is an under researched topic in the social sciences. While daily experiences in and social understanding of American culture illustrate that gang membership is a stigmatized identification the research to support that notion is sorely absent from the greater conversation on gangs, stigma, and violence in our communities. In an attempt to understand how stigma directly affects gang affiliated men this report attempts to analyze different elements that directly connect to these men in hopes of creating an understanding of the stigma that gang involved men feel. These topics are social stigma, a sense of belonging, and the influence of …show more content…

The hypothesis states that belonging holds two foundational elements the first, "there is a need for frequent, affectively pleasant interactions with a few other people" and second " these interactions must take place in the context of a temporally stable and enduring framework of affective concern for each other 's welfare" (Baumeister & Leary, 1996). Gangs commonly fulfill these two elements. Burnett states that a gangs, " formation and maintenance are based on its members’ bared experience of estrangement from traditional social systems and on the security (emotional and physical) that membership provides"(McMillan & Chavis) (Burnett, 1999) . The gang 's acceptance of the man and the subsequent sense of family satisfies the need for "affectively pleasant interactions" (McMillan & Chavis, 1986), and the desire for protection (Regan) and the ability of gangs to provide such protection secures a man 's sense that his welfare is a concern of those with whom he feels acceptance. As Baumsiester and Leary 's article illustrates belonging is so necessary to personal happiness that those who experience social isolation are bared from experiencing high levels of happiness (Baumeister & Leary). While gang membership might not provide happiness in the traditional sense they do quench the human need to belong. This need for acceptance and belonging is only further aggregated through unstable and dangerous Early Childhood

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