My Bloody Life, By Randall Shelden, Sharon Tracy, And William Brown Essay

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The Book, My Bloody Life, the Making of a Latin King by Reymundo Sanchez is sad, horrifying and eye opening. Consequently, it makes a person think about the role of society and the social reasons or theories that can explain involvement in gangs or gang activity. I think there may be several theories used to explain involvement in gangs, but I think the best theory used to explain why there are gangs is the “control or social bond theory”. Sanchez illustrates several instances of this theory throughout his book. I will discuss some of these instances and show how they are an example of control/social bond theory. Furthermore, the book, Youth Gangs in American Society by Randall Shelden, Sharon Tracy, and William Brown (2013) discusses several theories about why people join gangs. One theory that I think especially fits the explanation as to why people join gangs, with regards to this book, is the control/social bond theory. Shelden et al define control/social bong theory as “when a youth’s, bonds or ties, to society are weak or broken, especially with family, school and other institutions, when this occurs, a youth is apt to seek bonds with other groups, including gangs, in order to get his or her needs met”(p 193). I think so many groups in society let this boy down in My Bloody Life, including his family, the school system and even the police. Consequently with his ties to society so weak, he reached out to a gang that gave him a sense of comfort and belonging.

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