Social And Psychological Factors Of Gang Membership

1859 Words Apr 4th, 2016 8 Pages
Gang membership has accounted for the increase in the number of youth and street gangs since the 1950’s. The development of gangs globally, especially in New Zealand, exhibits the fact that there are significant influences pushing people towards becoming a gang member. There is a range of social and psychological factors that underpin the dynamics of a gang’s structure in which they help outsiders gain insight into how gang involvement is evoked. Research has established that there are push and pull factors to what we associate with the theory of ‘multiple marginality.’ This theory tackles how groups feel after being left on the boundaries of society, an action that consequently encourages them to become involved in deviant behavior. The growth in gangs, predominantly those with a heavy Maori influence -such as the Mongrel Mob and Black Power - has caused controversy as to whether ‘multiple marginality’ impacts and is solely responsible for this issue. There may be no single reason behind a spike in gang membership however; having the ability to understand the role of social and psychological factors is needed if we seek to address this concern. This alone is a key aspect in addressing the development of present gangs and why they are becoming more dominant in society.

Theory of Multiple Marginality
Multiple marginality can be defined as living on the boundaries of society, therefore not being influenced and following the ‘norms’ of society expectations. It is important…
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