Social Bonds: Aboriginal Gang Formation in Canada

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As many prominent scholars have postulated, there is very little research addressing the multifaceted dynamics with respect to Aboriginal gang involvement from a Canadian perspective. This paper intends to advance the understanding of the pathways involved in Aboriginal gang formation, recruitment and participation by critically examining the historical and institutional impediments, which have contributed to the facilitation of this phenomenon. In the process, this paper will apply the foremost tenets of social control theory in order to provide a holistic account of the context that enables the proliferation of Aboriginal gangs within Canada. Correspondingly, the formulation of these results will subsequently be useful for policy-makers…show more content…
Individuals with strong and stable attachments to others within society, such as family, friends and community institutions are presumed to be less likely to violate social norms, because such behaviour would distress these respective attachments (Reginald et al, 1995). Second, is commitment, meaning having an individual investment in social activities. For example, an individual who has invested time, energy and resources into conforming to social norms, such as educational and career goals, is less likely to become involved in a gang (Goodwill 2009). In particular, since they have invested heavily in conforming these individuals have more to lose than those who have not invested in their future in a conforming fashion. (Reginald et al, 1995). Third, is involvement, which Hirschi utilized in order to illustrate that when large amounts of structured time are invested in socially approved activities, such as sports or work, the time for available deviance is drastically reduced (Reginald et al, 1995). Specifically, active engagement in conventional endeavors acts as a powerful protective factor against delinquency (Huebner and Betts, 2002). Hirschi’s final element of social bonding is belief. This pertains to an actor’s level of belief in the moral validity of shared social values and norms (Reginald et al, 1995). When an individual strongly believes in the conventional norms they are less likely to deviate from
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