Why Gangs Are Still Relevant Today

Decent Essays
The theories discussed for why gangs exist are still relevant today just as they were over 100 years ago when they were published. The eight theories are somewhat similar but they all share a common theme in that they all deal with society. Now society may have been different over 100 years ago but there is still a society today and the interactions, though different, are still the same. The two that stuck out to me were social learning theory and rational choice theory. These two stick out to me because I feel that peer pressure, associations, and self-interest are just as prevalent today as they were many years ago. As long as there are people on earth, there is going to be peer pressure. Within a group there is going to be someone who…show more content…
Martin Luther King Jr brings up a great point in this quote, "And one day we must ask the question, "Why are there forty million poor people in America?" And when you begin to ask that question, you are raising questions about the economic system... When you ask that question, you being to question the capitalist economy." Capitalism is one of several methods whereby societies attempt to meet the basic needs of citizens in terms of the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services (Shelden, Tracy, & Brown, 2013, p. 231). But the basic needs are not being met for millions of citizens in our country and this is a problem. Capitalism did not create gangs, but the gang members are a product of capitalism. Gangs were not created with the intention on selling drugs, guns, or killing people. They were created by like-minded people that relate to one another, who live close to one another, and want to hang out. Gangs saw the need for profit in our society so they followed suit with characteristics in a capitalist system, power and control. Control over capital, gives people more than prestige and distinction; access to capital is power (Shelden, Tracy, & Brown, 2013, pg. 232). Gangs start by exerting their power and control over their neighborhoods and pretty soon this gang has spread from neighborhood to neighborhood to large cities. Law enforcement tries to respond to gang involvement, but because of racism, crime, and poverty represent class issues the
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