Sociological Theories and Gang Violence

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SOCIALOGICAL THEORIES and GANG VIOLENCE Abstract The sociological analysis of gang membership explores the different types of effects that arise due to criminal involvement. Because of the social conflicts that are associated with gang membership, this paper will explore the different theories of social learning and both personal and control issues that relate to the recent surge in crime across Chicago. As we open the doors of a crime ridden society, the truth begins to unfold. It isn’t just the thought of helping, it is the action that remains the barrier between living a life of crime or a life that carries hope. The number of violent encounters has readily declined, yet, violence has flooded the streets of…show more content…
Based on Ronald Akers ideology of social learning theory, many people commit crimes based on the observations they encounter. These observations can come from a number of sources such as, media, family, and peers. Family and friends as well as the social norms of a neighborhood can be influential to an individual because of acceptance. This theory also says that based on positive or negative reinforcements an individual’s behavior will be based on the rewards or punishments that are given. If given an opportunity to change the violence that occurs among neighborhoods there are many who choose to do so (Akers, 1990). Social control and social learning both suggest that behavior is a choice based . However, when looking at the two theories they actually take a different stance. Social learning theory suggests that individuals join gangs to feel that sense of security as well as living the glamorized lifestyle and their attempt to fill the void of an absent parent. Social learning theory is best stated as learned behavior based on the environmental and social attachment that one has to a community. Social learning is telling us that people have a choice to make a rationalized decision based on their observations of others, but remain adamant to state that their interactions with the social surroundings will be taken into consideration as well (Lilly, Cullen, & Ball, 2011). Social and personal Control, by Reiss suggest that deviant behavior is based on the bond
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