The Sociological Theory Of A Gang Membership And Gang Violence

1615 Words Nov 12th, 2015 7 Pages
In recent years gang membership and gang violence have increased. Why are the youth in America turning to gangs and why has violence increased within the gangs? Is it based on their socioeconomic status within their neighborhood? Is it the need to belong? Is it the need to establish who is in control of the neighborhood? Or is it the lack of good parental role models within the home? The sociological theory that I’m basing my research on is functionalism. Functionalism is a framework that defines society as a system of interrelated parts.
What is a gang? The article “Sexual Access to Females as a Motivation For Joining Gangs: An Evolutionary Approach” gave the following definition:
“A youth gang is a self-formed association of peers, bound together by mutual interests, with identifiable leadership, well-developed lines of authority, and other organizational features, who act in concert to achieve a specific purpose or purposes.
Gang members can be seen as people who have chosen to engage, cooperatively, in a risky form of competition” (Palmer and Tilley, 1995, p. 213).
“...They function as a residual social institution when other institutions fail and provide a certain degree of order and solidarity for their members” (Spergel, 1990, p. 171).
“Gangs were once thought to be an inner-city problem, but it has spread throughout the United States. There are more than 24,500 different youth gangs around our country and more than 772,500 teens and young adults were members of…
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