Theoretical Explanations Of Gang Formation

2253 Words Mar 28th, 2016 10 Pages
Several criminological theories developed to explain general deviance is now used in gang research because they offer explanations of why people join gangs (Tobin, 2008). This paper draws on those existing sociological research in identifying some theories used in explaining gang formation. The theories discussed are social structure, social conflict, and social process theories. It is also going to cover some branches of those theories; social disorganization theory, strain theory, Sub Culture theory, integrated Structural Marxist theory, Social Learning, differential opportunity theory, Social Control theory, and Labeling Theory. All of which shows connectivity and highlight elements of strain in different forms as they relate to gang formation.

Social structure theory deals with the social environment which may include; the family circle, neighborhood, school, peer group influences, Socio economic status, gender, and ethnicity. Social structure looks at the unequal distribution of wealth, power and prestige among the different social classes (Siegel, 2011). This According to Merton, (as cited in Schneider & Tilly, 2004) significantly emphasize the role of social and economic structures as the causes of delinquent behavior and tend to look at criminal behavior as the result of the undesirable and dysfunctional structures (P. 3.). Social disorganization, strain, and subculture theories all fall under the umbrella of social…
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