Type of paper: Term Paper

Topic: United States, America, Gang, Leadership, Security, Origin, Age, Town

Pages: 3

Words: 825

Published: 2021/01/07

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Introduction

Gangs in the United States involve organized groups that include prison gangs, motorcycle gangs, streets gangs, and ethnic-based gangs. They are involved in criminal activities such as battery, arms trafficking, kidnappings, drug trafficking, money laundering, cybercrimes, illegal immigration and murder among others. According to reports from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, more than 33,000 organized gangs in America have a membership of more than 1.4 million members (Howell, 2012). Most of these gangs operate in the urban areas; however, they operate in not only metropolitan regions, but also some rural areas. Notably some of the states that harbor or form the origin of gang groups include New York, Miami, Philadelphia, Chicago, and Los Angeles. Gangs in America have a structure that relate to that of the military, which operate on commands. Some gangs are grouped or identified based on ethnicity, religion, region, socio-economic status, culture, gender, and age among others. Based on this overview, this paper seeks to conduct a detailed analysis on gangs in America.

Rationale for joining gangs in America

Considering that many youths in America are unemployed, they tend to join organized gangs to earn a source of livelihood and social protection. Sometimes, peer pressure and forceful registration causes many to enlist in these gangs cliques because they do not want to lose group identity. High level of insecurity and intimidation by other gangs contribute in the formation of many gangs in America especially in regions where security agencies take time to respond or do not respond at all.

Analysis of Gangs in America

Age
Depending on the entry and degree of affiliation to the group, a potential gang member can enter a gang group at even 10years. However, the majority of members in American gangs have an age of between 10-30 years. Young members of organized groups in America are majorly used to spy and distribute drugs because security agents can never suspect them. Elderly members especially those from 26 to 35years are tasked with policy formation and management of most gangs in America (Holmes & Tewksbury, 2012).

Gender

Male members undertake most operations of gangs in America; however, female membership in American gangs is also on the rise and they serve under the authority of male leadership. In most case, they help male gang members in spying or carrying weapons for male members. Apart from that, they provide sexual satisfaction for male gang members especially at the leadership level.

Ethnic and racial composition

The minority groups form the composition of many gangs in America and that these groups are racially exclusive. Gangs can be identified or be categorized based on race such as African American origin, Asian origin, Hispanic and non-Hispanic origin (Howell, 2012). African American and Hispanic origin members form the majority of gangs in America. The rationale behind the formation of such composition is that gang members identify with the group culture, pledge their loyalty and use the gang as a tool of protecting their socio-economic welfare.
As opposed to people’s way of thinking, operations of gangs in America are usually in both the metropolitan and non-metropolitan areas. Gangs in America keep shifting from one urban location to the other to avoid suspicion by security agency or the public. However, they primarily operate from abandoned or unfinished buildings in urban areas where they plan and hold gang meetings (Ruble & Turner, 2000). Stable slums form good places where gangs in America conduct their illegal operations such as Drug trafficking, or harboring places for kidnappings. South central Los Angeles is an example of stable slums where M-13 notable gang operates. As slums expand rapidly from inner cities to suburbs gangs operations, also expand because slums are used as hiding places.

Hierarchies

Like an organized system, gangs are organized in such a way that members perform specific roles and responsibilities depending on their age and experience. Gangs in America operate like a surrogate family where the leadership formulates policies, while junior members undertake the implementation part (Howell, 2012). All members enjoy social protection, and sometimes provision of basic needs. One or multiple leaders who control cliques located in different parts in American states may lead gangs in America. In most cases, leaders are dangerous, daring, courageous, and risk takers. Sometimes junior members may not have a chance to meet the leadership, but does so through team leaders for security reasons.

Conclusion

Gangs in America are majorly categorized based on race or ethnicity and involve youths of age 10 to 35 years. They majorly operate in urban areas, but keep shifting to suburbs regions for camouflage and protection. Gangs in America are organized and structure in such a way that they relate to one another as surrogate family members. These gangs are involved in criminal activities ranging from kidnapping, murder, extortion, cybercrime, drugs and weapon trafficking among others.

References

Holmes, R., & Tewksbury, R. (2012). Introduction to gangs in America. Boca Raton: CRC Press.
Howell, J. (2012). Gangs in America's communities. Thousand Oaks, Calif.: SAGE Publications.
Ruble, N., & Turner, W. (2000). A Systemic Analysis is of the Dynamics and Organization of Urban Street Gangs. The American Journal of Family Therapy, 28(1), 117-132.

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