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Why do young people join gangs and other subcultures? How does a criminal sub culture develop?

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Why do young people join gangs and other subcultures? How does a criminal sub culture develop? Intro Criminal Justice Edward Pollack Human Services Year 2 Noo88646 Words 2783 Why do young people join gangs and other subcultures? How does a criminal sub culture develop? Introduction In this is essay I will be discussing why young people join gangs and sub cultures. I have used books and Internet sites to help me with this. The first part of the essay will be about young people joining gangs and sub cultures. I have also discussed about what gangs are and what sub cultures are. In the second part of the essay I have written about how does a criminal sub culture develops? I have broken the essay down is into short sections which will help me put my argument forward. What are gangs? The label gang has been applied to various groups including outlaws of the nineteenth century American West, prison inmates, Mafia and other organized criminals, motorcyclists, and groups of inner city youths. Despite its diverse application, the term gang almost always is involved in disreputable or illegal activities. Families (2006) A gang is a group of individuals who share a common identity and, in current usage, engage in illegal activities. Historically the term referred to both criminal groups and ordinary groups of friends. Some anthropologists believe that the gang structure is one of the most ancient forms of human organizations. Families (2006) Some commentators use "gang" to refer to small, informal, and disorganized "street gangs", while "syndicate" or "organized crime" are used to refer to larger, more powerful organizations, such as the Italian-American Mafia, which may control entire legitimate businesses as "fronts" for their illegal operations. Gang researchers have suggested several definitions of gangs. Thrasher, F. ...read more.


This process of cultural appropriation may often result in the death or evolution of the subculture, as its members adopt new styles, which are alien to the mainstream. A common example is the punk subculture of the United Kingdom, whose distinctive style of clothing was swiftly adopted by mass-market fashion companies once the subculture became a media interest. In this sense, many subcultures can be seen to be constantly evolving, as their members attempt to remain one step ahead of the dominant culture. In turn, this process provides a constant stream of styles, which may be commercially adopted. The different Concepts of Criminal/ Deviant subcultures Cloward & Ohlin's Differential Opportunity Theory In 1959, Richard Cloward noted that Merton's anomie theory specified only one structure of opportunity. He, however, argued for two and not one. He thus proposed that there are also illegitimate avenues of structure, in addition to legitimate ones. In 1960 he and Lloyd Ohlin worked together and proposed a theory of delinquent gangs known as Differential Opportunity Theory. Cloward, Richard A. and Ohlin Lloyd E. (1960) They argue that the types of criminal subcultures that flourish depend on the area in which they develop. They propose three types of delinquent gangs. * The first, the criminal gang, emerge in areas where conventional as well as non conventional values of behaviour are integrated by a close connection of illegitimate and legitimate businesses. This type of gang is stable than the ones to follow. Older criminals serve as role models and they teach necessary criminal skills to the youngsters. Cloward, Richard A. and Ohlin Lloyd E. (1960) * The second type, the conflict or violent gang, is non-stable and non-integrated, where there is an absence of criminal organisation resulting in instability. ...read more.


Journal of Criminal Justice and Popular Culture (1995) Research has shown that symbolism and style not only shape criminal subcultures, but also intertwine with the broader social and legal relations in which these subcultures are caught. Criminal subcultures and their styles both grow out of class, age, gender, ethnic, and legal inequalities, and by turns reproduce and resist these social fault lines. This interplay of sub cultural style, inequality, and authority in turn reminds that we must examine not only criminal subcultures, but the legal and political authorities who construct these subcultures as criminal. When we do, we find these authorities both reacting to sub cultural styles, and themselves employing symbolic and stylistic strategies of their own against them. The criminalization efforts of legal and political campaigners display again the power of cultural forces, in criminalizing cultural and sub cultural activities, and campaigning for public support, moral entrepreneurs and legal authorities manipulate legal and political structures, but perhaps more so structures of mass symbolism and perception. Journal of Criminal Justice and Popular Culture (1995) Conclusion Young people join gangs and subculture because of the following reasons: * Family issues * Personal issues * Education issues * Community issues Common motives include camaraderie, a sense of belonging, status, new and exciting experiences, access to drugs and alcohol, and monetary opportunities through illegal markets. A Criminal Subculture is an environment in which the young are exposed to crime committed by the adult subculture. This subculture is mainly concerned with the utilitarian crime. Crime, which results in are financial reward/gain. This subculture usually forms in areas where there is an established organisation of adult crime that provides an illegitimate opportunity structure for youths to learn the. Criminal subcultures and their styles both grow out of class, age, gender, ethnic, and legal inequalities, and by turns reproduce and resist these social fault lines. ...read more.

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