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Is the formation of gangs lined to strain theory

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  • Essay length: 2340 words
  • Submitted: 17/09/2008
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University Degree Criminology

The first 200 words of this essay...

IS THE FORMATION OF GANGS LINKED TO THE STRAINS SET OUT BY COHEN, CLOWARD & OHLIN? MIGHT OTHER EXPLANATIONS EXPLAIN THIS PHENOMENON BETTER? DISCUSS

This paper will consider the formation of delinquent gangs within our society from a criminological perspective. It will look at the definition of a gang, its motives, purposes and effects. It will then examine links to strain theory, first proposed by Merton, which was expanded upon in the work of the criminologists Cohen, Cloward and Ohlin. It will consider other criminological theories and explanations to see if they help us understand this phenomenon. It will conclude that the strain theory forms the basis for a school of thought, but that other theories may more suitably provide the impetus for a new phase of criminological studies to examine this problem from a specifically UK perspective.

There is no generally agreed-upon definition for a gang as such. However, a suggested definition (Klein, 2005, p. 136) could be a "durable, street-oriented youth group whose own identity includes involvement in illegal activity." This suggests a group of individuals that share a common identity. A gang can signify an opposition to mainstream norms, such as abiding by the

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