Course Work on Sociology
Assignment 2. Questions.
Compare and contrast three theories of gang delinquency; use your text and class notes.
a. Identify each theory you choose.
There are three broad categories of theories of gang delinquency. They are the biological, psychological and sociological theories.
b. State their basic premises.
The biological theory holds that delinquent behavior is predisposed. The theory revolves around the idea that criminals are criminals right from birth. Individuals with a tendency to committing crimes from birth (due to inherited traits) end up being real gang members and thugs.
The psychological theories are more concerned with the individual himself. The processes around and within a person are delved into to explain their behaviors. The unconscious conflict between the ID, the ego, and the super-ego is a vital tool in the theory.
On the other hand, the social theory looks at the chances of advancement of a child. If the community reduces these chances, despair and conflict occurs. Individuals who go through such a time end up engaging in antisocial behaviors like joining gangs.
c. Evaluate each and explain which types of gangs they would best explain.
In the biological theory, scholars argue that criminals have certain unique facial features. These features act as predisposition to commit a crime. By looking at a gang members facial features, on can draw from this theory to tell the traits of potential crime suspects. People with the supernumerary and flattened nose fall in the category of possible crime suspects. Additionally, mesomorphs are considered to have high chances of committing crime due to their athletic bodies. On the other extreme, the endomorphs' physique does not favor them in evil acts.
The psychological theory posits that adolescent criminal behavior is based on the unconscious mental processes. The processes here are the conflicts between the ID, the ego, and the super-ego. Traumatic experiences in early childhood prevent the proper development of the ego and the super-ego. Such a scenario results to the ID having a greater power. The ID is based on immediate satisfaction and is not in contact with the reality. Therefore, children with traumatic childhood experiences end up in gangs.
The social theory looks at the draining lifestyle of kids in deteriorated neighborhoods. Such children end up being socially isolated and with delinquent behavior. Cultural deviance results to subcultures like gangs and cults. When the adolescents who had had a draining lifestyle join the gang or the cult, they feel loved, accepted and part of the community.
d. What does a hybrid gang culture refer to?
The hybrid youth gang has been in existence since 1920s. The earliest forms were described as mixed ethnicity or mixed-race gang. The modern type of mixed gang has taken a new form. The hybrid gang culture is constituted of members of different racial or ethnic groups with unclear codes of conducts as well as symbolic associations. They are also characterized by frequent merging of small gangs, the cooperation of rival gang groups in criminal activities and the use of graffiti (Starbuck et al 25).
Assignment 3. Questions.
a. What will you tell this group in terms of seriousness of the gang problem in the nation and for Minneapolis or your community? (See what you can find for statistics in Minneapolis or your community; cite your sources. You can try The City of Minneapolis).
After a month's long investigation directed towards gang violence in the city of Minneapolis, 11 people were indicted. These 11 had been a member of a gang group that had been terrorizing the community while warring over guns and drugs. In addition to dealing with drugs, they were also involved in shootings, killings, and armed robbery.
The gang instilled a sense of great fear to residents to a point that children would not peacefully play outside (Engel et al. 23). The gang group has made Minneapolis an epicenter of illegal narcotic trade.
b. Identify the social problems in the area that might contribute to the developments of gangs.
Ways to make money: gangs have ways to make money from crime and other activities. Gangs have for a long time been used to peddle drugs and traffic them. At times, they rob people because of the ammunitions that they possess. Robbery enables them to make money and run their activities. Youths who are desperate for money are lured to join the gangs as they also wish to make easy money (Larry and Brandon).
Poverty and peer influence: many youths from poverty-stricken regions are the ones that engage significantly in gangs. They want to live a lifestyle similar to their counterparts in the wealth class. It has also been noted that through uniting as a gang it is the way many groups avoid prejudice from other groups. They end up committing atrocities from these same groups as they try to overcome oppression they end up oppressing others who are weaker than them.
The comradeship factor: many youths join gangs because they want to belong to that social class of their peers (Eric et al. 121). Peer influence makes many youths join the gangs as they try to fit into the group. It is not because they lack something or that they will gain anything from the gangs, however because they only want to fit into what others are doing.
Many juvenile delinquents commit these crimes as they try to do what their peers are doing as they want to fit into the group. At the adolescent stage, many youths have a problem with identifying themselves they fit in the group psychology. While others discover themselves before starting to commit, crime others take long to see who they are and end up in gangs that commit crimes.
c. Develop a gang prevention or intervention program for the community based on Spergel and Curry's model as found in your online notes, Howell's in your text or use the Comprehensive Gang model found at the National Youth Gang Center website (shown in assignment 8-1). Make sure you identify the model with its major points that you are using in developing your program.
Gang prevention or intervention program for the community has been based on Spergel and Curry's model. In the past decades, police have pursued tactics to counter the proliferation of gangs and gang violence (Eric et al.118). According to various researches they have tried to use suppression to combat different gangs, but it has not been as effective as it was intended. Indeed, understanding the complexity of the situation is the key to successful in ending the situation.
Community mobilization: the society plays a vital role in shaping how youths behave and how they adapt to challenges. Having the community involved in the activities of the adolescent through involving them (youths) in constructive activities during their free time will disassociate the youths from engaging in delinquent activities.
Provision of opportunities: many juvenile delinquents engage in criminal activities because of having a lot of time doing nothing. They lack opportunities to participate in constructive activities and other opportunities in life like education. It is the role of the government to provide people with the opportunities such as employment; the society has an extended role in providing them since the government has limited resources. It is the collective responsibility for the whole community to ensure youths do not engage in social vices.
Organization change and development: developing and implementing policies and procedures that result in the most efficient use of available resources and potentials best addresses gang problems in the society (Weisel, and Ellen 156). Society and all governments should set policies to govern any groups to avoid gangs that masquerade themselves in youth groups. Gangs and groups have a close relation to peer and delinquency in that they all are influenced by uncontrolled peer pressure. The society has the responsibility to ensure that youths engage in constructive activities during their free time to avoid being influenced to join gangs that commit crimes.
Eric, J. Fritsch, Tory J, Caeti Robert W and Taylor. Gang Suppression through Saturation Patrol, Aggressive Curfew, and Truancy Enforcement: A Quasi-Experimental Test of the Dallas Anti- Gang Initiative. University of North Texas, 1999. Print.
Larry, J. Siegel, and Brandon, C. Welsh. Juvenile Delinquency: The Core. 5 Ed. Cengage Learning
Weisel, Deborah L. and Ellen Painter. The Police Response to Gangs: Case Studies of Five Cities. Washington, DC: Police Executive Research Forum. 1997. Print.