Gangs have increasingly played a prominent role in both society and the school system over the past few decades. This is an unfortunate trend that is starting to alarm many policy makers out there. Some parents and educators will appreciate the chance to understand more about how gangs tend to operate. This can help them prepare their students for how to deal with some of these influences in their daily lives. Why do people join gangs? Gangs in America do play a significant role, so it is worthwhile to understand how they operate.
What Is a Gang?
The definition of a gang is a difficult concept to understand. The concept typically refers to a close knit group of individuals or friends. It can take on a benign role, since it could simply refer to a fraternal organization. But there are many examples of gangs that will involve criminal activities. These are the organizations that draw in attention from law enforcement agencies. Professionals will be able to lend their support to understanding the history of gangs. This can help parents and students understand more about the influence of gangs within their lives as well.
Gang affiliation rates are on the rise all across the world. It is expected that there are over 1,400,000 gang members within the United States alone. These members are distributed across thousands of different gangs, which are located throughout the country. There are many other gangs that are located throughout the world as well. Some gangs will tend to have an international presence, which influences the way that many of them tend to operate. Gang culture will permeate throughout society and tends to influence individuals at many different levels. Defining what is a gang will be a vital role for people who are trying to curtail the influence of these organizations.
Juvenile gangs will also tend to have a prominent role within society. These may be affiliate gangs that will cooperate with adult organizations. They may be used to draw in younger members in to the organization, which will influence the way that they tend to operate. They may still have their own local gang leader, who will tend to influence the operation of the unit. Schools and other local organizations will need to keep tabs on how the gangs themselves tend to operate. This could produce a dramatic effect on the way that the gang is allowed to exist.
There have been some substantial efforts made to control the presence of these gangs. But perhaps the best tool people have will simply be an understanding of how things work. Education is one of the best overall tools leaders have when it comes to preventing students from joining gangs. But it will take a fair amount of diligence to ensure that all students are actively involved in this process. This could also limit gang crimes and other dangerous activities that they tend to promote over time as well.
History of Gangs
Understanding the history of gangs will be a valuable resource for anyone interested in this subject. Gangs have existed in some form for centuries and have had a presence all over the world. Many of them have played a substantial role in the development of society, though they haven’t always had a positive impact. Major cities throughout Victorian era England had gangs, which tended to influence local politics. The same was true in the United States, which served to play a pivotal role in the labor movement. These gangs influenced local politicians, which in turn shaped the direction of the country.
However, there is no doubt that gangs have had a deleterious effect on society in many ways. Thuggee gangs in India had a substantial influence on society during the course of the 18th and 19th centuries. But it is thought that the gang itself murdered over 1,000,000 people during this time frame. It took decades for local communities to limit the influence of these organizations and prevent this level of violence from occurring. These organizations and their influence also changed the perception of gangs, with many people being divided. Some of these organizations have continued to exist up until this day.
Historically, societies have used some different types of strategies when it comes to limiting the scope of gangs. Victorian England set up penal colonies throughout the world to redistribute captured gang members. Many major communities in Australia were comprised of people who were captured as part of a gang in England. This helped the country develop an identity for containing large scale correction facilities. Residents also developed their own identity based on the way that convicts were shipped in to the area. There are many other communities throughout the world that have developed based on this concept.
Gangs have always been associated with lower classes, so they do tend to have an impact at the societal level. This has drawn in interest from social scientists who want to understand more about how gangs tend to operate. Many of these organizations tend to create a positive connotation for themselves, because they do offer an escape from the confines of lower class life. This is why they prove to have an enduring popularity among many young people. During the course of Victorian era England, these street gangs were often a place for poor orphans who wanted to find respite from their condition.
There were also many prominent conflicts between gangs themselves. 19th century New York is another common example of gangs that have engaged in this kind of warfare. It is estimated that there were over 200 different conflicts that were started by youth gangs operating in New York City between the 1820s and 1850s. Many of these conflicts were part of a broader sociological change that was occurring at the time. Rapid changes in the local economic system tended to produce a greater among of gang influence. This continued to impact the lives of many people out there as well.
Generating a list of gangs is difficult, because they tend to be rapidly changing organizations. The influence of different gangs have risen and fallen over the course of the past few decades. Groups such as the Damned Assassins and the Dead Rabbits were once highly influential gangs that swayed a lot of local politics. But these have largely given way to new gangs that have changed the nature of urban organizations. Police and other law enforcement agencies spend quite a bit of time tracking these groups and how they change. Their membership roles tend to rise and fall based on the relative power that the group itself holds.
It is important to note that the demographics of gangs have changed to a significant degree. This is perhaps best reflected in the United States, where gang life has undergone a considerable transformation. By 1999, 47% of gang members were Hispanic. Another 31% were Black, while the White population of gangs was estimated to be at around 13%. Not surprisingly, the nature of these organizations have changed over time as well. They have tended to develop themselves around the interests of minorities and will tend to accept only a certain subset of members.
There are possibly over 33,000 gangs operating within the United States. There are many major organizations that have tended to draw in a lot of influence among the local population. Some of the major gangs out there include the Bloods, the Crips, the Nazi Lowriders, various biker gangs and skinhead organizations. There are also many gangs that are closely associated with ethnicity membership. Perhaps the best known examples of these organizations include the Cosa Nostra organization. This is better known as the Italian Mafia, which has influenced public perception of gangs for generations now. The influence of the Mafia has declined in recent years, but they have undoubtedly changed gang culture in many ways.
Given the success of the Cosa Nostra organizations, many other nationalistic organizations have taken shape over time. This includes different types of Russian and Ukrainian Mafia groups. Armenian, Mexican and Colombian organizations have also taken on a prominent role over the years. These groups may take in recent immigrants heading in from these different countries of origin. This will influence the direction of these gangs and how they may change over time as well. When trying to understand how these gangs operate, keeping nationality in mind is an important consideration for many to follow.
Understanding the purpose of these gangs will provide some valuable insight into how they tend to operate. Many of these gangs are close knit organizations, which promote loyalty among the members therein. But they also tend to promote conflict between different groups of people within a city or a community. This has influenced how gangs have developed over time. Local law enforcement agencies have had greater success when they were able to understand more about how these gangs have developed. This has impacted organizations at many levels, helping leaders make a positive change.
How to Join a Gang
There are a few ways to learn how to join a gang as well. Gang memberships are consistently on the rise, thanks to the unique ways in which they tend to operate. Membership in these organizations is often heavily stratified, with some people taking years to become fully fledged members. There are some students and young persons that are considered at risk when it comes to joining these gangs. These individuals may be loosely associated with authentic gang members. These at risk students may need help coping with their situation, since they may be influenced by many different factors as well.
Associates or affiliates are usually those people who have just become formally involved with the gang itself. These affiliates may have undergone an initiation procedure, in which senior members have tested their loyalty. This can also separate people who may have a passing interest in gang lifestyle from those who will have a long career in it. There may be an initiation procedure that will encourage prospective members to engage in different types of criminal activities. Each gang will have its own unique policy when it comes to how new members will be brought in to the fold.
Gang members may have a varying degree of influence, which may impact their lives in a number of ways. There are gangs that do offer paths to leadership positions within the organization. But there are limited opportunities for many people who want to get in on the ground level. Influence is often defined by the number of connections that a person tends to make. This may actually change the way that some people tend to work with these street gangs. If people find out more information about these gangs, then they will need to understand how they tend to work as well.
Leaders of these gangs often exert a considerable amount of influence over time. But this often comes at a hefty cost, since these leaders will need to commit a variety of crimes. Gangs are often under a considerable amount of pressure from rival organizations for control of turf. Gang warfare is still a very real and dangerous component of how people tend to approach this lifestyle. Leaders will need to command the loyalty of other members and accomplish real goals within the organization. This could impact the decisions that people tend to make when it comes to promoting these events.
Gang membership tends to influence local politics and how law enforcement agencies tend to work. This could produce a significant change to the way that many leaders deal with these groups. But acquiring a better understanding of these groups will impact the decisions that people make. This could help curtail gang membership and encourage people to build an alternative lifestyle for themselves.