What causes the formation of gangs?

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What causes the formation of gangs?

Unread postby Jonathan » Tue Jan 28, 2003 8:04 pm

Gangs are a controlling force in America today, and around the world. Although in the past most gangs were formed for political reasons, and of course, even for religious reasons. There crimes ranging from small to large, spry painting to rape and murder. But what causes these gangs to appear? Influence from television and media? Bad neighborhood? Manipulation? In this thread we can discuss what creates gangs today, and discuss why we believe that to be the cause. Here are some examples and possibilities:

-Influence from television and media
-Little chance of being caught and punished
-Ineffective corrective system
-Abuse of Alcohol and Drugs
-Lack of education
-Unemployment
-Permissive courts
-Poverty
-Inadequate police protection
-Rising Population
-Lack of parental guidance
-Breakdown in morals
-Immigration
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Unread postby Gravity » Tue Jan 28, 2003 8:29 pm

Well, I feel that one of the main reasons gangs arise is because it is a family. People who are in gangs normally don't have a family, or are cast down by them. At least in some gangs, they know they are accepted, even if it's people who are not quite on the general side of the law. So anyone can join in a gang if they don't have a well developed social life.

Because the majority of these people in gangs do not have a good social life, this will cause them to resent the society, and therefore, commit such crimes, small and large. The resentment of society will also cause gangs to look after themselves and the other members within them. The gang also needs to know that each of their members can be trusted. Thus, some gangs have this "proposition" to ask of new members before they are accepted (Getting a tattoo, even murder.)

So I feel that the main reason gangs are growing is because of the social lives. If the parent is abusing them, or they don't seem to make friends, then it would be possible that they would join a gang.
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Unread postby The Masked Moogle » Tue Jan 28, 2003 8:31 pm

Gravity said it. The primary cause is the failure of the home life.. I could go into the Freudian reasons, but Gravity summed it up pretty well.

A child needs to feel loved and cared for.. If he isn't in the home, he'll seek it wherever he can. Knowing that, it's not difficult to imagine how the first gangs would have started.
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Unread postby Asellas » Tue Jan 28, 2003 8:46 pm

I have a different viewpoint.I agree with what everyone said but i think it is to do with them not being threatened.Eg Bully in a school and people who follow him are scared of being bullied.Get the picture.Anyway it could be to do with rejection.They have missed out on so much in life they want to fulill their desires and to be Known.But Sir Jonathan has stated all the vital points.
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Unread postby DianWei » Tue Jan 28, 2003 10:32 pm

the serious gang members i know are pulled into it by thier family and they cant do anything to get out of it.... irl there house was firebombed and they had to go to a hotel.... in the hotel one of the brothers shot the other, and then they had to go to the hospital without the police catchingthem for some other social deviance...
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Unread postby Rhiannon » Wed Jan 29, 2003 12:05 am

I'll also subscribe to the family belief -- the lack of a father OR mother, or an abusive situation, I think can seriously influence someone, especially if there's pressure for them to fill that empty role.

However (and it is tied to family) I believe the major cause of gangs is a need for self-esteem and self-worth. Even with a bad or empty homelife, I don't think a child would join a gang if he had a good sense of self-worth, whether that be from wholesome friends, teachers, neighbors, etc. It's that need to be important, to be somebody in the world that I feel is the essential root cause.
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Unread postby CK » Wed Jan 29, 2003 12:46 am

I would agree with most of you here about the formation of gangs. Gangs has always been a phenomenon in immigrant societies because of the lack of family ties. The roles of gangs moreover are aplenty. Besides offering you much needed social relationships, friends, it can help you in your career as well as offer you protection. Mostly, the gangs do care about their fellow members. All the talk about loyalty in gangs shown in Hong Kong triad movies are not false (though often glorified)

The misconception however is that gangs are bad things. In fact, gangs can serve a purpose and is only bad because the law and the governing authority society said so. Trade Unions were once regarded as unlawful gangs. Sun Yat Sen was also once the head of a major gang (secret society) against the Ching government.

The unfortunate thing though is that gangs become increasingly redundant as their roles in providing welfare etc were replaced by relevant government agencies and authorities. As a result, gangs evolved and we now associate them with much negativity simply because they often deals with illegal activities. (Of course, I do think there are some more unconventional gangs which do not break the law.)

Since all of you had listed excellent points like the inability of members to get away from gangs, need for self-fulfilment and company, let me also stress the importance of peer pressure. Of course, that can also be argued as the need for recognition which like many of you have pointed out, is arguably the most important reason for people to join gangs. (Of course, it may just be the plain and simple reason that they enjoy doing what the gangs do and sincerely believe in their practices and beliefs, however rare this may be.)
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Unread postby Zhanghe_of_Wei » Wed Jan 29, 2003 1:42 am

Prejudice and discrimination ---> Segregation ---> Gang formation.
This is how i think gangs are initially formed in general. Nowadays situations are aggravated by some, if not all, of the factors mentioned by Jonathon and the rest.
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Unread postby Wen Choung » Wed Jan 29, 2003 1:44 am

Yea, I suppose one of the biggest causes is a failed family. I was told by my religion teacher once that the family is the basis of the society. One grows up in a family to be citizens of the community. If someone is raised poorly in the family, that same person is most likely going to act poorly in the community, and thus all of society.

But there are many related problems...I'll make a quick analysis.

- Over population + technology/efficiency (the irony here is that these are "good" things, yet the help start the chain of societies' ills) ->
- Unemployment ->
- Poverty ->
- Unhappy and partial families (if people can't support their families, some will ditch their children, thus creating single mother/father families) ->
- The need for "love" and unity ->
- Gangs

Of course that is just one way of going about it. There is an unlimited way of determining what helped create this gang and that gang, but there isn't just be one cause.
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Unread postby Lu Fengxian » Wed Jan 29, 2003 3:56 am

I agree with the bad familiy idea, but I feel peer presure has a lot to do with it too. I can't say as I have not had any experience with them, but I could see how some people might view it as "cool" to be in a gang. Once their in though, they really can't leave.
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