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8 Ball Chick Essay

1414 words - 6 pages

Gangs are created in communities for a sense of belonging. Participating in delinquent behavior is the only thing the members are anxious to do. Gangs are normally developed in poor low income neighborhoods. In Eight Ball Chick we see how girls will do just about anything to get initiated into a gang. Merton's strain theory along with Aker's second generation social learning theories and sub culture theories will describe how and why gangs are created in society. Wealthy neighborhoods are not plagued with numerous gangs throughout there community. Reasoning being it is not tolerated in such an area. The upper classes have a "stake in conformity". Meaning they have too much to loose if such a thing were to take place. On the other hand, poor communities do not have the same outlets. They are poor, which gives them no power to control the gang activity. Merton speaks of how individuals such as the gang members do however possess aspirations but have few expectations that will be further discussed in the paper. The gang members know that there actions are wrong but it gives them status, respect in their communities. Therefore they leave their neighborhoods susceptible to drive by shootings and other violent acts that put innocent people in danger. The females and male gangs have dreams but there is a discrepancy between desire (aspirations) and expectations. They live in impoverished neighborhoods which cause strain, which leads to crime. Individuals develop strain because society gives everyone expectations but do not equip everyone with the means of acquiring them. (In class notes 2/25/04). Alicia, one of the gang members in Eight Ball Chick wanted to be a court reporter. She was encouraged to finish her GED and apply to college. She thought the process would take to long. (Eight Ball Chick p.113) Lower class individuals tend to accept the goals one is given but the not means to obtain them. This is an example of high aspirations and low expectations. (Class notes 2/25/04) Alicia wanted to succeed without going through trials and tribulations to get there. Another example of strain is when Shy girl speaks of how she vows to finish school. Shy girl has plans of one day having a different life. She could not guarantee that she would not engage in gang activity however. She wants to have a good job and provide one day for a family. She has accepted the institutionalized means but continues to play a part in perilous activities. (Eight Ball Chick p.39) A lot of despicable behavior takes place in order for the girls to join a gang. Such as sexual abuse, where they allow four to nine boys to have sexual intercourse with them. They believe "Your showing how much you're willing to give up for the guys, 'cause they're willing to die for you and I'd rather get laid than get shot." (Eight Ball Chick p.102) These girls are labeled retreatism because according to Merton. They fail to accept goals and means. According to...

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