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Gangs Essay

1425 words - 6 pages

GANGSGangs are a violent reality that people have to deal with in today's cities. Whathas made these groups come about? Why do kids feel that being in a gang is both anacceptable and prestigious way to live? The long range answer to these questions canonly be speculated upon, but in the short term the answers are much easier to find. Onthe surface, gangs are a direct result of human beings' personal wants and peer pressure.To determine how to effectively end gang violence we must find the way that thesemorals are given to the individual Unfortunately, these can only be hypothesized.However, by looking at the way humans are influenced in society, I believe there is goodevidence to point the blame at several institutions. These include the forces of the media,the government, theater, drugs and our economic system.On the surface, gangs are caused by peer pressure and greed. Many teens ingangs will pressure peers into becoming part of a gang by making it all sound glamorous.Money is also an crucial factor. A kid (a 6-10 year old, who is not yet a member) isshown that s/he could make $200 to $400 for small part time gang jobs. Although theseare important factors they are not strong enough to make kids do things that are stronglyagainst their morals.One of the ways that kids morals are bent so that gang violence becomes moreacceptable is the influence of television and movies. The average child spends more timeat a TV than she/he spends in a classroom. Since nobody can completely turn off theirminds, kids must be learning something while watching the TV. Very few hours oftelevision watched by children are educational, so other ideas are being absorbed duringthis period of time. Many shows on television today are extremely violent and are oftenshown this from a gang's perspective. A normal adult can see that this is showing howfoully that gangs are living. However, to a child this portrays a violent gang existence asacceptable. 'The Ends Justifies the Means' mentality is also taught through many showswhere the 'goody guy' captures the 'bad guy' through violence and is then beingcommended. A young child sees this a perfectly acceptable because he knows that the'bad guy' was wrong but has no idea of what acceptable apprehension techniques are.Gore in television also takes a big part in influencing young minds. Children seegory scenes and are fascinated by these things that they have not seen before. Olderviewers see gore and are not concerned with the blood but rather with the pain the victimmust feel. A younger mind doesn't make this connection. Thus a gore fascination isformed, and has been seen in several of my peers. Unfortunately kids raised with thissort of television end up growing up with a stronger propensity to becoming a violentgang member or 'violent-acceptant' person.'Gangs bring the delinquent norms of society into intimate contact with theindividual.'1, (Marshall B Clinard, 1963). So, as you can see if TV leads a child tobelieve that...

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