The Rise of Gangs: America's Dynamic Counterculture
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In the first part of this paper, I will detail the prevailing sociological conditions behind the emergence of two major ethnic gangs: black gangs and Latino gangs. The sociological conditions include the family structure or lack of, the street culture and lifestyle, traditional ethnic group culture, and the economic conditions of the minorities in gang infested areas (including a possible ethnic group marginality compared to whites). The second part of the paper will detail the effects of these conditions on the minority youth (i.e. how do these conditions affect their outlook, temperament, values, and norms?) The third part of the paper will describe what aspects of gang life are particularly appealing to these kids. What makes them want to join gangs and what do they see in the gang lifestyle that they don't see in mainstream American culture? My research brought together many of my own ideas and opinions in this respect: there is no longer any point in throwing blame around for the existing conditions in many of the major American cities. Gangs are only one problem that have risen from the plight of the cities. American history (recently) gave us those conditions and problems. We cannot go back and change history nor can we simply sit back and watch history go by. The problems must be dealt with now. Whatever happened in the past cannot be changed but what will happen in the future depends on us.