The Sibling Impacts on Gang Membership among the Samoan Communities of Carson and Long Beach, CA
This study examines the relationship between siblings as well as the impact of siblings on the choice to join or avoid gang membership within the Samoan communities of Carson and Long Beach, California. There exists an influence among siblings, through words and/or actions to join or avoid gangs. Gangs are the social issue in focus and furthermore, the social impact of siblings of joining a gang is an ongoing issue that occurs in the county of Los Angeles. There exists very little research on Samoans, a Pacific Island culture and people originating from the Polynesian islands of Samoa. This study highlights a common issue shared by a minority of the minorities in spaces only heard of through music artists and athletes. As one of the only Samoan students at the College, the author observes that very few people outside of the west coast know of the Samoan people's struggles in the United States. Carson and Long Beach are also only familiar to those from the West Coast, yet gangs are a universal issue known to many people in numerous parts of the world. The author held confidential face-to-face interviews with Samoans from these two cities that had siblings, with the help of a voice recording phone app. Results show that while some respondents agree that siblings have an impact on one joining a gang or not, others reported that it is the individual's choice to join regardless of whether their sibling is a gang member or not. The aim of this study is to get a better understanding of what is going on regarding the issue of gang membership and how to use these findings in order to help youth avoid going down that path.