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Gang Violence Social Theories Essay

Gang Violence Social Theories Essay

In the world different people have tried to protect their identity as a group. These have led to formation of organized nonpolitical groups. Such groups often grow in number and aggressiveness resulting to gang violence. This paper seeks to study the social theories by explaining gang violence and comparing & contrasting the theories: disorganization, strain & cultural, differential association, technique of neutralization, social bond theory and social reaction theory. It also explains the main causes of gang violence.Gang Violence Social Theories Essay


Gangs are known to settle their differences through shooting. They are mainly attached to drug trade and are known to do anything within their capability to protect their businesses. It is observed that the number of gangs is increasing rapidly these days. Modern gangs are mostly formed for economic gain.

This is in contrast to gangs in the past who were mainly interested in territorial and cultural reasons (Miller & Gaines, 2008). These gangs are found in the streets although some have found roots in schools, colleges and universities targeting the youths. This has resulted in dramatic changes in students’ behavior leading to constant violation of the rules (Englander, 2007).

Gang Theories

The behavior of the gangs can be explained through gang theories. These include social bond theory and social reaction theory among others. The social bond theory approaches social problems and then tries to explain them. It takes into consideration all aspects of the social life including relations, cultures and customs. As the youth grows up, the environmental circrmstances surrounding their bringing up determines to a greater extent the behavior they are to develop as they mature.Gang Violence Social Theories Essay


The behaviors of people at close proximity such as family members or schoolmates are also influential. The Social reaction theory argues that when anyone commits any crime, they are mostly identified as criminals. The theory is mainly based on individual identity. The deviants are usually categorized into primary and secondary depending on the magnitude of the act done. These theories consider the social interactions of various people and its effect in their character.

The differential association is a theory revolving about the human character. It argues that a person is likely to get engaged in criminal activities through interactions. This process is not instantaneous but a gradual one which eventually overcomes the better side and the person becomes a criminal (Hagan, 2010).

The technique of neutralization is based on the argument that a person may do certain things to minimize the impact of some values in them that may restrict them from doing some things. These issues are mainly related to moral and social life. It is usually based on the arguments of the person who does the act (Ratti & Adele, 2001). The theory about culture borrows too much from sociology theories. The culture usually tells a lot about the interactions and way of life of different people (Wesel, 2002).

In conclusion it is observed that there are various categories of gang crimes. These crimes are committed for specific reasons. There is no single person who is born a gangster, but the characters of gangsters are adopted in various stages of human development. These acts are learnt through various means as explained in the various theories about gangs explained above. The theories thus illustrates that the main causes of changes in human character are the environment people are brought up and the people whom we interacts with.Gang Violence Social Theories Essay


Englander, E. K. (2007). Understanding violence. London, UK: Rutledge.

Hagan, F. E. (2010). Introduction to Criminology: Theories, Methods, and Criminal Behavior. California, USA: Sage.

Miller, R. & Gaines, L. K. (2008). Criminal Justice in Action: The Core. Stamford, UK: Cengage Learning.

Ratti, O. & Adele, W. (2001). Aikido and the Dynamic Sphere: An Illustrated Introduction. North Clarendon, USA: Tuttle Publishing.Gang Violence Social Theories Essay


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