Sociological Theory for Joining a Gang

SociologicalTheory for Joining a Gang

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SociologicalTheory for Joining A Gang

Thebreaking of the law by adults is a complex topic and there have beenseveral theories that have endeavored to explain the topic. Thesetheories all attempts to explain why an adult would engage incriminal behaviors. This paper discusses the sociological theory forjoining a gang. It also discusses advantages and disadvantages of thetheory and related views.

Thesocial structure proponents say that the main aspects of criminalityand related behavior are an effort to dominate the social andeconomic structures within the society (Adler, &amp Adler,2000).This is particularly so in the poor areas those have poorinfrastructures. The individual therefore joins the gang in an effortto participate and have influence over the few available resourceswithin the society.

Thesocial disorganization proponents focus on the contexts in the citythat have effects on the crime. Such contexts include the dwindlingof facilities in the neighborhoods. There is also a lack of socialregulation and therefore, there is emergence of gangs and othergroups that are keen on breaking the law. The youths of thesecommunities are brought up in the poor neighborhoods and lack a senseof pride in what they do. Joining the gangs provide an opportunityfor self-expression for there is no reputation to protect anyway (Fuller, 2009). They, therefore, spend their time in gangs and otheractivities for there is nothing else better to do.

Thereare the social strain proponents who say that crime is brought aboutwhen people who have dreams and aspirations lack the means to reachthose dreams. Such people feel that there is an unfair distributionof resources and opportunities leading to the emergence of classedsocieties. In such situations, the people feel that they have beendenied the opportunities to reach their aspirations and, therefore,they are left with little option than to join the gangs and othercriminal groups within their neighborhoods (Shelden, Tracy &ampBrown, 2013). The youths see joining gangs and engaging in crime asthe only way to access resources that they feel they have beendenied. They are motivated by people who have money acquired fromcriminal activities and illegal businesses such as dealing in drugbusinesses. They hence join the gangs so that they could equallybenefit from criminal activities. Social

Onthe other hand, proponents of cultural deviance theory adopt aposition where they combine disorganization and the strain theories.They hold the belief that criminality is the consequence of thepressure that the people feel from being isolated .they say thatgrowing up in poor areas make the youth view crime as the only wayto get out of the situation.

Oneadvantage of the theory is that it explains the reasons why thenyouths join criminal gangs within their neighborhoods (Stein &ampPinto, 2011). The reasons behind the theory are genuine because whenpoor people have no hope for the future, crime is the only optionleft for them. The disadvantage of the theory is that it doesn`t sayif the youths who join criminal gangs make an attempt to find othermeans of earning a livelihood other than crime. I agree with thetheory to a certain extent. I feel that when people are denied theopportunities in education and in the decision-making process, theywould be compelled to search for ways to acquire the opportunities.Joining gangs and crime becomes a natural option.


Adler,P. A., &amp Adler, P. (2000). Constructionsof deviance: Social power, context, and interaction.Australia: Wadsworth.

Fuller,J. R. (2009). Juveniledelinquency: Mainstream and crosscurrents.Upper Saddle River, N.J: Pearson/Prentice Hall.

Shelden,R. G., Tracy, S. K., &amp Brown, W. B. (2013). Youthgangs in American society.

Stein,M., &amp Pinto, J. (January 01, 2011). The Dark Side of Groups: A&quotGang at Work&quot in Enron. Group&amp Organization Management, 36, 6,692-721.