What Is a Gang?
The real definition of the term gang has been very difficult to find. This is based on the fact that, there is no one who really knows the definition, secondly, it depends width the person the question is being asked to, as well as whatever you think it is. Such like issues have made both the criminal justice practitioners a long with academicians to spend sleepless nights wondering about it. However, since this assignment deals with sociological point of view, then the definition will follow the social workers definition. According to sociologists, a gang is “a group made up of individuals, through the organization, formation, and establishment of an assemblage, share an identity that is common” (Ball, & Curry, 240).
However, in the current situations, has been used typically to depict an organization performing criminal activities or else an affiliation of criminal links. In the past, the term was being used to refer to a group of workmen especially in the United Kingdom. Nevertheless, the term in the United Kingdom is still being used in most cases in such like senses. Though of late, the term has undergone some bit of pejoration. In most cases the term it self has been carrying connotations that tend to be on the negative side, though within a gang, “which defines it in opposition to mainstream norms, members may adopt the phrase as a statement of identity or defiance”, (Deane, 45), it should be noted, a gang is not a family, but just an organization that is made up of both poor and wealthy neighborhoods, from both big and smaller cities, as well as from rural areas.
By looking at the gangs in the sense of committing violence, the issue of the issues in the term gang, then becomes ancient. This is based on the fact that, different communities or cultures have different illustrations of gangs. Looking at it in the 20th century, forms of violence caused by gangs have become a major issue, for many individuals, especially those living in urban areas, “where large gangs comprised of minorities and impoverished individuals degrade the quality of life for many residents. These street gangs, as they are known, are infamous for committing violent acts and for being involved in activities of questionable legality”, (Curry & Spergel, 45)
Going down to a lesser degree, schoolyard gangs, have what some individuals believe to be members of gang groups, but still under training. It has been indicated that, individuals who gravitate toward the lifestyle of gangsters, starts at an early age. Research has indicated that, the best ever known criminal gangs are the Italian Costa Nostra, which is commonly known as the Mafia.
In general, understanding the structure of gangs is a very critical skill that is necessary when defining a gang and coming up with strategies of dealing with them.