Homework Question on Gang Structure
- Klein Journal Article to prepare a 10-page paper that will compare and contrast (analyze) one traditional gang and one neo-traditional gang.
- The assignment will encompass gang structure, factors in gang membership, group dynamics, and aggression. Traditional gang “Crips and Bloods” vs Neo Traditional gang “Tagging Crews or gangs”
Homework Answer on Gang Structure
A gang is an organized group whose members has structured themselves and is involved in an elevated level of criminal activity. Klein, Weerman, and Thornberry state that it is common that gangs are associated with violence (413). In the American context, gangs comprises of rowdy and aggressive group of people who have some degree of organization and can control neighborhoods. Klein Weerman, and Thornberry assert that American street gangs have a common stereotype which often includes high levels of violence and disrupting normalcy in the communities (415). Martin Sanchez says that understanding gang classification is quite challenging due to their relation in behavioral patterns and at the same time lack of sociologically similarities (192).
For instance, there are groups that are involved in drug syndicate, others in white supremacist, while others are anti-religious; basically, they elicit violence as a common behavior but they have different reasons for forming a group. Therefore, there is no clear definition or coherent separation of gangs into their appropriate groups. With that notwithstanding, gangs have evolved and there are notable changes in their traditional forms and the more evolved groupings. In this context, this paper aims at expressively looking at factors of street gangs such as gang structure, membership, dynamics, and aggression. This will be achieved by comparing the traditional gang and neo traditional gang which are “Crisps and Bloods” versus “Tagging Crews” respectively.
Street Gang Organization
According to McGloin, there are two opposing debates regarding how street gangs structure or establish themselves (3). One side argues that gangs are rational, formal, cohesive, and organized groups that have structures and specialized social roles. On the contrary, other scholars view gangs as informal groups that lack cohesion and true organization. However, this study sticks on the argument that gang members are informal but they have cohesion in their smaller groups and that their motive is related to committing particular crimes. As explained by McGloin, this does not define a tight structure but a loose but also fragmented association with whose members identifies with it but they can still act on their own. Based on this explanation, it is therefore important to understand how members pool together to form a gang, what are their motivations, ideologies, and purposes of being in a street gang.