Forming gangs are not new phenomenon in the United States society. Gangs are usually groups composed of young people that share common identity; however, these groups have been associated with youth violence and crimes. Quoting Pearson (Thomas, et. al. 2003), their paper stated that in the 1980s there had been a group in London that call themselves Dead Boys that committed acts of vandalism and engaging fights with each other. Gang Membership There are many factors that increase gang membership though such groups have been hot in the eyes of the police.
Usually, young people who are anti-social group together and form a gang. These young people are sometimes non-conformists to law; they see the law as a restriction to what they want to do. As a definition, “youth gangs are bound by a common ethnicity, race, social class, or other determinant and employ distinctive symbols, including style and color of dress, hand signs, tattoos, and graffiti. Loyal gang members follow a gang-defined system of rules, rituals, and codes of behavior.
(Children’s Health Encyclopedia)” One of the determinant factors of gang membership is the substitution for family and desired social structure. Gangs have their own rules that members opt to follow more than the rules that are implemented in their homes. Other youth seek gang membership because of broken family or unreliable parents. They want company and social structure where they feel that they belong. Moreover, teen depression may also contribute as a factor for increase gang membership.
During teenage years, young people have to find themselves and while on the crucial stage of self-becoming, some of them result to joining groups that may immediately accept them without prior determination that these groups may soon cause them bad. Teenagers are not very cautious and evaluative at their age about the groups that they are joining. Self-expression may be another factor. Young people need to find the place where they can truly express themselves in different way other than what is generally accepted by the public. They find people who have the same self-expression as themselves, form and group and divert to the norms.