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Gang Subculture

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Human beings are social being who belong to different cultures.  In these cultures, human beings are bound by strong cultural perspectives from which individuals get their social and personal identity. However within these cultures, there are subcultures which define a society within the large society. A subculture can be described as a group of people in the larger society who have distinct or hidden culture perspectives differentiating them from the main societal culture.  Some subcultures are defined by opposing to the main culture.   Subcultures have their own particular characteristics which are practiced by their members only differentiating them from the mainstream culture of the society.  Gangs   have been common in our society. They are a society within a society   with their own subculture. In this paper we are going to review gang subjects looking to particular characteristics that define them.

Gang subculture

Gangs have become a common phenomenon in our streets. Gangs are not new in the society and have been present in the society posing their own culture very different from the rest of the society.  According the recent survey, there are more than 840,500 gang members in the United States with an approximate 26 gangs. The number of gang members has been increasing at an alarming rate and the recruitment has been more directed towards the young teens.

Gangs have a complete subculture of their own.  The strong influence of gang subculture has been one of the main factors that have made it difficult to break gangs. Members of the gangs are strongly bound by the rules and regulation regarding their operation but the main emphasis of their culture is brotherhood in their acts which is geared towards making money.  Breaking of these rules comes with a lot of consequences and may even lead to death of the member. Loyalty to the gang and its activity as defined by the rule is expected for all members. Orientation to the gang rules and regulation is one of the most important processes of joining a gang.

Gangs are identified by different characters its which are not common in the normal society. Apparently these are important subculture perspectives which some gang members will die to protect while others are killed for it. In terms of rules and regulations, gangs are supposed to be secretive society with strict rules followed by all members. Most gangs have a hierarchical order and respect and obedience for leaders is not an exception. There are important subculture practices which identify members of a particular gang including tattoos, a certain kind of clothes and accessories like bandanas, “bling-bling”, and others like use of graffiti and hand signs.  They have special language like “blanca” for white female, “caca” for drugs, “carnal” for brother, and many others. Some of these subculture perspectives are difficult for members outside the gang to understand which are meant for internal communication while others like clothing are meant for identification.

 Gangs have been and will remain to be controversial. This is because one of the most prevalence gang cultures is violence which serves different purposes. First violence is used as a means of attaining economic gain through perpetration of violent acts. Second, gangs use violence culture so instill fear on other gangs and on general public.  Gangs have very clear set goals. Their first goal is to maintain brotherhood for the purpose of the protection of the group.  Their second goal is to work together for economic gains.  In some groups, there is taking of others which is meant to bind group members together.  The violent nature of the gangs and their deviation from the social norm puts them in conflict with not only the law enforcement agency but also the general public.

 One of the main reasons why gangs are growing very fast is because of their financial attractiveness.  Gang recruitment has intensified recruitment of the young who are not well versed with their repercussion. Gang recruitments are targeting the young most respectively the teenagers because they can be easily molded into gangster and easily cultured in gangster subculture.  There is little more parents can do to keep their children out of gangs since the recruitment is done even in schools.  There are also widespread information about gangs everywhere in the media, form peers, internet, gangster rap music, and others

Joining a gang is not a difficult but it may be traumatic and aimed at introducing individual to gangster life. There are many ways through which individual can join a gang. However the most prevalent way of joining gangs involves suffering injury or inflicting injury which may be financial or financial upon others.  Some gangs have initiation rites whiles others do not have.  Most gangs have shown that they target most youths growing up in their neighborhood.


Gangs are common phenomenon in our streets and are an inconvenient on our life. Gangs can be described as a society within the larger society. They have their own distinct culture which binds all members of the gang.  They have their own rules and regulations which abide all members. They have their own styles of clothing and language which is used for internal communication and identification.  Gang recruitment is mainly targeting the young teenagers who appear attracted to gang activity and are easy to socialize into gang’s life.

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