Racism/Gangs Of America term paper 13113

Racism term papers
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Gangs of America The United States has seen rapid proliferation of gangs since 1980. During this period, the number of cities with gang problems increased from an estimated 286 jurisdictions with more than 2,000 gangs and nearly 100,000 gang members in 1980 to about 4,800 jurisdictions with more than 31,000 gangs and over 1 million gang members in 1998. An eleven city survey of eighth graders conducted by the LA Times found that 9 percent were currently gang members, and 17 percent said they had belonged to a gang at some point in there short lives. Gangs have for years been a problem in Los Angeles, where they account for about half of the city s murders. But gangs are now responsible for 41 percent of the homicides in Omaha, Nebraska; drive-by shootings rose 3,000 percent in Wichita, Kansas from 1991 to 1993; and Oklahoma City is home to 80 separate gangs. In Wichita, there were eight drive-by shootings in 1991 and 267 in 1993, and over 500 reported in 1998. Gang violence is on the rise and the crimes committed vary from drug offenses to property crimes. Certain offenses are related to different racial/ethnic gangs. African-American gangs are relatively more involved in drug offenses; Hispanic gangs, in turf-related violence; Asian and white gangs, in property crimes. Numerous ethnographic studies have provided excellent descriptions of Hispanic gangs in Los Angeles. They tend to be structured around age-based cohorts, based in a specific territory (barrio), and characterized by fighting. The gang provides family-like relationships for adolescents who feel isolated, drifting between their native and adopted cultures and feeling alienated from both. Hispanic gangs have links to the neighborhood, or barrio, which tie them to the larger culture; much of their violence is related to defense of neighborhood turf. In contrast, African-American gangs in large cities tend to replace traditional social networks that linked young adults with legitimate work opportunities. Thus, these gangs tend to be involved in entrepreneurial activities more than other ethnic/racial gangs and may evolve from scavenger groups to turf gangs and drug-trafficking gangs.



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