“Gangs and Social Change by: Martin Sanchez-Jankowski” – Review”

18 Oct

Martin Sanchez-Jankowski, the author of “Gangs and Social Change”, believes that the focus on individual differences to explain gang membership is misguided for several reasons. The first reason is immigration in which the children of immigrants would become frustrated living in lower-class environments that their parents might not have had to experience in their former locations. “Gangs have also developed in immigrant communities where the socio-economic mobility of the youth of these communities appears, in the 1990s, even more structurally blocked in the past.” (Gangs and Social Change. pg 137)

Another reason would be the “blue-collar” influence. The article explains that youths with blue-collared parents often observe the work patterns that their parents exhibit, and apply them to their own personal participation in gang life. By having a part time job, these adolescents are able to maintain money for their use of entertainment, yet have enough time to participate in their gang affiliated activities. The same way corporations are aggressively recruiting workers is the same way gangs do too.

The reason gang life flourishes is because of prisoners and incarcerations. The drug industry continues to grow, thus drug crime arrests are constantly on the rise. Due to this fact, prisoners form gangs inside of jails to survive. Once these prisoners are released into everyday life, these gangs are continued and even grow stronger in recruitment numbers. The author believes that in order to understand gangs, it is better to focus on the differences on a macro level, rather than simply on a micro level as to not misguide the explanation on gang membership.

 

Article via Sage Journals

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