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Essay about America's Reluctance to Deal With Gangs and Gang Crime

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The United States of America faces a highly complex problem that
is threatening to destroy the fabric of its unique urban society. This
problem has been developing for many years and has become entwined
into the core of American society to such a point where it has
virtually become accepted as the norm to the millions of people whose
quality of life has been greatly reduced by it. The problem in its
most simple form is crime, however, this is evident as a problem that
demands improvement in nearly every country throughout the world, so
this essay will look closely at the crime problem that has become
synonymous with modern day urban America - gang crime.

To fully understand the detrimental impacts of gang related crime upon
the United States one must first have a good knowledge of the meaning
and definition of a gang and the rise of gang crime through American
urban history. The Oxford English dictionary states that a gang is 'a
set of workmen, slaves or prisoners; set of associates, especially for
criminal purposes'. This definition in the broadest terms indicates
that a gang is a group of people working or going about together,
however, when defining the term gang in relation to crime it is
important to note the difficulty in reaching an overall

Different groups such as the police, media and government can use the
word gang in various ways that enable them to come to their own
conclusions that suit their own needs. For example the media may well
broaden the concept of a gang to enhance news stories that will then
read more dramatic and newsworthy. Possibly the most useful definition
of a gang is that of Mi...

... middle of paper ...

...gang membership. This however raises very
complex issues that would only prove how America's reluctance to deal
with gangs has led to a colossal social dilemma.


Boal & Royle (1999) 'North America' Arnold

Carter, H (1995) 'Study of Urban Geography' Arnold

Cervantes, R.C (1998) 'Substance Abuse and Gang Violence' Sage

Goldfield, D.R & Brownell, B.A (1979) 'Urban America' Houghton Mifflin

Hall, P (1966) 'The Worlds Cities' World University Library

Henwood, D (1994) 'The State of the USA Atlas' Penguin

Knox, P.L et al (1988) 'The United States - contemporary human
geography' Longman

Oatley, N. (1998) 'Cities, Economic Competition and Urban Policy' Paul
Chapman Publishing

Patterson, J.H (1994) 'North America' Oxford University Press

Ronald Huff, C (1990) 'Gangs in America' Sage

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