Youth Gangs in the American Society
Randall Shelden is a well-known sociologist who has a Ph.D.from the Southern Illinois University.
The different branches of his studies include understanding the young generation as to how their lives and their dealings particularly relate to the ways by which they react to the changing society that include gang formations and juvenile delinquency issues. There are different books of which he has already published that also include the said issues and of such well-written publications is the one that tackles the “Youth Gangs in the American Society”.
About the Book The “Youth Gangs in the American Society” is a reading that presents both the reasons behind and the qualifying results of gang issues in the United States. Through the gathered psychological as well as psychosocial explanations that reason out with the existing situations in the society today, Shelden presented the necessary points of consideration needed to be understood in presenting the discussion of youth gangs and how should be well treated with. Content and Summary The youth are the hope of today’s society.
This line has long been recognized by many industrialized as well as developing countries worldwide. This is the primary reason why it is evident that government organizations are trying to invest their best possible available assets to the development of the young generation. However, not all of the members of the young generation actually get to have an access on the said programs. Most of them, who belong to the minority groups of the society, are the ones who are in need of these programs. Yet, they are the ones who have lesser access on the said governmental set-ups.
As a result, young people who get charged with juvenile delinquency cases are increasing every year. The fact that they have nothing better to do than to simply stay at home or wander around in the states, they become the target of numerous gangs that are encouraging youths to join them in their unlawful acts. If not, many of these youths bring forth several chaotic movements that particularly disturb the entire community. These youths certainly need help. Furthermore, as the children grow up, the young adults become more prone to different influences from the environment.
The people that they deal with everyday become the source of the different values that they take in for themselves as they personally grow up. There are at least four major reasons why young people develop in the behavior that they grow up with. These four major dimensions of development could be noted as follows: • The family and the parents: usually, the young children get the examples of acts from their parents which in turn they carry in themselves as they grow up. It is through this particular process that the young ones are able to comprehend with the impact that their parents are making on them as young adults. The Environment and the Society: As the young children grow older, the impact of the people living around them aside from their family members begins to leave an impact on their personality. True, the situation has been much more proved by the psychologists that the effect of the family and the society differ from each other. As for a fact, the percentage of effect that the society makes on the individual is far much higher than that of the effect of the family with development of the youngsters. • The psychological need for acceptance: young ones aim to be accepted especially if they have the capacity of being recognized.
This is the reason why they usually take sides on those who they seem are able to recognize their capabilities. • The decision making system of the youngsters: They are usually deciding in different ways, most of the time, confusion gets in the way. This is the reason why it is very important that they are given fine attention as they are being assisted with the personal development difficulties that they are dealing with at present. To understand the four dimensions better, the diagram shall show the necessary illustration to explain better: DIAGRAM 1: Dimensions of Effects on the
Personal Development of Youngsters These four dimensions of impact on youths’ developmental progress actually shapes the way that they ought to understand the way that they are to progress as individuals. This is the reason why the difficulties of the young should be given fine attention to. It is certainly important that the young ones are given the guidance that they need to be come well endowed to a better life that is much more different from the destructive ways that they are merely brought up by the massively destructive human society at present.
This is where the issue on peer pressure enters. As noted earlier, the situation becomes hard-to-deal-with especially when it comes to the effect of the society [particularly referring to their peers] on the development that happens within the personality of the youngsters. Peer pressure can be deceptive—in fact, we may not notice it at all. Clearly, people want to fit in with those around them—so much so that most will even deny what they know to be true. Many young people have observed this pressure in action.
Understanding the fact that people have this certain need of being accepted, it could not be denied that as they [particularly referring to the young generation], are most likely the target of peer pressure. This is mainly because of the fact that they deal with different people almost everyday. Hence, as noted earlier, the people are more susceptible to change of personality as they are gradually involved with the ways by which other people are living their lives with.
Communities around the world, especially in the multicultural environment that the United States is dealing with right now, are in dire need of support as to how they are supposed to take care of the young generation that is mainly making up the entire population of the American society. It has been noted through reports that at least 48% of the immigrants from different countries around the world entering the premises of the American society belong to the young population.
They are most likely to have been noted to move with or without their families in the country. Some of them are even less knowledgeable of the American society and thus are having a hard time in actually adjusting to the American lifestyle. As a result, most of them end up in becoming part of gangs that are known for their delinquent acts. Sadly, this report is known all over the American territories. Most of the time, the communities that are primarily affected are those which are playing as hosts to the immigrants, most likely, the poor areas of the country.
Reactions and Critique As noted from the details presented above, it could be observed that the author intently researched on the binding issues that support the claims about the things that pertain to the growth of the number of youth gangs in America. Considerably, as an expert of the said study in sociology, Shelden was able to present the different elements that needs to be understood with regards the importance of knowing what gangs are and why are they particularly formed by their leaders.
Most likely, the approach on research and explanation that the author used is indeed considered an important matter that affects the ways by which social workers are able to understand the reasons behind the situation and thus act upon it. Understandably, the simplified yet profound way of making the discussion much more understandable and clarified for the particular target audience of the author was rather an effective manner of contemplating the different factors that contribute to the manner by which gangs are flooding the society today.
It is through this particular reading that the readers would have a better view of why the youth are joining gangs thus be able to act upon the said matter and affect the situation in the society as well as lighten up the burden that the youth are carrying making them much more capable of facing a better future later on in their lives. As noted, the author simply makes it easier for people to help well together for the betterment of the young generation towards the years to come. Reference: Randall Shelden. (2003). Youth Gangs in the American Society (Contemporary Issues in Crime and Justice Series). Wadsworth Publishing.