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"Gangs Form in Response to a Breakdown of Law and Order" Analysis

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Introduction: In the article “Gangs Form in Response to a Breakdown of Law and Order” it discussed various topics that show how they are trying to prove their statement. The reason why I chose this article was that I was looking for something that was controversial and that affected more people than most thought, and to give a deeper meaning and hopefully open the eyes of some. “Crime Causes Gangs”, “Gang as Protection”, and “A Failure of Government” are the topics that I am the most influential for my research paper (Sobel and Osoba 2009).

Body 1: When thinking about criminal activity most usually associate it with the presence of gangs, but it is actually the opposite, gangs were originally created because of crime is present in many communities.

According to Sobel and Osoba “the failure of government to protect the rights of individuals from violence committed by youths” and “By banding together under the threat of mutual retaliation, potential victims of youth violence can secure increased safety.” (Sobel and Osoba 2009) In my personal opinion, this shows that how the failure of the police following certain procedures in certain neighborhoods can cause a rift in the community because everywhere will do what they need to do when it boils down to the basic necessities of survival, to protect themselves and those they care for.

So when facing multiple encounters from rivals and other those who are being attacked will soon form their own group to protect themselves. They enforce rules in the community just like a government but use force in more of an aggressive, violent, and “barbaric” type of fashion.

Body 2: The concept is that people would join a gang to feel protected and safe from their rivals. This method has been around for multiple ages and is used by multiple organizations. “All protection firms and organizations, from the mafia to private security to traditional governments, use coercion, retaliatory violence, and predatory violence to enforce certain rules of conduct and to enforce and protect the rights of their members.” Sobel and Osoba state that “The gang’s use of retaliatory violence against someone who aggresses against a gang member actually results in a lower level of total violence as it creates a strong incentive for individuals not to initiate violence, to begin with, because of the fear of retaliation by the gang” (Sobel and Osoba 2009). Therefore, this is like when someone has a lot of siblings and people are scared to mess with them because the older siblings are going to correct anyone who steps out of line. This effect carries over to the use of gang protection and they use the “eye for an eye” method when it comes to retaliation or does two times as much damage to show they’re not to be messed with.

Body 3: The next point made that caught my eye was how they showed the connection between violence and gang activity. “The popular perception that gangs cause violent crime is based on tenuous casual observations. Although gangs and violence do seem to frequently coexist, such cross-sectional correlations do not imply causality. Our results provide strong evidence that violent crime causes an increase in gang membership and not vice versa. Thus, areas with higher rates of violent crime will also experience higher rates of gang membership as a result of the increased violence” (Sobel and Osoba 2009). Generally, the average person would take the idea of linking gang activity and violence and running with it without thinking of the background history associated with it. This style of thought process reminds me of how people link the increase of ice cream sales to the increase in murder rates. Those two usually make people do a double take since they are on two completely different ends of their respective spectrum, but they are brought together because both increases when temperature increases. Proving that one should not just take ideas, theories, and thoughts and just run with them. One should do their own personal research on a topic that is controversial before taking certain things and creating a mental fixation on the topic.

Closing: In conclusion, the article gave plenty of ideas to open the eyes of many. It shows what caused gangs to be created, gives an explanation of why they were created and even gave a few examples of earlier “organizations” that used similar tactics that gangs use today. Finally, I hope that those three bodies or work that were carefully drawn out over the course of 4 weeks gave the viewer the pleasure of coming to a better understanding of what caused the original gangs to be founded.

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“Gangs Form in Response to a Breakdown of Law and Order” analysis. (2019, March 12). GradesFixer. Retrieved June 17, 2021, from
““Gangs Form in Response to a Breakdown of Law and Order” analysis.” GradesFixer, 12 Mar. 2019,
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