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The two examples of ethic illegal crimes committed by minorities I have chosen to write about shown in the news are the MS-13 and the Crips. Each of these gang group activities results in blocked opportunities. According to Merton’s Strain Theory of Deviance, Merton states that: “society puts pressure on individuals to achieve socially accepted goals (such as the American dream), though they lack the means (ReviseSociology)”.
On the Strain Theory, Merton focuses on how certain groups of individuals cannot reach legitimate goals set by our society’s and they have to use the means of Innovation in order for them to get their feet inside the door of the American Dream. For example, the MS-13 uses Innovation such as dealing drugs to achieve financial security in order for them to adapt to the pressure brought on from our society belief system.
According to the news article written by Dana Liebelson and Ariel Edwards-Levy, they stated that: “ MS-13 members are primarily immigrants and descendants from El Salvador; the gang is less a sophisticated international organization than a collection of cliques engaging in violence, small-scale drug-dealing and other crimes (Liebelson and Edwards-Levy)”. Although the MS-13 are one of the most dangerous gangs in the country, the group tends not to target the entire United States as a whole but targets a certain community.
On the other hand, gangs such as the Crips also use innovation in order to achieve financial security. According to the news article written by Al Valdez, he stated that: “ Crip members are African American males in their early 30s; the most common drugs dealt on the market were phencyclidine (PCP), marijuana, barbiturates, amphetamines, and later cocaine which was a huge profit (Valdez). The Crisp, even invest in real estate and various cash-based businesses with the drug money they receive. The Crips illegal activities not only include dealing drugs, but also committing burglary and identification fraud in which these factors help them make a profit.
According to Merton’s Theory, “The ‘American Dream’ encouraged individuals to pursue a goal of success which was largely measured in terms of the acquisition of wealth and material possessions (ReviseSociology)”. It’s somewhat understandable when you think about it as to why these two different gangs choices to stay ahead of the game by selling drugs to reach socially accepted goals, even if they do it illegally. Not saying that selling drugs is the right thing to do, however, for many of the individuals in gangs for them to achieve material success the only way they can meet that goal faster is through committing a crime.
The illegal crime activities that I believe are the result of blocked opportunities for the MS-13 and the Crips are the notion of the American Dream and how different their backgrounds are from most societies. The American Dream is basically the belief that everyone in America each has an equal opportunity to become successful through hard work without many barriers in the way of that goal. Which sadly is a lie, because that belief system seems to work against mostly minorities who commit illegal crimes than whites who also commit illegal crimes.
The people who join gangs such as the MS-13 and the Crips don’t come from a somewhat wealthy background and many of them grow up on the ruff side were in order for them to survive they need to take from others or mainly the rich. If they want to achieve financial security, the majority of them can only rely on selling drugs or robbing others. While, in the case for whites who join gangs, they won’t have to face the same negative viewpoint on them the same way our society views minorities who commit crimes and they still have a higher chance of reaching legal means of achieving financial security throw work. Even with a criminal background jobs would hire a white gang member over a Mexican or Black gang member supply because our society doesn’t seem to view the crimes convicted as equal.
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