Essay Sample: Street Gangs Are a Reflection of the American Capitalist System

Published: 2019-05-29
Essay Sample: Street Gangs Are a Reflection of the American Capitalist System
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Violence Criminal law
Pages: 3
Wordcount: 697 words
6 min read

The capitalist system can be classified as the cause of street gangs in the modern American. Street gangs develop because people want to be part of something they share. Capitalism has made the world revolve around success and poverty. Depiction of the super wealthy and adoration of the wealthy individuals in America has a lot of influence in the way gangs work. Gangs are created to make the members feel protected. High unemployment rates in the poor neighborhood have resulted in the crime as the people try to survive. As capitalism is founded in, the base of individual liberty, and self-determination America became the best place to foster the street gang ideal. Therefore, the society provides the social structures that define success while hindering the access of accomplishment through rules and regulations.

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Crime has been prevalent to capitalism since it began and gang related crimes are intertwined with the capitalistic practices. America is a place where competition is embedded in every individual, crime coexistence is managed by the system subconsciously (Brown, Geis, & Esbense, 2012). As the American system demand more from the people where the rich become wealthier while the poor remain impoverished, the need to find better lives keeps on haunting the people who feel vulnerable. All people the poor and the rich are encouraged to work but with conditions that are unequal people with unequal opportunities tend to find activities that give them the sense of belonging. While the society brings status and respect in form of power and wealth, therefore, gangs tend to provide the gang members the idea of belonging. In a nation where race and class is more conspicuous, people in the minority bracket may opt to accomplish these through crime and violence.

Autonomy is another fact that has plagued the adolescents in the nation. The youth seek autonomy by venting out frustration against those who deny them. Research shows that indulging in crime by the youth is instigated by the fact that they want to feel manly. America is a nation where a man is defined by the affluence and prosperity where those who have little may feel less masculine and indulge in activities that enable them feel elevated. Social disorganization theory asserts to the fact that poverty, high rates of unemployment especially in areas where ethnic minority reside create the financial deficits that lead the people into violent tendencies (Brown, Geis, & Esbense, 2012). High mobility makes the unemployed eager to make something in turn result into behaviors that create instability. In relation to strain theory, the cultural norms of success gives them the urge to prove to the society they can provide and then again they result to illegal means that are available. Due to the unequal access to opportunities they tend to make sure they access wealth through illegal channels. Gangs become a channel for these kind of activities.

The competition for jobs is another factor that is a causative of delinquency in the society. When the people find it difficult to access employment, they are forced to seek ways to sustain themselves. Gangs come in handy in giving them a place to find stability. The impact of economic crisis also gives a clear depiction of why gangs and crime since the environment requires that people establish themselves into affluent individuals. The consumer culture has the people coded into forming identities in the neo-liberal society. In the capitalist America, the gap between the rich and the poor is heightened living deficits in the productive market. Street gangs become more violent while trying to make thing work for them financially (Brown, Geis, & Esbense, 2012). America has the tendency to flaunt what the rich possess making the poor desire to be like the rich. This fact instigates them into activities that enable them gain material wealth quickly. Street gangs become a haven for the get rich quick schemes. In the process of getting better lives, the street gangs also assure the members a daily supply of money from crime, which creates a separate society in the umbrella of crime and delinquency.


Brown, E. S., Geis, G., & Esbense, F. (2012). Criminology: Explaining Crime and Its Context. Published by Routledge

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