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Gangs have existed in American for decades with very strong presence in improvised neighborhoods of major cities. However, there is abidance in the fact that the activities these gangs are not confined to their localities. They can be found in almost every community and have been pointed at as having negative impacts on the community such as disruption of schools and disintegration of communities and neighborhoods. These have been precipitated by easy access to firearms. According to Edmonton Police Service (1), "in the past, most disputes between gang members were solved with their fists; now they are often solved with handguns and semiautomatic weapons." Despite numerous efforts to bring onto the surface the elements of gang membership, the reasons as to why gang membership may be attractive to the youth and kids have not been fully explored. The purpose of this segment of research seeks to explore the attractive elements of gang membership and provide a conclusion on the basis of the discussions presented.
Attractive Elements of Gang Membership
Poverty, failing family set-ups and work - family conflicts are putting strain on social family set - ups. Couples lack quality time with one another and with their families (National School Safety Center, 27). Children therefore lack the parental love and care and grow up in social settings that often form foundations for bad character. Furthermore, role overload reveal that most employees are compounded by mental health, stress time budget, workload, role conflict, social role, and parental role. Despite the fact that the risks are great and sacrifices are grave in most instances, gang membership still continue to lure young people into their midst. The reasons behind this scenario are not particularly hard to point out.
The core attractive elements of gang membership revolve around the social and economic benefits to their membership (Stewart, 6). The first attractive element of gang membership is companionship and protection that it guarantees to their members. A growing number of young people join gangs to receive protection, companionship, affirmation and protection that they feel or perceive to be lacking at home. These have been precipitated by breakdown of family traditional values that leave the young people without adult role models. The young people therefore harbor the belief that their identity and recognition problems that encompass low self worth and self -esteem can be effectively solved by joining groups with similar social problems.
The second attractive element of gang membership is fast cash money. According to Stephens (16) "the monetary allure of gang membership is difficult to counteract. Gang members share profits from drug trafficking and other illegal activities." In the view of a young teen, money is a symbol of a higher social status. In addition to the above, the search of fast money is precipitated by lack of employment. Youths who have failed to receive recognition and employment due to academic failures turn into gang membership because of the allure of fast and ready cash. The third attractive element of gang membership is power. Gang members wield immense influence and power in the neighborhoods that allures young people into joining them. The pressure to join and form part of the powerful members of the neighborhoods is an aspect most young kids fail to withstand.
The fourth attractive element of gang membership is excitement. Young kids view gang membership as encompassed by laced by fast and attractive forms of lifestyle. This is a depiction of a form of life worth exploring and provides an alternative to the school life that is viewed by this group as boring and strict. This has also been accelerated by the entertainment industry that glorifies gang lifestyles and glamorizes the ability to acquire fast cash and live within the confines of "cheap frills".
In the understanding that the search for companionship and protection, fast cash, appreciation and excitement by the young people all revolve around the failing family set-ups, the big question as to how work life balance can be achieved and well being enhanced can only be answered by identifying and implementing workable policies, programs and various assistance that can be applied in workplaces. These policies and programs must incorporate families and aim to effectively balance work life conflict. Flexible works go the way in reducing work family conflicts and achieving traditional family set-ups that are the cornerstone to good parenting.