What is a Gang? • A group of people who form an allegiance for a common purpose, AND/OR who engage in violent, unlawful, or criminal behavior. • Based on the definition, is a gang always bad? • When do gangs become bad?
Why do teens join gangs? • Friendship • Peer Pressure • A sense of belonging • Identity • Something to do • Feeling of power • Excitement • Money • Protection
Why teens join gangs?, continued… • Isolation • Poverty • Minority status • Lack of jobs • Revenge on society • Sense of self-worth • Fear of failure • Fear of rejection-(when you try to join in, you are shut out)
One major reason teens join gangs is because they are lonely. • Feeling Lonely Means: • Not feeling like a part of any group, large or small • Feeling “left out” • Overlooked when wanting to be included
Feeling lonely and being alone do not mean the same thing. • Being Alone Means: • Choosing to be alone • Relaxing, reflecting and thinking • It is ok to be alone sometimes
If you feel lonely, ask yourself these questions… • Am I choosing to be alone? • What can I do to enjoy this time alone? • Is this because something I did, or failed to do? • What am I afraid of? • What are things I can do to become included? • Sit with new people • Talk to new people • Develop social skills • Let process develop naturally, don’t rush it • Join organizations, clubs etc.
Probable Consequences of Joining Gangs • Jail and Prison • Wounded or killed • Hurt or kill others • Make little money • Cause great family trauma • Lose family ties • Drop out of school • Close off other opportunities for future options
Types of Young People Recruited to Gangs • Little adult participation in lives • Poor self-image • Low self-esteem • Misdirected racial pride • Not discouraged from joining
HOW DO GANGS START? Primary Stage • Occasional misdemeanor • Graffiti • Social Club • Imitate dress and demeanor of established gangs
Established More graffiti Anti-social Behavior Confrontations Law enforcement involved Weapons Family and school visited less frequently Secondary Stage
Advanced Stage • Most participate in crimes • Arrest records • Gang is most important- more than family or community • Dependent on drugs • Loss of hope • No job, education or skills developed
First Level of Involvement • Peripheral Members • Wannabes • Clothing • Language • Hand Signs
Second Level of Involvement • Associate Members • Clothing • Tattoos • Violent • Strive to build reputation
Third Level of Involvement • Hardcore Members • Leaders • Most violent • Get others to commit crimes
Clues to the Presence of Gangs in Communities or Neighborhoods • Graffiti near neighborhood or school • Crossed out graffiti • Colors • Matching clothing • Hand signs
Clues, continued… • Drugs • Increase in confrontations and stare-downs • Weapons • Home or car burglaries • Drive-by shootings • Display of weapons • Truancy rate increasing • Racial incidents
What is a Clique? • A small, select group of friends or associates • Sometimes they are exclusive-(they don’t accept new members) • Cliques aren’t always bad-they can provide very close and meaningful friendships-the problem starts when cliques become exclusive • Cliques are temporary groups! It is not worth trying to change yourself or your values to try and “fit-in”
Classic 80’s Cliques • The Jocks • This crowd consisted of the athletic people in any school. Most of them prayed for scholarships if they wanted to go onto college. Most that didn’t get them, ended up working in less than glamorous jobs. Jocks generally had their own events, (athletic in nature of course), and could be seen at most Popular Group functions as well.
The Losers • These were generally the type of people who were rebelling against any authority figure they could. They generally spent their time cutting classes, and had awful academic performance. They rarely were invited to parties, but were known to show up anyway. They sometimes threw their own, but mostly they would just find a good hiding place for small drinking parties for the members of their own group.
The Nerds • Also known as “The Geeks.” Mostly filled with students of higher academic pursuits. Some in this group could actually move into other groups, such as the Popular Group or The Jocks, but would still be labeled as part of the Nerd Group. Generally their outward appearance set them off from the rest of any group since they were never dressed quite like the rest of the groups.
The Outcasts • Generally someone who didn’t dress like everyone else was dressing, and had little fashion sense would fall into this group. This was the group with the most artistic inclinations and tended to be the type of people who weren’t really interested in going to a party. This group usually remained low key and could almost go unnoticed. Unlike The Nerds, this group didn’t require academic performance to be of high standards. Usually, these members fell into the middle of the road academically.
The Popular Group • This was generally the crowd that came from middle and upper class families and consisted of people who generally were well liked by most groups except those that they came in direct contact with. Generally, they gravitated towards the jocks when it came to invites for parties, and some people were generally considered to be members of both groups.
The Rappers • As rap music gained popularity, so did the manner of speaking surrounding them. Mostly, fans of rap music could be found talking like this in everyday speech.
The Skaters • Typically this is someone who actually skates. Emphasis is used on the word “dude” often. Slang is mostly skating related. Depending on the region of the country and their attention to clothing, they could be considered a subset of other groups as well.
The Surfers • Typically, this is someone who actually surfs. Mostly limited to California or other areas with a beach. Generally considered to be a subset of the Loser Group since their academic standing was sub-par due to excessive hang time on the beach.
The Valley Girls • Usually those girls limited to the “Valley” in California. However, teenagers across the country began imitating the group. The word “like’ is often repeated and has several different meanings depending on the context in which it is used.
Are you in a clique? • If so, is it an exclusive clique that excludes others? Or, is it a positive group of encouraging friends? • Do you sometimes feel trapped or “boxed in” because of your association in that clique? How can you change that to let others see the “real you”?