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Gang members participate in all forms of criminal activity, either for personal or economic gain, for revenge against another gang, or out of hate for the victim.
By 1982, a study by Miller showed that an estimate 2,300 youth gangs, with 100,000 members, were found in 300 cities.
Multiple reasons for this increase have been presented, including the economy and growth of an urban underclass, crack cocaine and other drug trade, gang migration, and gang subculture in the popular media (Miller, 1980).
According to guidelines, a gang is best defined as a group of youths that commit crimes and identifies with other members of the gang for this purpose.
It discusses the conflict theory, that the juvenile becomes a delinquent individual due to conflicts and strain theory, that people are socialized to desire a cultural goal but denied the means to reach it and addresses how these theories can be applied to society.
Therefore, youths that are economically and socially challenged do not have equal opportunities to financial success.
Therefore, they may be more drawn into certain crimes than youths that have had better opportunities.
These young gangs have long been present in the United States, but were previously only in large urban centers.
This changed dramatically in the late 1980s (Miller, 1980), when youth gangs started to appear in smaller cities and suburban areas across the United States along with a rapid rise in their numbers and membership (Miller, 1980).
Because girls also want to have that sense of power and group bond that the boys in the neighborhood share.
Another effect of gangs is a sense of belonging to a family unit.