Originally the word gang had no negative connotation. In Old English, gang simply referred to a ?number of people who went around together-a group.? Today a gang can be defined in four basic ways:
An organized group with a leader
A unified group that usually remains together during peaceful times as well as times of conflict
A group whose members show unity through clothing, language
A group whose activities are criminal or threatening to the larger society.
Gangs are one of the results of poverty, discrimination and urban deterioration. Some experts believe that young people, undereducated and without access to good jobs, become frustrated with their lives and join gangs as an alternative to boredom, hopelessness and devastating poverty. Studies have attempted to determine why gangs plague some communities but there has been no definitive answer. As a result, people working to solve gang problems have great difficulty. They find the situation overwhelming, and the violence continues.
Miller best defines what constitutes the make-up of a youth gang. Miller states:
?A youth gang is a self-forming association of peers, bound together by mutual interests, with identifiable leadership, wee-developed lines of authority, and other organizational features, who act in concert to achieve
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