Robert P. Philpott
Writing and Critical Thinking 101
18 November 2003
A Doris Lessing Perspective on Youth Gangs
Youth gangs are very attractive to youths in the inner-cities of America. These gangs are usually very corrupt and very violent. What many people do not realize is that these gangs are having a very large impact on not only the youth of America, but this country in general. Why do youths find comfort in these gangs? Why do youths find it acceptable and prestigious to these groups, which can lead to multiple jail sentences through out his or her life? Doris Lessing's "Group Minds" best describes this phenomena sweeping the youth of our nation as she stated there is a sense of comfort that youths find in these groups due to a person's unconscious wanting to belong.
A youth gang is a group of adolescents, primarily twelve to eighteen years old, whose members describe themselves by a single group name and are recognized by society through this name.
They usually involve themselves in organized crime which includes such acts as drug dealing, murder, and rape. These acts are not only receiving negative publicity from society, but also law enforcement agencies. Other characteristics of a gang include a formal leader, initiation requirements for all prospective gang members, its own slang, symbol and "territory." There are many different types of youth gangs but three primary types: territory gangs, who protect a common ground; organized gangs, who primarily deal drugs; and scavenger gangs who have a common
goal in mind ("Gangs").
People are always seeking groups to belong to, and there is nothing wrong with wanting to belong. What is wrong is when the individual becomes part of the
group and adopts a "group-mind." A "group-mind" is...