I am selecting two subcultures that are prevalent in the school at which I work. It is a special needs facility that serves five counties in our state and as such we encounter many diverse needs in our school Two of the issues that I have found over the past sixteen years that have been steadily increasing are youth involvement in gangs and homeless youth. Since this is not a situation that I have found myself to be in, it is difficult to have a true understanding of the experiences of these children and I feel this research will provide me with a better understanding of our school's population.
Many people do not realize the high level of involvement of youth in gangs or homeless; they believe that these things only happen in "that" neighborhood, however both these issues are far reaching into the suburban youth as well as urban inner city youth.
These problems grow larger every year and in many towns are not recognized as being a problem because they are upper-affluent neighborhoods. Suburban families often don't want to acknowledge the problem encroaching their nice neighborhoods with white picket fences.
The infiltration of gangs into suburbs will occasionally make the newspapers; however, the papers are usually inundated with gang crime in the "bad areas". This issue was well as the increasing number of homeless youth is not easily acknowledged or recognized but is quickly on the rise. Currently at my school it is the "norm" for students to be affiliated with a gang. We have 1300 students who travel to us from five counties in New Jersey and an inordinate number of them are already gang members.
Homeless youth is yet another aspect of our student's lives that isn't easily acknowledged. We have students who live in abandoned...