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gang and self esteem Do gangs help or hinder the development of self-esteem? Why or Why not?

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kiwi eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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I think #10 has expressed the point really well. The esteem produced by being part of a gang is for the collective, not the individual. Developing one's self-esteem involves having the confidence to make decisions for oneself. Although gang culture can give a sense of reward, entitlement and social structure, the criminal activity and moral dilemmas that are presented and ignored within gangs can stunt the growth of the self-esteem that was fostered in the short term.

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belarafon eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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I would agree with #9; gangs promote belonging but not self-esteem or self-worth. They foster a sense of entitlement -- I am in this gang, I am special -- but they are also hierarchical structures with clearly defined power. You are a member, but you are not worth anything unless you produce for the gang. When you stop producing, you have no worth. I would argue that gang members fundamentally believe themselves to be worthless, and are grateful to the gang for giving them some sense of purpose. If we strive to instill a sense of worth in our children, they won't need approval from an outer source to feel self-worth.

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larrygates eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Sorry to disagree with most of those who posted previously; but I tend to agree with bullgatortail on this one. Those who join gangs do so out of a need to feel a sense of belonging; gang members normally have little or no future, and gangs provide a void in their lives. To that extent, they provide some temporary form of self esteem. However, any such gain is a phyrric victory at best. Members of gangs uniformly know they are rejects from society and that gang activities are normally frowned upon by society. The end result is an outward display of scorn for societal standards and at times anger; which masks the deep lack of self esteem they feel inwardly. It is hard for me to morph a sense of belonging into a feeling of self worth when the end game is almost always rejection and possibly prison.  

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brettd eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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It's difficult, I think, to associate gangs with anything positive, so therefore it's also difficult to think of them as self-esteem builders, when that is actually one of the main reasons why teens join gangs.  They are looking for a sense of worth, power and belonging they can't find in family, school or community, and while the social and personal cost is very high to join these gangs, self esteem is improved by doing so.

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litteacher8 eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Gangs raise a person's self-esteem in terms of a sense of pride and belonging to a family. The individuals who join gangs do so to feel protected and included. However, once in the gang the self-esteem will go down, because they will likely be victimized and brutalized by the gang members and ordered around, losing their sense of individualism.

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lsumner eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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I agree with some of the above post in that gang members feel a sense of belonging to a family. That is what gang members are looking for. They desire to have a family and the gang supports that desire. Gang activity can be violent which is what makes the gang so dangerous. Nevertheless, the members do...

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Lorna Stowers eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Lorraine Caplan eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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pohnpei397 eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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bullgatortail eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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c--------- | Student

i am agree with the no 10 as truely the gangs contribute to the sense of belongingness but not to the self esteem.a person may portrae himself proud to be a member of a specific gang. but inwarsd reality of the gang can be opposite, as he may have no worth in the group.

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