Mexican American Gangs Persuasive Essay by Nicky

Mexican American Gangs
An examination of the pros and cons of Mexican American gangs.
# 149597 | 2,215 words | 11 sources | APA | 2011 | US

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The paper presents the argument that despite the advantages of being in a Mexican American gang, the negative effects of being in a gang far outweigh the benefits members receive. The paper outlines the perceived benefits of joining a gang that include the partying, women, and access to drugs, but discusses how these attractions often lead to social instability, likelihood of being convicted of a crime, increased recidivism once convicted of a crime, increased chance of contracting a sexually transmitted disease and of being involved in an unplanned pregnancy. The paper emphasizes that all of these factors lead to the biggest disadvantage, the reduced likelihood of a gang member ever being able to enjoy a stable family environment or career.

The Stability of Mexican American Gangs
Perceived Benefits of Joining a Gang
Violence, Drugs and Social Instability

From the Paper:

"Violence is an intrinsic part of gang life, and this component of being a gang member continues to increase. Although some of this violence is associated with the selling of drugs, much of it is unrelated to drug or other economic transactions. In fact, "historically, gang violence was evident long before drug selling was a major income source for gangs and gang members" ("Youth violence", 1998, p. 147). There are a variety of reasons theorized why gang violence has increased over the years.
"The increased lethality of gang violence may be attributed to a larger number of older gang members. In Mexican American gangs, where gangs have been in existence for multiple generations, this can be significant. The community contexts in which the gang operates may also be a factor in increased violence. Socially and economically isolated neighborhoods mean the exits from gang life are truncated for members. This is a factor for the institutionalization of Mexican American gangs. When formal or legal income is not available, violence in association with other criminal activities, like robbery, can increase. Lastly, when social restraints are removed from gangs, as is the case with Mexican American gangs so deeply embedded in Mexican American culture, there are no restraints on the violence they conduct ("Youth violence", 1998, p. 147- 148). Whatever the source of the increased violence, this exposure and the likelihood of becoming a victim is a significant disadvantage to being a gang member. "

Sample of Sources Used:

  • de la Rosa, M. & Rugh, D. (2005). Onset of alcohol and other drug use among Latino gang members. Alcoholism Treatment Quarterly, 23(2/3). Retrieved May 18, 2009, from SocINDEX.
  • Delgado, M. (2005). Latinos & Alcohol Use Abuse Revisited Ad. Binghamton: Haworth Press Inc.
  • Harris, M. (Feb 1994). Cholas, Mexican-American girls and gangs. Sex Roles, 30(3/4). Retrieved May 18, 2009, from MasterFILE Premier.
  • Huff, C. R. (2001). Gangs in America III. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications, Inc.
  • Hughes, L. A. (2006). Studying Youth Gangs (Violence Prevention and Policy). Walnut Creek, CA: AltaMira Press.

Cite this Persuasive Essay:

APA Format

Mexican American Gangs (2011, December 25) Retrieved June 09, 2023, from

MLA Format

"Mexican American Gangs" 25 December 2011. Web. 09 June. 2023. <>