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Factors that Drive Asian-American Youth Toward Gang Activities (Research Paper Sample)


SOCI 100W: 
Writing Workshop Assignment Prompt 
Research Paper 
Your major assignment for this class will be a library research paper. This will involve: choosing a topic of sociological relevance and personal interest; locating academic sources to learn about this topic; and writing a paper to educate your readers about the topic. Write this paper for your fellow classmates: intelligent, educated individuals who are familiar with basic sociological concepts, but who don’t know much about your topic of interest. 
You should feel free to structure this paper as an argument. In other words, it may be useful to take a stance on a sociological issue and organize your paper as a defense of this stance. 
The final draft of your paper should be approximately 1650-2000 words (you may need to write a longer final paper to ensure you meet the 8000 word minimum for the course). 
You must directly cite at least eight sources in your paper. At least four of these must be peer reviewed academic journal articles. At least two must be books. 
You must follow the American Sociological Association guidelines throughout this paper. This will include the overall paper format (how it looks), as well as how you cite your sources and organize your reference list. 
In addition, you must use section headings in your paper.

Factors that drive Asian-American youth toward gang activities
Course title:
Factors that drive Asian-American youth toward gang activities
On 16th April 2007, the entire United States was stunned by the carnage in Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia. A total of 32 people were killed and many others wounded by Seung-Hui Cho, a Korean American student at the university. This incident was the deadliest school shooting in the entire history of the United States. Less than 12 months later, Daniel Kim, another Korean-American studying at Virginia Tech killed himself by shooting himself on the head (Portes, 2010). For a very long time, the myth of Asian-American youths as the model minority in the United States has prevailed. Consequently, Asian-Americans continue to be ruled out from funding priorities, policy discussions and research studies. This paper discusses the main reasons that cause young Asian-Americans to engage in criminal and violent gang activities.
Youth violence is a mounting problem in Asian-American communities. Youth violence is not just a community problem, but also a public health issue. Every year, violence claims the lives of over 3,500 kids below the age of 19 years (Wing, 2010). Youth-at-risk for antisocial or violent behaviour are vulnerable to gang membership and recruitment. It is worth mentioning that gang membership is very much linked to an increase in violent behaviour, either as perpetrator or victim. Hughes and Short (2011) reported that youth gangs are today a major public policy issue because of the growth of gang violence as well as the proliferation of youth gangs across America, spreading further than major big cities to smaller cities and rural and suburban areas. Asian gangs are one of the fastest growing street gangs in America. Youth gangs in America represent a diverse range of Asian backgrounds and affiliations. According to Straka (2013), there are Asian gangs which are affiliated with the Crips and Bloods and many independent entities such as the Vietnamese, Cambodian, Filipino, Korean and the Chinese Wah-Ching gangs. Other Asian gangs basing upon ethnic ties include Japanese, South Pacific Islanders, Samoan, Laotian, and Hmong (Kim, Zone & Sehee, 2012).
For a group to be considered as a youth gang, it has to be involved in a pattern of illegal, criminal activities. It is notable that the criminal activities, acts of violence in particular, serve to strengthen the group together (Hughes & Short, 2011). Infrequent activities of group violence reinforce or create group identities, define group boundaries, and bind members of the group together in a common cause. Members of a gang do not only take part in violent behaviour. Gang members also hang out and take part in other usual adolescent social activities, but drug trafficking, drug use and drinking are common (Straka, 2013). The usual age range for an Asian youth gang is 12 years to 24 years, and the average age is 17 years to 18 years. In cities such as Chicago and Los Angeles however, the average age is somewhat older since gangs here are well-established and have existed for longer time periods (Portes, 2010). Some street gangs are constantly taking part in serious criminal activities such as vehicle theft, walk-up and drive-by shootings, intimidation of witnesses and victims, drug-related crimes, homicide, robbery including home-invasion robbery, arson and assault with a deadly weapon (Hughes & Short, 2011).
Risk factors for Asian-American youth joining a gang activity
There are a number of causes that drive Asian-American youth to join a criminal gang and engage in criminal activities.
Table 1: Risk factors for Asian-American youth (Hughes & Short, 2011).
DomainRisk Factor1Community DomainLack of cultural-specific institutions
Poor hom...
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