When cities grew large enough to develop slums, gangs began to form. The heritage of gang behavior is poverty and its children: abuse, alcoholism, and drug addiction, to name a few. Today we are facing a problem of major proportions in our cities. Gang membership is seemingly growing with no end in sight, and a beleaguered nation, a struggling city, the mother of a gang member all ask: Why? There are probably several answers and more questions. This paper is an attempt to understand the problem of gang delinquency by utilizing already existing theory. Robert Merton's Strain Theory lends itself to the discussion of gang delinquency; however, this paper will expand on the theory and link it to the powerlessness of young minority males and patriarchal ideology.

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