Canada is referred to as a multicultural country because it openly accepts new immigrants from around the world (Gabor, 1994; Nodwell and Guppy, 1992).
It has been documented that approximately 11. 2% of Canada’s total population identify themselves as visible minorities (Varma-Joshi, Baker, and Tanaka, 2004; Fantino and Colak, 2001).
Starting a life in a new country not only brings happiness, but also anxiety and a fear of losing one’s identity. Often feelings of being an outsider act as a catalyst for gang related violence and crime, especially in the Indo-Canadian community. However, there is not enough documented evidence explaining why violence is so prominent amongst Indo-Canadian youth.
Although there is not enough evidence accumulated by researchers on this topic, based on research that I have gathered about other minorities involved in gang related violence, I will show that there is a tendency for Indo-Canadians to follow the same pattern as other minorities who become involved in gang activities. The lack of academic research on Indo-Canadian gang violence is significant to the practice of social work because it is the absence of research which makes it difficult for social workers to pinpoint key signs of gang violence and how they maybe related to their clients. As a result of a lack of academic based research on Indo-Canadian gangs, it limits one from finding possible solutions to deter future incidents of gang violence. Even though gang violence is not a new phenomenon there has been a noticeable lack of Canadian based research done on this topic (Gordon, 2000; Varma-Joshi, Baker, and Tanaka, 2004).
... has lost a life due to gang violence or gang related activities. The biggest ethic groups involved in gangs are Latinos and Spanish. Although there ... . Gang related actives is most common in urban areas like Chicago they are the number 1 ranked in cities with the most gang violence ... far behind it is ranked as number 5. Been said Gang Violence is an act from children who is crying out for ...
Although there is limited knowledge about gang violence, research shows that males are more likely to engage in gang activities (Gordon, 2000; Jemmott, B. , Jemmott, S. , Hines, and Fong, 2001).
There are several factors that contribute to why many youths become involved in gangs.
One of the main reasons why visible minority youth become submerged in gangs is because they are searching for a sense of identity and belonging (Gordon, 2000; Meloff and Silverman, 1992; Nodwell and Guppy, 1992; Fantino and Colak, 2001).
Gordon (2000) finds that, “they want to belong to a friendly, supportive group that include their friends or close relatives and this includes a desire to be with individuals from the same cultural and ethnic group; gang members felt ethnically marginalized” (pg. 51).
The reason why minorities are attracted to gangs is because they create a family setting which embraces their differences as opposed to being judged on their differences by mainstream society. More research is needed in order to find alternative ways for minority youth to feel wanted in Canadian society without turning to gang membership as an outlet for their need to be accepted. In the process of trying to be accepted within mainstream society, minorities often face many obstacles that deter them from economic success.
Education levels, language barriers and a lack of employment opportunities all factor into minorities getting involved in illegal activities in order to achieve economic stability (Gordon, 2000; Rajagopal, 1990).
For example, immigrants who come from India are often discriminated against even though they have high educational standards, “Indian higher education diplomas or professional certifications are highly discounted or not accorded recognition by business and educational institutions” (Rajagopal, 1990, p. 98-99).
... involving prevention, intervention, and suppression, the Canadian Government is adequately addressing youth gangs within Canada. Teenagers and young adults join ... would join a youth gang, police and the ... violence to gain prestige among other gangs and control certain areas of unlawful activities. For all the reasons an adolescent ...
Based on such discrimination, the only option that remains open for Indo-Canadians and minorities in general is to turn to illegal activities that will secure their financial future.
Turning to criminal activities “meets the economical and social needs of both the organization members and their families” (Gordon, 2000, p. 50).
Knowledge of this information can be beneficial for social workers in order to advocate on behalf of minorities who face this type of discrimination by making it a human rights issue. By doing so it enables minorities groups to empower themselves against such discrimination and gives them hope that they do not have to turn to criminal activity for economic advancement. Visible minorities are not only discriminated against in the workforce, but also in the media. As I discussed earlier, there is extremely limited academic research done on Indo-Canadian gangs; however, the media has widely publicized Indo-Canadian gang activities and this has caused a moral panic within our system (White and Perrone, 2001; Lane and Meeker, 2003; Gordon, 2000).
There needs to be an increase in research on Indo-Canadian gang violence in order for the public to better educate themselves and not be reliant upon the media’s sensationalistic representation of Indo-Canadian gang activities. In Rob White and San tina Perrone’s 2001 article Racism, Ethnicity and Hate Crime, they found that: In recent years the hype and sensationalized treatment of ‘youth gangs’ have tended increasingly to assume a racialised character. That is, the media have emphasized the ‘racial’ background of alleged gang members, and thereby foster the perception that, for instance, ‘young Lebanese’ or ‘young Vietnamese’ equals ‘gang member’. (p. 166) The same treatment can be applied to young Indo-Canadians. In a May 13 th, 2002 article for Report/Newsmagazine, writer Terry O’Neill describes how rapidly Indo-Canadian gang violence is escalating.
Within this 2 page article O’Neill brings to light not only the Indo-Canadian gang violence, but also the Air India bombing and the violence within the Sikh temples. There seems to be no correlation between the three: In B. C. , the vast majority of Indo-Canadians are Sikhs, a religion marked intermittently over the past few decades by violent feuds.
... into a criminal one (Research on the Effects of Media Violence). Therefore, media violence alone cannot be blamed for having significant effect on societal ... and against media violence) and their implications and is aimed to prove that media violence inevitably causes societal violence. Those who claim that media violence poses no ...
Most recently, traditionalist and moderates at several Lower Mainland temples fought over the use of chairs in dining halls. (pg. 1) O’Neill groups together all of these incidents and as a result Sikhs are shown in the most negative way possible. In fact, the main focus of the article was supposed to be about the violence associated with drug trade. This is an example of how ethnic minorities are disproportionately represented in the media and, statistics, if people choose to consult them, can actually “reveal a lower level of involvement of crime by minorities than impressions they may otherwise have through media sensationalism, word of mouth and personal experience” (Gabor, 1994, p.
There needs to be an accurate depiction of racialised crime statistics, because social workers cannot rely on the media’s misrepresentation of crime within the Indo-Canadian community. Although the media presents an increase in Indo-Canadian gang violence the reality is that more Euro-Canadians are involved with gang activities (Meloff and Silverman, 1992; Gordon, 2000).
“Majority of hate crimes are committed by young white males and minority groups are generally at greater risk of victimization” (White and Perrone, 2001, p. 164).
Clearly, there is a disproportionate amount of emphasis being placed on crimes committed by Indo-Canadians than those committed by Euro-Canadians.
The media is a means through which the public gets its information and police officials are receiving messages from the media that certain ethnic minority groups are responsible for crime, therefore leading the police to falsely target these groups (White and Perrone, 2001; Gabor, 1994).
This could pose a potential problem for social workers who work closely with law enforcement officials, because they are receiving inaccurate information about their clients. Immigrants from India face many barriers and stereotypes that hinder them from succeeding in Canadian society. As a result, one can conclude that many immigrants feel ethnically marginalized, this feeling of isolation not only exist for the parents of immigrant families, but also their children: A recent conference of Indo-Canadian business executives and professionals in Toronto expressed concern that many of their children, despite growing up in Canada and the reasonable success of their parents, will even as young adults need special support infrastructures to overcome their stereotyped image and permit them to compete equally. (Rajagopal, 1990, p. 99).
... stop children from witnessing the harsh realities of society, violence, sex and crime. However, it is their role as parents to enforce ... medium of communication in our society, but how does medias portrayal of violence affect us as a whole? Is musics explicit lyrics ... medium of communication in our society, but how does medias portrayal of violence affect us as a whole? Is musics explicit lyrics ...
Support systems need to be put in place to allow Indo-Canadian children to achieve their fullest potential without turning to gangs to feel accepted. Theoretical and empirical journal articles on Indo-Canadian gang violence simply do not exist. Finding academic literature about Canadian gangs in general was sparse. This issue needs to be addressed, because rates of gang violence are steadily rising, especially within the Indo-Canadian community.
The academic information I did find on Indo-Canadian gang violence indicated that gang related activities are not an issue amongst the community; however, media has portrayed it otherwise. At first, I wanted to know why there was so much gang violence within the Indo-Canadian community, but after searching for information that could aid me with an answer, I find it more useful to question why the media depicts Indo-Canadian gang violence to be such a predominant issue, yet no academic research is being done to support this concern.