When taking an epistemological approach to understanding things, it is crucial to separate knowledge that is rooted in fact from knowledge which is what can be called ‘false knowledge’. Taking this understanding to a philosophical level, one can evaluate virtually any issue affecting human beings. Ethics vary from society to society but generally dictate how we ought to act one toward another. Considering gangs, in particular, one can certainly observe a large variance between generally accepted ethics and the type of activity advocated by the sociological structure of gangs.
Political philosophy deals mostly with the individual and that individual’s relationship with the state in which they live. Obviously, the organized government can find a great deal of fault with most gang activity but it is important to look at both sides of the story. Most youngsters that become involved in gangs, do so for a reason. They are accustomed to a lifestyle which has fostered a very unhealthy environment causing them to turn as a last resort, to the safe haven of a group of equals which welcomes them, “In the dimension they inhabit, kids go to bed underfed and often untended and learn to step over discarded hypodermic syringes and broken bodies in unlit hallways and garbage-strewn streets as soon as they’re able to walk”(Parker, 2007).
To look more closely at this ideology, the gang mentality takes the concept of larger thinking and applies it to smaller infrastructures, such as the gang to which an individual doing the acting (proactively asserting of gang morals and ethics) belongs. This means that the idea of social order on a state or government level is nullified by the hierarchy of the gang. When the gang itself, becomes a replacement for society, the only ‘ethics’ applied would be applied within the gang.
In order to look back for a moment, the larger structure which is the society which we are universally taught to function in is not only the higher power anymore but is also an enemy.