I have to agree with Antonio on several points.
L.A. Gangs Very Old. And they are still around. Mention is often made, in the local papers, about two long established rival hispanic gangs (i.e. WF,
Because of their long existence, these organizations have become notorious institutions. And in some families, it is an expected lifestyle. Sort of
like your parents expecting you to enter the family business.
Additionally, L.A. Gangs are stuctured enterprises. These organizations have organizational cultures with established hierarchies, succession of
power procedures, recruitment practices, initiation and expulsion rituals, norms of conduct, and personnel development (farm) system.
The goal of the gang is to generate money through sustained growth and market penetration, by developing and marketing products (drugs, prostitution,
other peoples property, etc.), eliminating the competition, and looking for new markets (i.e. territories) or merger and aquisition opportunities.
The organization ensures its self perpetuation by romanticizing it history, providing its leadership with money, power, and control (however fleeting)
and providing its lower echelons (i.e. the cannon fodder, posers, sycophants etc.) with the false sense of belonging to something greater than
It is that sense of belonging that keeps the new member pipeline full. Imagine believing you are alone and powerless against those who you percieve
as TPTB (parents, school, authorities, other gangs). Imagine no one (including yourself) believing in you, your abilites, your potential, your
Now imagine an organization whose members not only validate who you are, but also empower you to fight TPTB. Add uniformed clothing to the
aforementioned organizational culture, and you have a gang.
Add training, societal acceptance, and the sense of serving a greater purpose; then you have something entirely different.