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NCJ Number: 184907 Find in a Library
Title: Gangs in the Post-Industrial Ghetto (From Sociology of Juvenile Delinquency, Second Edition, P 344-354, 1996, Ronald J. Berger, ed. -- See NCJ-184895)
Author(s): Jerome H. Skolnick
Date Published: 1996
Page Count: 11
Sponsoring Agency: Nelson-Hall Publishers
Chicago, IL 60606
Sale Source: Nelson-Hall Publishers
111 North Canal Street
Chicago, IL 60606
United States of America
Type: Literature Review
Format: Book (Softbound)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This chapter discusses several notable studies of urban youth gangs, from Frederick Thrasher's classic research on Chicago gangs in the 1920's to recent ethnographic studies of gangs in Los Angeles, New York, Boston, and Milwaukee.
Abstract: Thrasher's study is still a benchmark for contemporary researchers, because in some fundamental ways gangs have not changed. Thrasher interpreted the rise of Chicago's gangs as a symptom of the "economic, moral and cultural frontier" facing young males in the Prohibition era. The Chicago gangs of the 1920's were formed by and responded to "a broad twilight zone" of railroads, factories, deteriorating neighborhoods, and shifting populations. Today, when the economic opportunities of slum youth are every bit as limited as in Thrasher's day, the "twilight zone" is likely to be a low-income housing project, and the slum is called a ghetto or a barrio. The world of the contemporary gang is most comprehensively explored in Martin Sanchez Jankowski's "Islands in the Street." In addition to talking with police, court officials, social workers, and the residents of neighborhoods with gangs, Jankowski also lived with gangs in Los Angeles, New York City, and Boston. Jankowski portrays gang members as rational decision makers who are responding to their life conditions. He views them as tough, wary, self-reliant survivors who join gangs because they calculate that this will improve their income, status, and safety. This chapter draws on current research to discuss the nature of gang structures, the involvement of gangs in drugs and violence, vanishing industrial work and the rise in gangs, and the post-industrial ghetto. The chapter also provides a sociological review of the well-known film, "Boyz n the Hood." 5 references
Main Term(s): Juvenile/Youth Gangs
Index Term(s): Gang member attitudes; Gang violence; Gangs; Juvenile delinquency factors; Juvenile gang behavior patterns
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