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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 147810 Find in a Library
Author(s): F G Espinoza Jr
Date Published: 1984
Page Count: 128
Sponsoring Agency: UMI Dissertation Services
Ann Arbor, MI 48106-1346
Sale Source: UMI Dissertation Services
300 North Zeeb Road
P.O. Box 1346
Ann Arbor, MI 48106-1346
United States of America
Type: Historical Overview
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: A historical perspective is presented on ethnic gangs in the United States, with focus on Hispanic gangs in Los Angeles City and County.
Abstract: The author draws upon literature and personal interviews with former and current gang members, employees of government agencies that deal with gang violence, and Hispanic ministers of religion. Two interviews are presented in their entirety. In Los Angeles, gangs spread from the disadvantaged central part of the city to every part of the county. By 1979, there were more than 300 gangs and 30,000 members, 80 percent of whom were Hispanic. From January to October 1984, gang violence in the county led to the deaths of 141 people--some of them innocent bystanders. This and previous research show the following commonalities in the phenomenon of Hispanic and other ethnic gangs: 1) Youths join gangs with the direct or tacit approval of their parents; 2) Youth are able to achieve a sense of identity, bravado, and respect by joining the neighborhood gang; 3) Identification with the gang continues generation after generation; 4) Gang members are willing to fight and die for their neighborhood; 5) Adolescents perceive the gang as the only support for their self-esteem; and 6) The gang thus plays the role of the family. 2 appendixes, sample questionnaires, 61 references
Main Term(s): Gangs
Index Term(s): California; Juveniles; Violent crimes
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