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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 149120 Find in a Library
Title: Gang: A Study in Adolescent Behavior
Author(s): H A Bloch; A Niederhoffer
Date Published: 1958
Page Count: 246
Sponsoring Agency: Greenwood Publishing Group
Westport, CT 06881-5007
Publication Number: ISBN 0-8371-8865-2
Sale Source: Greenwood Publishing Group
88 Post Road West
P.O. Box 5007
Westport, CT 06881-5007
United States of America
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This book considers current misunderstandings of adolescent groups and the gang, adolescent groups in cross- cultural perspective, juvenile behavior as a reflection of the spirit of our times, and a case study of a lower class delinquent gang.
Abstract: In the first part of the book, the authors examine some current confused and contradictory beliefs about adolescent groups and gang behavior. Limitations in the public's understanding of adolescent group activity and the reasons for such limitations are explored. These misconceptions are set in the context of recent strides in the behavioral sciences and the contemporary concern with the problems of the adolescent age group. The second part of the book presents the results of a review of adolescent behavior in a wide variety of primitive and modern cultures, with attention to the way in which these findings apply to American youth. The book's last section draws conclusions about gangs based on contemporary findings in sociology, psychology, and psychiatry. Many of the processes discussed are highlighted in the analysis of the structure and behavior of a typical predatory boys' gang. The authors conclude that adolescent gangs may be profitably studied by using as a frame of reference the theory of power. The gang's attempt to gain status and power through the domination and manipulation of persons and events is a collective representation of the individual gang member's guiding fiction that is "to prove he is a man." The presence of the gang gives the individual member ego support and courage. He gains a psychological sense of power and manhood. Implications of this theoretical position for programs are drawn. The authors advise that formal and public recognition should be given to the social maturity of the younger generation and its readiness to assume a more equitable share of community responsibility. Also, adolescents should be given a voice and representation in government. A 96-item selected bibliography
Main Term(s): Juvenile/Youth Gangs
Index Term(s): Juvenile delinquency factors; Juvenile gang behavior patterns; Peer influences on behavior
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