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NCJ Number: 149122 Find in a Library
Title: Social Order and Gang Formation in Chinatown
Author(s): K Chin; J Fagan
Date Published: Unknown
Page Count: 26
Type: Research (Theoretical)
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This paper provides a theoretical framework of gang formation in the Chinese-American community.
Abstract: The proposed framework is based on theoretical concepts developed by Simmel on conflict and the web of group affiliations (1955), Suttles's (1968) and Whyte's (1943) studies on the social order in the slum, Aldrich's (1970) concepts of interorganization relationships and resource dependency, and extending Cloward and Ohlin's concept of "criminal subculture." The authors explain how community associations transform adolescent groups into gangs, provide them with group identity, institutionalize their existence within the community, and use them to solidify their positions in the community. They also examine sources of group conflict within the Chinese community (Simmel, 1955) and how social order is maintained in the community (Anderson, 1976, 1990; Joselit, 1983; Suttles, 1968; Whyte, 1955). The study suggests that youth gangs in the Chinese community are not exclusively an adolescent phenomenon, nor is the formation of gangs simply a natural developmental process among teenagers. Rather, gangs are formed in Chinatown by adult groups, because gangs serve as a convenient yet powerful tool in the maintenance of both the legitimate and illegitimate social order of American Chinatown. Thus Chinese gangs are intricately related to the cultural, economic, political, and criminal contexts of the American Chinese community. 68 references and 1 figure
Main Term(s): Asian gangs
Index Term(s): Asian Americans; Cultural influences; Juvenile delinquency factors; Organized crime
Note: Forthcoming in "Advances in Criminological Theory, Vol. 6, Freda Adler and William Laufer, eds.
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