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NCJ Number: 149213 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Chinese Gangs and Tongs: An Exploratory Look at the Connection on the West Coast
Author(s): K Joe
Corporate Author: University of Hawaii
United States of America
Date Published: 1992
Page Count: 19
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute on Drug Abuse
Bethesda, MD 20892-9561
University of Hawaii
Honolulu, HI 96822
Type: Survey
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Based on quantitative and semistructured qualitative interviews with 73 Chinese gang members in the San Francisco area, this paper explores the connection between Chinese youth gangs and organized crime groups in Chinese communities in America as well as in Asia.
Abstract: Over the last few years, policymakers and law enforcement officials have been concerned about youth gangs in general and the organization and activities of Asian gangs in particular. This study gathered information from two-stage interviews with 64 active and nine retired gang members. Participants were selected through a snowball sampling approach. Results revealed great variability in the composition, duration, and organization of the nine groups with which participants reported affiliation. Results suggest that Asian street gangs on the west coast are not entrenched in the heroin trafficking network, nor are they taking part in any organized way in illicit activities with tongs or triads. Instead, individual members of Asian gangs may establish loose informal connections with individual members of tongs or triads for specific legitimate or illegal purposes. At best, such groups provide the context for establishing connections between individuals. Nevertheless, heroin trafficking is taking place. However, this is a different reality from recent characterizations of the threat of Asian gangs and the Chinese Mafia in the United States. 32 references
Main Term(s): Juvenile gang behavior patterns
Index Term(s): Asian gangs; California; Criminology
Note: Paper prepared for presentation at the 44th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Criminology, New Orleans, La., November 4-7, 1992
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