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NCJ Number: 150054 Find in a Library
Title: Characteristics of Juvenile Gangs in Melbourne
Journal: Youth Studies Australia  Volume:13  Issue:2  Dated:(Winter 1994)  Pages:40-44
Author(s): M Aumair; I Warren
Date Published: 1994
Page Count: 5
Type: Survey
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: Australia
Annotation: Using ethnographic principles of observation and inquiry, this report outlines characteristics of juvenile gangs operating in Melbourne, Victoria (Australia).
Abstract: A number of clear indicators of the nature of gangs emerged from the opinions expressed by gang members and community members. Gangs in Melbourne were primarily a male institution. Activities of the groups centered around fighting prowess, sexual conquest, substance abuse, and the commission of minor criminal acts. Young females were either girlfriends, messengers, or prime causes of conflict among the gangs. The second feature of these gangs was their high public visibility. Many gang members lacked the money to pursue legitimate social activities and instead congregated in public places and engaged in delinquent activity. The third characteristic was the gangs' outward display of collective identity. Despite the gangs' delinquency, researchers found that gangs formed mainly for social reasons, and consequently, the rates of criminal activity were low. Finally, there was a discrepancy between public perceptions of the gang problem in Melbourne and the real extent of the problem, compared to other types of violence and crime. 6 references
Main Term(s): Juveniles
Index Term(s): Foreign juvenile delinquency; Gangs; Juvenile gang behavior patterns; Victoria
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