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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 151025 Find in a Library
Title: Women in Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs (From Constructions of Deviance: Social Power, Context, and Interaction, P 389-401, 1994, Patricia A and Peter Adler, eds. -- See NCJ-151012)
Author(s): C B Hopper; J Moore
Date Published: 1994
Page Count: 13
Sponsoring Agency: Wadsworth Publishing Co
Belmont, CA 94002
Sale Source: Wadsworth Publishing Co
20 Davis Drive
Belmont, CA 94002
United States of America
Type: Survey
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The role of women in motorcycle gangs and the biker subculture was studied, as well as rituals in which they engaged, using data gathered through participant observations and interviews with outlaw bikers and their female associates over a 17-year period.
Abstract: Most of the research was conducted in Mississippi, Tennessee, Louisiana, and Arkansas. The researchers attended biker parties, weddings, funerals, and other functions in which outlaw motorcycle gangs were involved. In addition, they visited gang clubhouses, went on "runs," and enjoyed cookouts with several outlaw organizations. Difficulties were encountered in the research effort because many women were reluctant to speak to outsiders when men were present. Nonetheless, findings revealed that biker women came from backgrounds in which they had limited opportunities in the conventional world and that women faced even more exploitation and subjugation in the deviant setting they entered in search of freedom. Biker women considered themselves free even while they were under the domination of biker men. They had the illusion of freedom because they lived with men who were bold and unrestrained. Unlike truly liberated women, however, older women did not compete with men; instead, they emulated and glorified male bikers. Biker women illustrated the pervasive power of socialization and the difficulty of changing deeply ingrained views of relations between sexes that had been inculcated in their family lives. They believed they should be submissive to men because they were taught that males were dominant. While biker women adamantly stated they were living the life they chose, it was evident their choices were guided by values they acquired in childhood. Biker women were generally expected to participate in gang rituals and to engage in economic pursuits for biker men. 22 references and 4 notes
Main Term(s): Motorcycle gangs
Index Term(s): Arkansas; Female offenders; Female sex roles; Gender issues; Louisiana; Mississippi; Socialization; Sociological analyses; Tennessee
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