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NCJ Number: 151029 Find in a Library
Title: Joining a Gang (From Constructions of Deviance: Social Power, Context, and Interaction, P 489-511, 1994, Patricia A and Peter Adler, eds. -- See NCJ-151012)
Author(s): M Sanchez-Jankowski
Date Published: 1994
Page Count: 23
Sponsoring Agency: Wadsworth Publishing Co
Belmont, CA 94002
Sale Source: Wadsworth Publishing Co
20 Davis Drive
Belmont, CA 94002
United States of America
Type: Research (Applied/Empirical)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The answer to the question of who joins a gang and why depends on the complex interplay between the individual's decision concerning what he or she wants and needs and the organization's decision as to what is best for it.
Abstract: Some researchers argue that people join gangs as part of the natural act of associating with each other. Other studies explain gang formation in terms of the subculture of blocked opportunities and in relation to problems associated with identity construction. The author contends that these studies are flawed and that gangs are composed of individuals who join for various reasons. Most youths in inner cities are faced with the decision of whether to start a gang or whether to join an existing one. Reasons for starting a new gang involve issues related to organizational development and decline, that is, the existing gang's ability to provide expected services. Those who join gangs usually believe that gangs will increase their chances of obtaining money. In addition, gangs provide individuals with entertainment, a place of refuge and camouflage, and physical protection. Some individuals join gangs because they see gang participation as a form of community commitment. Every gang has some type of recruitment strategy, and the decision to join gangs is determined by both individual and organizational needs. 19 notes
Main Term(s): Juvenile/Youth Gangs
Index Term(s): Juvenile delinquency research; Social organization; Urban area studies
Note: Reprinted from "Islands in the Street: Gangs and American Urban Society" (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1991)
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