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NCJ Number: 166409 Find in a Library
Title: "Just Every Mother's Angel:" An Analysis of Gender and Ethnic Variations in Youth Gang Membership
Journal: Gender and Society  Volume:9  Issue:4  Dated:(August 1995)  Pages:408-431
Author(s): K A Joe; M Chesney-Lind
Date Published: 1995
Page Count: 24
Sponsoring Agency: Hawaii Office of Youth Services
Honolulu, HI 96814
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Based on an analysis of interviews with 48 youths from a number of ethnic gangs in Hawaii, this article explores boys' and girls' reasons for joining gangs.
Abstract: The interviews were conducted with self-identified gang members between August 1992 through May 1993. The sample included interviews with 35 boys and 13 girls. The interview consisted of two parts. In the first half, the youths responded to social survey questions regarding personal and familial characteristics, self- reported delinquency, and contact with the juvenile justice system. The second half of the interviews involved a series of open-ended questions regarding the respondent's gang's history, organization, activities, and membership roles; youth's involvement with the gang; and interactions with family, the community, and police. The findings suggest that although gang members face common problems, they deal with them in ways that are uniquely informed by gender and ethnicity. The interviews also confirm that concern about violent criminal activities in boys' gangs has distracted researchers from exploring the wide range of activities and experiences gangs provide their members. Girls and boys who grow up in poor and violent neighborhoods turn to the gangs for many reasons, and the gangs themselves have a variety of forms in response to the diverse challenges that face their members. Most important, the interviews show that girls and boys, even those in the same ethnic groups, inhabit worlds that are heavily influenced by gender. As a result, male and female gangs tend to provide different sets of experiences, skill, and opportunities to their members. 6 notes and 50 references
Main Term(s): Juvenile/Youth Gangs
Index Term(s): Ethnic groups; Female gangs; Gang member attitudes; Gender issues; Hawaii; Male female offender comparisons
Note: An earlier version of this article was presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Society of Criminology Meetings, October 1993, Phoenix, Ariz.
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