skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 184400 Find in a Library
Title: From Patriarchy to Gender: Feminist Theory, Criminology, and the Challenge of Diversity (From Female Gangs in America: Essays on Girls, Gangs and Gender, P 118-132, 1999, Meda Chesney-Lind and John M. Hagedorn, eds. -- See NCJ-184395)
Author(s): James Messerschmidt
Date Published: 1999
Page Count: 15
Sponsoring Agency: Lake View Press
Chicago, IL 60657
Sale Source: Lake View Press
P.O. Box 578279
Chicago, IL 60657
United States of America
Type: Issue Overview
Format: Book (Hardbound)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This chapter examines the relationships among gender, race, class, and distinct types of youth crime.
Abstract: For both boys and girls, joining a youth gang represents an idealized collective solution to the experience of class and race powerlessness. Members of youth gangs engage in “male” and “female” crimes as a resource for doing gender and satisfying the needs of the “fast life” on the street. For male gang members, robbery is the most available criminal resource for obtaining money, for constructing a specific type of masculinity and for accomplishing gender and therefore doing difference. For females, prostitution appears to be the principal criminal resource for obtaining fast money as well as doing difference. Gender patterns of crime are not static, but vary situationally. The gang provides a milieu within which girls can experiment with, and possibly dismantle, the bounds of emphasized femininity. Girl gang members use the race and class resources to construct gender and, in so doing, challenge notions of gender as merely difference. Rather than conceptualizing gendered crime simplistically, it is possible to explore which males and which females commit which crimes and in which social situations.
Main Term(s): Juveniles
Index Term(s): Criminology; Cultural influences; Female sex roles; Feminism; Gang member attitudes; Gangs; Gender issues; Juvenile gang behavior patterns; Violent females
Note: *This document is currently unavailable from NCJRS.
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.