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NCJ Number: 184405 Find in a Library
Title: Female Gang Members' Social Representations of Aggression (From Female Gangs in America: Essays on Girls, Gangs and Gender, P 248-255, 1999, Meda Chesney-Lind and John M. Hagedorn, eds. -- See NCJ-184395)
Author(s): Anne Campbell
Date Published: 1999
Page Count: 8
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 accounts that gang girls offer of their street violence.
Abstract: The chapter includes results from a study of differences in the way men and women understand, interpret, and explain their own anger and aggression. Men spoke of aggression in a rhetorical framework of interpersonal control. They saw aggression as a means of social coercion when another person threatened the speaker’s right to autonomy and self-esteem. Though anger (in the form of righteous indignation) was present, the chief aim of the aggression was to cause the other person to back down and withdraw. Women’s rhetorical framework was one of expressive aggression, with the emphasis upon self-control rather than interpersonal control. They saw aggression as a failure to hold back their internal frustration, even fury. Their aggression served not to dominate their antagonist but to elicit some acknowledgment of their frustration. The subjects of that study were predominantly middle-class. When gang girls spoke about aggression and fights, their accounts were virtually interchangeable with those of male gang members. Where self-control is not valued but is seen as a sign of weakness or cowardice, it becomes only an avenue for the girl’s exploitation and victimization. The article suggests that this is relevant to understanding why gang girls reject an expressive interpretation of aggression.
Main Term(s): Juveniles
Index Term(s): Aggression; Anger; Behavior typologies; Behavioral science research; Gang member attitudes; Gangs; Gender issues; Psychology; Violent females
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