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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 76527 Find in a Library
Title: Gangs and Progress - The Contribution of Delinquency to Progressive Reform (From Crime and Capitalism, P 435-481, 1981, David F Greenberg, ed. - See NCJ-76420)
Author(s): E Stark
Date Published: 1981
Page Count: 47
Sponsoring Agency: Mayfield Publishing Co
Palo Alto, CA 94301
Sale Source: Mayfield Publishing Co
285 Hamilton Avenue
Palo Alto, CA 94301
United States of America
Type: Historical Overview
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The evolution of street gangs among immigrant youth in the late 19th century and the gangs' effect on the development of human services are discussed.
Abstract: During the latter half of the 19th century the character of the street gang changed from that of a quasi-political organization affiliated with political party machines to that of loosely-bound juvenile groups resisting both factory work and socialization. Efforts to integrate these youth into the traditional social structure of family and skilled and unskilled factory labor were unsuccessful. Juvenile courts, school attendance laws, settlement houses, and recreation programs were developed to train youths in the requisite disciplinary areas needed for 19th century factory work, but without success. The gangs ultimately became linked in their lifestyle to that advocated by the International Workers of the World who demanded more money and less work, viewed the factory as a social system, and attempted radical labor practices. Henry Ford countered the effects of this initiative by introducing a living wage and by standardizing and simplifying jobs. These measures negated the gangs' habit of changing jobs frequently, by providing sufficient wages for unskilled workers to develop greater stability, ended the perception of workers as individuals and substituted a perception of workers as a mass social group, and ended requirements of worker loyalty to the factory. Notes are included.
Index Term(s): Capitalism; Economic influences; Gangs; Juvenile justice system; Labor relations; Marxism; Political influences; Social change; Social classes; Social organization; Social reintegration; Social work
Note: *This document is currently unavailable from NCJRS. Earlier versions of this paper were presented at the American Sociology Association, New York, New York, 1976 and New York University summer lecture series, 1978.
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