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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 149149 Find in a Library
Title: Delinquent Gang as a Near-Group
Journal: Social Problems  Volume:7  Dated:(1959)  Pages:108-117
Author(s): L Yablonsky
Date Published: 1959
Page Count: 10
Type: Survey
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Based on 4 years of research and direct work with about 30 delinquent gangs in New York City, this paper presents the concept of Near-Group theory to describe juvenile gangs.
Abstract: The analysis focuses on two gangs, the Balkans and the Egyptian Kings. Near-groups are described as having some of the following characteristics: diffuse role definition, limited cohesion, impermanence, minimal consensus of norms, shifting membership, disturbed leadership, and limited definition of membership expectations. The structure of a near-group is such that its functions not only vary greatly and shift considerably from time to time, but its primary function is unclear. Because of gang youths' limited social ability, they construct a social organization that enable them to relate and function at their limited level of performance. The behavior patterns of the New York gangs fit within this framework. The analysis also suggests that the concept of the near-group may be important in examining other groups that reflect and produce social problems. 3 references
Main Term(s): Juvenile gang behavior patterns
Index Term(s): Deviance; Group behavior; New York; Peer influences on behavior; Youth groups
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