SOC 362 West LA College Gang Violence Essay


I here is the link of the book only need to read chapter 8 pages 367-411.

Week 8 Video Expository
After completing the readings and studying the PowerPoint video lectures, view the
following 3 video clips.
Remember to do the following in preparation for the assignment:
1) View and critically study the video clips listed above.
2) Meticulously reread the week’s readings and study the video lectures as needed.
3) Schedule an office hour meeting with Dr. Castillo with questions, should you have any.
Video 1)
Inside America’s Ridiculously Old-Fashioned Gun-Tracing Center
In this first video, you are exposed to information that will help you better understand one of
the contextual factors known to inflame gang set space, which according to the readings, serves
to facilitate gang-related violence: one of the least known facts about gun violence is based
around federal agencies and the study gun violence.
Video 2)
MS-13 gang rocks Long Island suburbs 7:29
In this second video, you are presented with the case found in the textbook’s In Focus 8.1
section, and so you will learn about one of the features of a type of gang: and
how transnational gang growth may influence the seriousness of local gang-related violence
Video 3)
How Portugal and Colorado solved their drug problems | The Economist
In this third video, you are introduced to the intersection of patterns of drug trafficking or
related activities, which are contextual factors known to inflame gang set space, to learn about
how the decriminalization and regulation of drugs is connected to gang-related violence.
Discussion Topics, Question #2:
Which factors facilitate gang violence, and how can we capitalize on this knowledge to
reduce gang-related violence?
To build your essay response to the assigned question, do the following:
1) Write a 600+ word essay, based on course content that reflects a clear understanding of the
assigned week’s readings.
2) Correctly apply applicable course vocabulary words (contextual factors, transnational gang,
gang-related violence, gang set space, gun violence…).
3) Correctly apply ONE sociological theory (your choice) to explain or support your response:
define it, and then apply within response.
4) Type, proofread and save your work in a separate file>save all submissions separately in case
of a Blackboard glitch then copy and paste the proofread text within the submission box
5) Cite all sources, including the text (Author year): (Cohen 2018) (Kornblum 2001), then one
line after the last sentence, list your citations: textbook (use syllabus format) and any outside
sources (do not list videos).
Chapter 8
Urban gangs and violence
Five comm traits of institutionalized urban street gangs
Are evident from the nearly two century history gangs, regardless of gang locations (Howell,
1. These street gangs typically claim a turf or territory, and they defend it resolutely.
2. They fight and even kill others over the personal and collective honor of the group.
3. Tough, aggressive, fighting postures provide the individual status that is craved by gang
4. The more criminally active gangs are distinguished by an organizational structure of
some sort.
5. Certain crimes are characteristic of street gangs; especially interpersonal crimes including
aggravated assault, robbery, homicide; also gun passion and drug trafficking
Part 2 of City Gang Problem Trajectories: Gang-Related Homicides
In the following National Youth Gang Survey data graphs and in this week’s readings, you are
exposed to various studies of Gang-related homicides as a portion of the total number of
homicides reported in the Uniform Crime Reports for very large cities and small cities
• The population size determines if it is a large or small city
Cities are grouped on gang homicide as a proportion of total homicide within U.S. policing
between 1996 and 2009
• Trajectory1: Zero to 10% of total homicides
• Trajectory 2: Around 20% of total homicides
• Trajectory 3: Around 30% of total homicides
• Trajectory 4: Around 40% of total homicides
• Trajectory 5: Almost off the chart (around 80%)
In this line graph, you see the gang-related homicides in cities with population greater than
100,00 between the years of 1995-2012
• You may notice that the number % of homicides that are gang related are presented here,
with by population size- see next slide for description of these trends
Two additional sizable groups, 41 very large cities composting T1 (16.5%) and 42 very large
cities composing T2 (16.9%), experienced lower average levels of gang-related homicide, both
of which also remained relatively steady over the period
• Cities represented on the T2 trajectory, by contrast, averaged about 10% to 15% gangrelated homicides between 1996 and 2011, before falling to less than 10% by 2012
• Finally, three very larger cities in California (T5; Fremont, Inglewood, and Salinas) stand
out for having started the 17-year period at nearly 70% of all lethal violence that was
gang-related and by 2012, most (about 85%) of the homicides in these cities were
reportedly gang-related
The largest cluster of very large cities (with population greater than 100,000) is seen in trajectory
group T3(N=108, 43.5% of the total sample of 248 cities; see Figure 8.1
• This group of 108 cities experienced an escalating rate of gang-related homicides over
the 17-year period.
• About 20% of annual homicides were gang-related through 2003, rising to about 35% by
2011 before falling to about 30% in 2012.
• The next largest group (T4; N=54; 21.8%) experienced roughly double the proportion of
homicides that are gang-related from 1996 through 2003, with about 40% to 50% of all
homicides gang-related.
o T4 cities remained relatively stable in their proportion of homicides that are gang
related over the period.
Inglewood, California, Case Study
Inglewood, joins only two other cities on trajectory five (T5) in Figure 8.1 and has a long history
of gang problems.
• Recent sources indicate that a Hispanic gang called Inglewood 13, as well as the
Inglewood Family (an African American Bloods set) and certain Crips sets, first emerged
in the 1960s (Katz & Webb, 2003; Maxson, 1999).
• Senior officer in the Inglewood Police Department who was interviewed by Katz and
• Well, I think here in Inglewood it was the just absolutely rapid quadrupling and tripling
just growth of gangs that seemed to explode in the late 70s and early 80s and we just
realized all of a sudden that not only did we have hundreds, we had thousands of gang
members in the city, and probably hundreds of different gangs, and so [the gang unit]
was born out of the necessity [in 1980] to understand the gangs, identify the gang
leaders, and stuff like that. It was specifically an intelligence gathering as opposed to an
enforcement unit, and remains an intelligence gathering unit today. (pp.59-60)
According to the Sociologist and Criminologists, economic downturns affecting national, state
and local level, are what contribute to this increase in gang activity, as explained by social strain
theory, but when one studies the intergenerational transfer of gang participation and crime, we
could apply differential association theory to help explain this trend.
In the 1980s when gang problems escalated for the city law enforcement began to document an
intergenerational transmission of gang ties from parents to children and the expansion of streetlevel cocaine markets (Katz & Webb 2003)
• Police-involved shootings also rose as gang violence worsened in the city, prompting the
police department’s gang unit to initiate a suppression-orientated approach to gang
control (Katz & Webb 2003)
• Preventions and suppression activities were successful to a small degree, this was a
matter of some debate, but Inglewood’s gang problem did not subside.
o By 1999, law enforcement reported that about 6.4% of city residents were active
street gang members and that every neighborhood in Inglewood had been claimed
by a least one gang (Katz & Webb 2003)
While Inglewood gangs were involved to some degree in drug distribution, they were largely not
organized or sophisticated criminal enterprise. Local gang members were heavily involved in
“opportunistic and violent offending”, and were responsible for a vast majority of all homicides
in the city between 1996 and 2012
• Some of these incidents of violence have stemmed from internal conflict among gangs
who claim turf in Inglewood, eight most active gangs:
o 5 African Americans gangs-Black P Stone, Crinshaw- Crenshaw Mafia
Gangsters, Inglewood Family, Raymond Ave Crips, and Rollin 60s- and
o 3- Hispanic gangs-Inglewood 13 Lennox 13, and Tepas
▪ Other incidents are a consequences of rivalries between gangs in
Inglewood and outlying areas like Compton and the tiny area of Westmont
(Unincorporated Los Angeles County) , which lies between Los Angeles
and Inglewood
▪ Westmont became euphemistically known as Death Valley, because of its
high rate of lethal violence (Santa Cruz & Schwencke, 2014)
▪ The infiltration of gang across all of Inglewood’s neighborhoods and in
proximate cities has contributed to the extraordinary serious and sustained
levels of gang violence over time

In the Untied State, Violent crim and property crime arrest rates have decline nationwide
over the past two decades
o Firearm homicides dropping steadily, by 39% from a high in 1993 to 2011 (Planty
& Truman, 2013)
In contrast, gang homicide rates have continued at exceptional levels over the past 15
years; however, this trend can be partly attributed to increased reporting by law
enforcement agencies
o Gang homicide show a much more unstable pattern of occurrence in comparison
to homicides in general
Gang violence rates have continued at exceptional levels in recent years despite the
overall crime drop
o Each city has its unique history of gang activity and gang violence, not two gangs
are alike; no two cities’ gang problems are alike.
o Solutions must be grounded in a thorough assessment of each county or city’s
gang problem
History of Gangs in the U.S. Chapter 1
Key Sociohistorical Events that Solidified Gangs Across the U.S.

Large and rapid waves of immigration into U.S .1970
Race riot 1919
Youth subculture 1920s
Public housing projects 1950s
Increase in prison gangs 1970s
Access to more lethal weapons 1970s
Drug trafficking late 1980s
National alliance of gang investigators associations (NAGIA): is a cooperative nonprofit
organization of criminal justice and professional organizations that represents gang investigators
associations with a membership of about 20,00 gang investigators across North America
Major Gangs: History, Location, Structure, and Identifiers
▪ Bloods
▪ Crips
▪ Folk Nation
▪ People Nation
▪ Mara Salvatrucha-13
▪ Latin Kings
▪ 18th street
▪ Surenos 13
▪ Norteno
History: Bloods is a universial term used to identify bith the West Coast Bloods and the United
Blood Nationa (UBN)
• These groups are traditionally distinct entities, the original Bloods were formed in the
early 1970s to provide protection from the Crips street gang in Los Angeles
• UBN is an East Cost gang that originated in 1933 in the Rikers Island, New York, George
Motchan Detention Center
Location: Blood sets have been identified in all 50 states
Gang Structure: blood has it own leadership although some blood sets
Gang Identifiers: five-pointed star in tattoos or graffiti showing affiliation to the Blood Nation
• Damu meaning blood in Swahili seen in graffiti, tattoos, and other forms of
• Burn marks in the shape of a dog paw
Colors: Red and apparel of professional teams such as the Philadelphia Phillies, San Francisco
49ers, and Chicago Bulls
History: Crip street gang was established in Los Angeles out of the youth disappointment with
the failure of the Black Panther Party to achieve its goals
Location: Los Angeles, and every state except West Virginia and Vermont has reported the
presence of Crips in its jurisdiction
• The states with the largest estimated number of Crips sets a California, Missouri,
Oklahoma, and Texas
Gang Structure: The Crips is an association of numerous structure and unstructured gangs, also
knows as set, that have adopted a common gang culture
• Local sets vary in their structure from no formal leadership to a hierarchy that consists of
a leader, lieutenants, drug coordinators, soldiers, and drug couriers
Gang identifiers: Blue, sometimes purple or no color at all
• Gang member on the West Coast use a variety of colors; however, colors are downplayed
and not routinely displayed unless the gang is gathered for a purpose. Crips who have
relocated to the Midwest or the East Coast and have affiliated with the Folk Nation
represents to the right and used of the six-pointed star in the tattoos and graffiti
• Crips refer to themselves as “Blood Killas” and often use the initials BK in tattoos and
History: Folk Nation grew as an affilation of Chicago street gangs in the 1970s-1980s after
Chicago Mayor Daley’s “war on gangs” in 1969 moved gang leadership into prision and
inadvertently made gangs stronger both inside prisons and on the streets
• The increased number of gang members entering Illinois prisons in the 1970s created a
need for immediate means of distinguishing allies from rivals
Location: Chicago and the Midwest, Folk Nation gangs exist nationwide
Gang structure: Folk Nation is not a gang itself; rather it is one of two major alliance of street
gangs (along with the People Nation)
• Folk gang include La Raza, Suerno, Nortenos, Spanish Cobras, Spanish Gangsters, Latin
Eagles, Two Sixers, International Posses, Simon City Royals, Black Gangsters, and the
various factions of Discipline
Gang identifiers: Each gang maintains its own identifiers, but Folk Nation gangs also use
symbols to identify their affiliation with the alliance
• Six-pointed star, Pitchfork, Heart (alone or with wings, devil’s tail, and or horns),
Number 6 Wear everything to the right (caps, bandanas, belt buckles, rolled pant leg,
jewelry) and communicated with right hand
History: People Nation began as an affiliation of Chicago street gangs in the 1970s and 1980s
• People nation consists of gangs that originally formed as means of defense within the
prison system
Location: Chicago and the Midwest, People Nation gangs exist nationwide
Gang structure: people nation is the second major street gang alliance (along with the Folk
• People Nation gangs include Latin Kings, Vice Lords, Spanish Lords, El Rukns, Bishops,
Gaylords, Latin Counts, and Kents
• People maintain a charter and a strict code of conduct driven by the “All is All” and “All
is Well’ philosophies
Gang identifiers: Each gang has its own identifiers, although as with the Folk Nation, gangs
affiliated with People Nation also use symbols to identify their association with the larger
• Five-pointed star and the number 5, Crown Crescent, Pyramid, Dice, Bunny head, Wear
everything to the left (caps, bandanas, belt buckles, rolled pant leg, jewelry) and
communicated with left hand
History: Mara Salvatrucha 13 also knowns MS-13 and La Mara Salvatrucha is primarily
composed of the children of Salvadoran nationals who migrated to California from war-torn EL
Salvador in the 1970s and 1980s and settled mainly in the Pico-Union area of Los Angeles where
they first integrated with other Hispanic gangs, mostly the children and descendants of Mexican
• Salvadoran immigrants established their own gang in the early 1980s in response to
continued persecution by other Hispanic gangs-persecution largely based on the
intergroup difference exacerbated by competition for resources
Location: Main leadership is still based all over U.S. Cliques found EL Salvador are thought to
continue to respond to American cliques however, most media focuses on the ruthlessness of the
deported and therefore transplanted gangs now found in Central America
• MS-13 has been reported in 42 states and the District of Columbia
• MS-13 threats highest in the Los Angeles region and the boarder northeastern region of
the U.S.
• MS-13 cliques exist in El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala, Mexico, Belize, Costa Rica,
Nicaragua, and Panama
Gang structure: MS-13 gangs consists of numerous “cliques”. Some cliques are highly
structured and organized however most have little formal structure. Each cliques has a leader or
set of leaders, commonly referred to as “shot callers,” “leaders,” or “ranfleros”
Gang identifiers: devil’s pitchfork
Clique initials: MS-13, Mara Salvatrucha
Colors: blue, white, and black
History: Latin Kings also known as Almighty Latin King Nation, Almighty Latin Charter
Nation, and Almighty Latin King and Queen Nation) formed in Chicago in the mid-1960s with
the goal of helping Puerto Rican immigrants overcome racial prejudice by forming an
organization of kings
Location: While active in 34 states, the Latin Kings can be found primarily in Illinois, New
York, Texas, and Florida, Latin Kings chapters also exist in Canada, Cuba, the Dominican
Republic, Ecuador, Italy, Peru, and Spain
Gang structure: The Latin Kings are highly organized and gang leadership exists at the
national, regional, and local levels
• Memberships is governed by a manifesto and constitution with established rules and
bylaws. The gang originally consisted of predominantly Puerto Rican males but currently
has members of various nationalities. Some Latin Kings chapters also have female
associates, commonly referred to as Latin Queens.
Gang identifiers: five-pointed crown
Graffiti: a lion wearing a crown, often accompanied by the initials LK, Amor de Rey or ADR,
1-4-18, Amor de Corona or ADC
Colors: black and gold (yellow) red, and green
History: 18th street gang (also known as Calle 18, Mara 18, M-18, Barrio 18, and La 18) was
founded by youths of mixed Mexican ancestry in the 1960s near 18th street and Union Avenue in
the Rampart area of Los Angeles
Location: Los Angeles region 18th street gang members have been identified in 36 states and the
District of Colombia and Mexico and Central America
Gang structure: networks via personal contacts throughout the United States, Mexico, and
Central America, and cliques are semiautonomous groups that do not answer to a central
• Mexican immigrants and descendants account for majority of the gang’s current numbers,
membership is open to individuals of other ethnicities. The racial and ethnic makeup of a
particular gang is typically influenced by the demographics of the region in which the
gang operates
Gang identifiers: Best (Barrio Eighteen Street) Graffiti; Mayan numerology for the number 18,
XVII, XV3, Dieciocho, 666
Colors: blacks, silver, blue, and occasionally red
History: Suernos 13 (also known as Sur Trece, Sur 13), the term Sureno means southerner
originated in the 1960s in the California prison system after a Hispanic inmate from Northern
California was killed by a member of the California Mexican Mafia (La Eme)
• “The War of the Shoes,” led to the formation of Nuestra Familia (NF) and the birth of
Surenos and Nortenos. After the formation of NF, Hispanic gang members entering the
Califorina prision system were expected to set aside their individual street names and
rivalries and align as either Surenos under La Eme or as Nortenos under NF, a practice
that will exists
Location: Suernos exist nationwide and though California based Suernos answer unequivocally
to La Eme, most Suerno gangs outside of California are loyal but not subordinate to La Eme
Gang structure: Suernos have no national structure or hierarchy; each Suernos gang is an
independent entity most often led by a “shot caller” who delegates responsibilities, organizes
criminal activities, oversees meetings, and is the person in direct communication with La Eme
Gang identifiers: Mexican pride themes, the Aztec war shield and Huitzilopochtli, the Azte sun
god, the number 13, X3, XII, the Mayan symbol for 13, and trece, the Spanish word for 13, three
dots for mi vida loca, Spanish for “my crazy life”; the cholo laugh now/cry later theater faces
Colors: mainly blue, but may also be seen wearing gray, black, white and brown
History: Norteno also known as Norte 14 means northerner originated in the 1960s in the
California prison system after a Hispanic inmate from Northern California was killed by a
member of the California Mexican Mafia (La Eme)
• “The War of the Shoes,” led to the formation of La Nuestra Familia (NF) and the birth of
Surenos and Nortenos. NF formed not only in reaction to the killing but also because
Northern California Hispanic inmates grew tired of suffering abuse at the hands of La
Location: Nortenos are most prevalent in Northern California but are also found throughout the
western United States, and Texas, the Midwest, and New York
Gang structure: the gang is well organized and has written constitution stating that the
leadership resides in California’s Pelican Bay State Prison. All gang members are accountable to
this leadership though a small minority follow the Nortenos previous leadership, who are
imprisoned in Colorado
Gang identifies: Numbers 14, and variations of 14 (X4, XIV, Mayan symbol for 14) Letter N,
Four dots (sometimes with a single dot to the side), Northern star, Huelga bird (symbol of the
United Farm Workers Association
Colors: red (red shoes with white shoelace, white shoes with red shoelaces, bandanas, jerseys,
cap, long canvas belt looped and hanging to the front or side)
Why Did Gangs Develop Later in the Southern Region?
• The South was not swamped by waves of White ethnic immigrants from Europe
o Critical Race Theory: immigrants not finding their way to the South was mostly due
to the fact that slaves where present and therefore employment opportunities were
scare if at all available.
o The South had a large population of freed slaves and their descendants so there were
little to no capacity for competition from immigrants who were largely uneducated
and unskilled competition for low-skill low paying job
o South remained an agricultural region until after World War 2
• Black- White youth conflict was minimized with the “Great Migration”
o Domestic migration from the south to the Midwest, North and Southwest by
Blacks that some refer to as an internal exodus of Black refuges fleeing
physical terror and economic marginalization
• South culture was deeply religious in its early history
o History class this religiousness was crucial in the justification of slavery as a
sacred scripture truth
• Southern states were largely avoided by Mexicans who migrated mainly to the Midwest
and Western Regions
o Historical context slavery avoidance in earnest of slave states
• Southern cities have always been virtually devoid of public parks where youth conflicts
could be staged
How to think about theories
• Different theories use different levels of analysis (the segment of the phenomenon of
interest that is measured and analyzed) to explain change in the crime rate

o Levels of analysis include whole societies, subcultures, neighborhoods,
families, or individuals
o Question of cause and effect must be answered at the same level of analysis at
which they were posted
o Micro>small-group level
o Meso> subcultural level
o Macro> societal level
Causal explanation are also offered at different temporal levels
Theory testing tends to look for causal explanation rather than simple descriptions
Sociologists then to focus on correlations vs. causation
Cultural Relevance
Laws vary within the same culture from time to times and across different cultures
• Crime: is constantly changing as it can be defined in and out of existence by the courts or
by legislators
• While crime is a socially constructed concept it carries meaning as a subcategory of
social harm
Crime as a Subcategory of Social Harms
• Harmful acts can be placed on a continuum in terms of the seriousness of harms involved
with crime only being one category of these acts
o Those acts which come to be regulated by criminal law are typically those
deemed the most socially harmful
o The harm that results from criminal activity can carry a huge financial and
emotional price, and can be direct or indirect
• Criminality: a property of individuals who signal the willingness to commit crimes and
other harmful acts
• Criminality is:
o A clinical/scientific term
o Determined independently from legal definitions of crim
o Characterized by a general willingness to use and abuse others for personal gain
Criminology as a Discipline
• Criminology: An interdisciplinary science that gathers and analyzes data on crime and
criminal behavior
o Criminologists use the scientific method to answer question such as:
o Why do crime rate vary across time or by culture?
o Why do some individuals commit more crime than others?
o Why do some harmful acts criminalized but not others?
o What can be done to prevent crime?
• Crime: an act in violation of a criminal law for which a punishment is prescribed
committed with intention and without defense or justification
• What constitutes as crime will vary across time and place
• Only the state has the power to define crime
• Legislative bodies are continually revising, adding to, and deleting from, their criminal
Mala in Se and Mala Prohibita Crimes
• Core offenses (Mala in se)
o High consensus, severe penalties, high level of harm
• All crimes (Mala in se and mala prohibita)
o Low/moderate consensus, low/moderate penalties, low to moderate harm
• All social harms (state regulated but not by criminal law
o Harms outside the purview of the criminal justice system
• All harms (mostly private matters; rare state intervention
o Harms outside the purview of the criminal justice system
About Adolescence
Industrial Revolution
• A time of social change
• Mode of production changes
• Families are no longer independent farmers who trade
• Families are now working for someone else for wages
• Children are now working outside of the home
o This then change
o Congress passed the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) in 1938 regulating the
employment of those under 16 to 18 years of age and the Supreme Court upheld
the law
o A historians interpterion of the importance of labor laws
Child Labor in the industrial Revolution/History

Labor children have been an important part of the labor force throughout history
19th century this became a problem due to industrialization as children were exposed to
dangerous working conditions
Employers saw a benefit to the use of child labor for instance children were smaller and
quicker and children able to perform functions that would be more difficult for adults
Difficult for children to unionize and children would get paid lower wages from
employers and they had to pay adults
Reforms who believe that children were not only placed in jeopardy by virtue of this
work but children also should get an education
Reformers pointed to the horrible working conditions the long hours and the low wages
that children received
1840’s American reformers were having some success in limiting child working hours for
native-born Americans and influx of immigrants from places like Ireland provided a fresh
supply of child labour for the Burgeoning industrial revolution
1902 and 1905 several organizations committed to end the child labor in the U.S. but it
wasn’t until the advent of the Great Depression that real change was on horizon with so
many American out of work labor unions and laborers began to clamor for an end to child
labor to ensure that the adult working population would have enough jobs this proved to

be an important development lawmakers actually drafted legislations which ended the
practice in the U.S. limiting working hours and improving working conditions for young
End the use of child labor is the important of education American reformers were able to
make the case successfully that young people in a democracy needed to be educated in
order to perform their civic duty young larger numbers came out and joined what became
Red Guards and this larger terroristic organizations these largely terroristic organizations
were used to publicly humiliate assault and in some case even murder political enemies
of Moa and Communist Party
Why gangs are confusing- According to Felson
1. The word gang has many means: drug gangs, prison gangs, organized crime, juvenile
gangs, and so on
2. Different gangs used the same name
o Not all 18th street gangs are affiliated with Los Angeles area gang named for the
street where they met
3. Gangs are unstable; they often change
o In the 2000’s street gangs began to shift from the stereotypical streets side
4. Many gangs get too much credit for their dangerousness
o Ms-13 criminal enterprise is not as well organized as they are portrayed
5. It is often difficult to find the gang’s structure
o Proud Boys are understood to be a hate group therefore it is not a street gang but
identified by the Southern Poverty Law Center map as a group that self-identifies
as having a primary goal of safeguarding white male primacy
6. Gang leadership may change with actives
o Street gangs may change leadership over business dealings that require that
certain individuals with social connection or skilled lead
7. The Big Gang Theory can exaggerate the size and danger of juvenile gangs
o Gangs do this because they need to appear more dangerous than they actually are
to provide maximum protection
Five Common Myths About Gangs
o Most gangs a formal organization
▪ Some gangs instead informally connect and respond to namesake or OGs
o Our gangs came from somewhere else
▪ Gangs and social change, and Five Critical Historical Periods
o The gangs is here to stay and once kids join a gang, they are pretty much lost for good
▪ Former gang members tend to age out as they get jobs, form families and no
longer prioritize gang activities
o Gangs often manage large-scale drug distribution operations
▪ Drug cartels tend to have ties to street gangs in order to gain access but these
distributions are not managed by the streets gangs
o Mara Salvatrucha (m-13), 18th street and other gangs have migrated across much of the
▪ Gangs and social change, and Five Critical Historical Periods
Gangs and Social Change
o Gangs in time of Social Change
o The treatment of gangs in recent research done in one of 2 ways
1. As a gathering of individuals with specific negative set of personal attributes
2. As a group of individuals who act in a deviant and/or criminal manner
o Both approaches share common underestimation of connections between structural
conditions of society at large form of collective behavior, and similar recycling of
individualistic thought
o Current study contends that role of structure in creating rational forms of human agency
in lower classes has been consistently underestimated in much of sociological research
Understanding Gangs Differently
o Structure: configuration of material resources in a system of allocation that establishes
various opportunity parameters for each social class
o Low- income communities have fight their environment to find relief
▪ One product is a defiant individualist personality
o As organizational entities they are capable of producing benefits for their members and
other in society
o Case for gaining sociological precision by defining gangs along a developmental
continuum can be illuminated by placing them in historical perspective
o Five critical historical periods have affected the social and organizational development of
gangs over the last 150 years
▪ Each period involves social structure changes
▪ 2 factors common to all fiver periods:
1. Poverty
2. Opportunities for socioeconomic mobility worsened during each
Five Critical Historical Periods
1) Gangs in times of immigration
o Beginning in 18th century, gangs associated with lower classes of vigorous
immigrant groups
▪ This form of association gave them camaraderie, entertainment and goods
to consume even if that latter were obtained through delinquent acts
o 1990s structure of immigration experience changed, affecting gang in two
distinctive ways:
1. In the past immigrant arriving in the USA have continued to establish
their own communities
2. Gangs have also developed in immigrant communities where the
socio-economic mobility of the youth of these communities appears, in
the 1990s even more structurally blocked than in the past
o Character of the immigrant experience has influenced the development of gangs
past and present
o Immigrant experience has produced gangs that have been primarily although not
exclusively, predatory on their community
2) Gangs in time of blue-collar expansion
o During the 1940s, 195os and 1960s significant opportunities existed for workingclass kids to secure working-class jobs
o Influenced the particular character of gangs in the following decades in
communities where the opportunity to secure working class jobs remains
o Primary activities are oriented toward securing financial resources necessary to
provide leisure for their members
▪ Goal is pursued with resolve through members obtaining part-time jobs
and paying dues to the gang organization and/or by selling illegal drugs
and stolen contraband
▪ The gang’s primary character here is that it takes on the functions of social
3) Gangs in time of drug deregulation
o In the past, Italian Mafia monopolized the drug industry, including controls over
both production and distribution
▪ Total control of production and distribution evaporated for a variety of
reasons, the most importance of which ethnic conflict and market control
o Through the 1970s-1980s gangs became involved in different capacities of the
drug retail trade
▪ Some distributed drugs and also became involved in the production of
crack cocaine and other drugs
▪ Some had drugs mill that produced synthetic hallucinogens
▪ Gangs could both recruit young people with the pitch that they could make
substantial money and convince them that they had the contacts necessary
to produce a profitable business and the organization capacity to protect
them from other competitions
▪ One of the most important by-products of the structural shift in the
contemporary context in which gangs operate is that individuals have now
increased the length of time during which they participate
4) Gangs in times of mass incarceration
o Although there has been a 20 year ‘war on drugs’, the industry has continued to
grow and to provide a strong opportunity structure for individuals and groups like
gangs and poses
o Illicit drug trade present individuals with very high risk not only in the financial
market but law
▪ As street gangs have become more involved in the drug industry and as
law enforcement policies have changed number of street gang members
who are imprisoned has increased
▪ Individual street gang members have entered an environment structured
both by the state authorities and prison gangs at the same time many gang
members perceive that is likely they will do more than one stint spending
a considerable amount of their lives in prison
o State policy to incarcerate gang members for longer periods of time is producing
unintended consequences
5) Gangs in times of monopoly behavior
o Violence: as the use of force to achieve some desired end
o Gang violence: relation to gang member violence
o Former involves individuals committing violence as agents of the organization
o Gang members violence: relation to gang member violence
▪ Former involves individuals committing violence as agents of the
▪ Gang-membrane violence involves individuals in gangs committing
violence as independent agents
o The violence associated with gangs have been influenced by three conditions:
1. Associated with gang member violence and emerges from the material
conditions in which gang members find themselves
2. The structure of the market in which gangs as organization and operate
3. In conjunction with the structure of the underground economy levels
of gang violence have increased in recent years. The opening of new
drug markets gangs have behaved like any other capitalist oriented
o Gang violence both individual member and organizational result from a dynamic
combination of three interacting conditions
National Youth Gang Surveys
o NYGS Survey Gang: for the purpose of this survey a youth gang is defined as a group
of youths or young adults in your jurisdiction that you or other responsible persons in
your agency or community are willing to identify or classifying as a gang.
▪ DO Not include motorcycle gangs, hate or ideology groups, prison gangs, or
other exclusively adult gang
o Virtually all stated (44) and the District of Columbia have legislation that defines the
term gang
o The stability of gang activity and violence (homicide) is reflected in large-city
trajectories found in the NYGS
o The drop in crime and violence, gang homicides remain at significant level in the
United States
o Each city has its unique history of gang activity and gang violence; not two gangs are
alike; no two cities gang problem are alike
o Solutions must be grounded in a through assessments of each country’s or city’s
The North Carolina gang definition
o A criminal street gang or street gang means any ongoing organization association or
group of three or more person whether formal or informal that
1. Has one of it primary activities the commission of one or more felony offense
or delinquent acts that would be felonies if committed by an adult
2. Has three or more members individually or collectively engaged in or who
have engaged in criminal street gang activity
3. May have a common name, common identifying sing, or symbol
Myths about Gangs
Myth 1: Most Gang Have a Formal Organization
Myth 2: Gangs of the Same Name Are Connected
Myth 3: Our Gangs Came From Somewhere Else
Myth 4: The Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) and 18th street (M-18) Gangs Are Spreading
Across the U.S.
Myth 5: Gangs, Drugs, and Violence Are Inexorably Linkned
Myth 6: A “Wanna-Be” Is a “Gone-Be”
Myth 7: Children Are Joining Gangs at Younger and Younger Ages
Myth 8: Gang Members Spend Most of Their Time Planning or Committing Crimes
Myth 9: Gangs Often have Highly Unusual Initiation Rites
Myth 10: Most Youths Are Pressured to Join Gangs
Myth 11: Adults Recruit Adolescent to Join Gangs
Myth 12: Once Kids Join a Gang, They’re Pretty Much Lost for Good
Myth 13: The Gang’s Here for Good
Myth 14: Gang Members Are a New Wave Super Predators
Myth 15: Gangs Were Actively Involved in the Crack Cocaine Epidemic
Myth 16: Zero Tolerance of Gang Behaviors Will Eliminate Gangs From Schools
Myth 17: Sole Reliance on Law Enforcement Will Wipe Out Gangs
Myth 18: Nothing Works With Gangs
Myths about Gangs: Myth #2
Myth#2: Gang violence may have declined along with overall violence in the past decade
Reality: in 2012, 16% of all homicide reported in the U.S. were gang-related but in very large
cities (population of more than one hundred thousand) about one to four homicides annually are
associated with gang activity
From 2007-2012 the gang homicide rate remined virtually unchanged in these very large cities
where 56% of gangs, 75% of gang members, and 87% of gang homicides are located
Myth #3: Gang homicides are not a serious problem outside Los Angeles and Chicago
Myth#4: Transnational Gangs Are Moving Across the U.S.
Reality: None of the so-called transnational gangs (ex: MS-13 and 18th Street) meet the four
widely accepted characteristics of a transnational gang
Operational and criminally active in multiple countries. Activities of members must be at the
direction of gang leaders in another country tend to be mobile and adapt to new areas.
Involvement in sophisticated crimes that transcend national borders
Chapter 3
Defining Gangs and Gang Members
An arraying of child, adolescent and adult groups
• Childhood play groups: harmless groups of children that exist in every neighborhood
• Troublesome youth groups: youths who hang out together in shopping malls and other
place and may be involved in minor forms of delinquency
• Youth subculture groups: Groups with special interest such as “goths” and “straight
• Taggers: graffiti vandals often called gang members but typically do nothing more than
engage in graffiti contest
• Delinquent groups: small cluster of friends who band together to commit delinquent acts
such as burglaries
• Starter gangs: often emerge somewhat spontaneously among authority-rejecting children
and adolescent who have been alienated from families and schools
• Youth/street gangs: groups of adolescents and young adults that have a presence on city
street and frequently engage in delinquent and criminal behavior
• Gang nations: Chicago gang were first dubbed gang “nations” of people and folk gangs
in the 1980s and 1990s otherwise the term is used by streets
• Transnational gangs: gangs that operate in more than once country (ex: 18tth street and
mara salvatrucha
• Prison gangs: groups of imprisoned adults who engage in criminal activity related
largely to traditional street rivalries (with few exceptions, as street gangs), lawlessness,
and rebellion
• Security threats groups (STGs), also called prison gangs: groups of adult criminals
defined as “two or more inmates, acting together, who pose a threat to the security or
safety/inmates, and/or to the orderly management of the facility/system
• Extremist groups: some domestic groups such as skinheads may straddle the line
between gang and extremist group, the latter category, which includes the American Nazi
Party, Ku Klux Klan, and Black September has little in common on the ordinary gang
• Motorcycle gangs: prison gang, the Gypsy Jokers (a motorcycle club), formed in the
1950s in Washington state prisons (Camp & Camp 1985) these club soon were
distinguished as fundamentally distinct from street gangs
Gang Definitions
• No single universally accepted definition of a gang or a gang member
• Student define gangs as
1. Having a name
2. Spending time with other members of the gang
3. Wearing clothing or other items to identify their gang membership
• Federal law defines the term gang as an ongoing group club, organization, or association
of five or more persons
A. That has as one of its primary purposes the commission of one or more of
the criminal offense

B. The member of which engage or have engaged within the past five years
in a continuing series of offense
C. The activities of which affect interstate or foreign commerce
Law enforcement agencies define a gang as
1. A group that hangs out together
2. Commits crimes together
3. Has a name, and sometimes
4. Has a leader
5. Claims turf
6. Displays common colors/symbols
Prison gang: security threat group is defined as an organization which operates within
the prison system as a self-perpetuating criminally oriented entity consisting of a select
group of inmates who have established an organized chain of command and are governed
by an established code of conduct
Overlapping Gangs of with other groups
• Juvenile delinquent or adult criminal groups
• Youth gangs
• Street gangs
• Prison gangs
Typologies of Gangs
1. Barrio-territorial (12 gangs): gangs which constitute the majority of the gangs in
Valdez’s study are younger than others and tend to operate independently of any adult
gang influence and devoid of any centralized organizational structure
2. Criminal adult dependent (4 gangs): adults also provide protection against rival gangs
and adult criminals. Drug dealing (particularly heroin) is the primary source of illegal
income for these gangs
3. Criminal non-adult dependent (5 gangs): gangs also tend to be more territorially based
than the criminal adult dependent type and members are involved more often in personal
fights within the gang and with rival gang members
4. Transitional (5 gangs): remaining five gangs fit into this category. They are smaller than
others and semiorganized with a loose leadership structure, often centered on a
charismatic leader
Gang Graffiti There are multiple forms of graffiti, only one of which is the gang type
Gang Features:
• Gang name or symbols, including hand sign
• Gang members names, nicknames, or sometimes a roll-call list of members
• Numbers: code in gang graffiti, with a number representing the corresponding letter in
the alphabet (ex 13=M, for the Mexican Mafia) or a penal or police radio code
• Distinctive, stylized alphabets: bubbles letters, block letters, backward letters, and Old
English script
• Key visible locations

Enemy names and symbols or allies’ name
Gang motives:
• To make turf
• To threaten violence
• To boast of achievements
• To honor the slain
• To insult or taunt other gangs
Common tagger features:
• High-volume accessible locations
• High-visibility, hard-to-reach locations
• May be stylized but simple name, nickname tag, or symbols: single-line writing of a
name usually known as a tag, whereas, slightly more complex tags, including those with
two colors or bubble letters, known as throw-ups
• Tenacious (keeps retagging)
Common tagger motives:
• Notoriety or prestige
• Defiance of authority
Artistic tagger features:
• Colorful and complex pictures known as masterpieces or pieces
Artistic tagger motives:
• Artistic
• Prestige or recognition
Conventional graffiti features:
• Spontaneous
• Sporadic episode or isolated incidents
• Malicious or vindictive
Conventional graffiti motives:
• Play
• Rite of passage
• Excitement
• Impulse
• Anger
• Boredom
• Resentment
• Failure
• Despair
Ideological features:
• Offensive content or symbols
• Racial, ethnic, or religious slurs
• Specific targets, such as synagogues
• Highly legible
• Slogans
Ideological motives:
• Anger
• Hate
• Political
• Hostility
• Defiance
Gang Definitions for Research and Practice Vary
• An urban gang definition: a self-formed association of peers united by mutual
interests with identifiable leadership and internal organization who act collectively or
as individuals to achieve specific purpose including the conduct of illegal activity and
control of a particular territory, facility, or enterprise
• A definition of “youth gangs” with partial utility of guiding community assessments:
1. The group has five or more members
2. Members share and identify, typically linked to a name and often other
3. Members view themselves as a gang and are recognized by other symbols
4. The group associates continuously, evidence some organization, and has some
5. The group is involved in an elevated level of delinquently/criminal activity
Defining Gang Members
• The higher standard of five members will help exclude small friendship groups that
happen to be involved in delinquency, typically consisting of three to four members
Gang membership:
• Using three criteria:
1. Having a name
2. Spending time with other members of the gang
3. Wearing clothing or other items to identify their gang membership
Race and Ethnicity of Gang Members
• Gang members are not only solely minorities; whites are involved at higher levels
than previously thought
• 1995 survey of middle-aged students in 11 diverse cities in the U.S., Esbensen and
Lynskey (2001) found that Caucasian youths were almost as likely to claim gang
membership as any other race/ethnicity. This is the first multisite study of document
the growing involvement of Caucasian youths in gangs
1. 31% of the gang member were African American

2. 25% were Caucasian
3. 25% were Hispanic
4. 20% were of other races/ethnicities
In a more recent multicity student survey, Esbensen and colleges’ (2008) research team
observed that the racial/ethnic proportion were relatively even for Caucasians (7.3%),
African American (8%), and Hispanic (9%), but larger (13%) for multiracial groups
(reflecting the increased immigrants from outside the U.S. after 1995
o White youths likely resumed gang participation with widespread diffusion of gang
culture that commenced in the 1980s
After School Programs in St. Paul/ Salvation Army 4:19
o Research shows that lack of attention by parents or schools has a positive
relationship with gang participation after school programs are just one way to
improve life chances for children by providing them the activity and attention
they crave.
General Macro-level theories and modern-day Theories and modern day applications
Theory: a set of logically interconnected propositions explaining the relationship among
o Theories developed as a way to cope and explain social changes:
▪ Industrial Revolution and the Rise of Capitalism: technologies that changed
the largely agricultural Western societies into industrial societies inspired
sociological thinkers, including many who sought to overthrow this new world
▪ Imperialism-Colonialism: social thinkers aware of how the spread and
domination of western political, social culture and economic ideas across the
globe (along with imperial efforts within Europe) was an important landmark in
the history of the world
▪ Enlightenment took hold as a science began to unfold, explaining their physical
world, Secularism developed thereafter as means to distance themselves from the
hold of religion.
▪ Slavery was not directly spoken of but was hinted as being natural and needed
Macro- Level Theories
o Different theories use different level of analysis (the segment of the phenomenon of
interest that is measured and analyzed) to explain changes in the crime rate.
o Macro-level theories
▪ Level of analysis include whole societies, like politics, economic system,
countries, global issues
▪ Question of correlation (relationship)or cause and effects must be answered at the
same level of analysis at which they were posed.
o Causal explanations are also offered at different temporal levels, causal
explanations must be considered and explained relative to the data or
observations conducted and note generalized to entire populations not
studiedo Ex: if you interview gangs in the South Side of Chicago, you then relay
the findings explaining that the correlation of events relates to these gangs
in the South Side of Chicago but NEVER relate the findings with certainty
to other gangs not covered in the study
Social Structure
o Structural theories seek to explain group crime rates rather than why particular
individuals commit crimes
o Social structure: refers to how society is organized by social institutions
▪ The focus is on the ways in which the social institutions (such as religion,
economy, and family) influence criminality
▪ Ex: the influence that religion has on a society will then dictate how those within
the society are regulated by political structures and how family will be organized
o If religion dictates that crime is punishable by death, then the society
where this religion is positioned will then practice things like the death
Structural theorist may follow either the consensus or conflict model of society

This chapter focuses on the conflict view, which views society as a system of inequities,
characterized by broadcast societal level disjuncture where conflict is maintained to
stratify society
Social Disorganization Theory
o Focuses on the breakdown of informal community rules
o Social disorganization in seen as contributing to crime in two ways:
1. The lack of informal controls leads to the concentration of disadvantage that then
contributes to generational setbacks; and disadvantages that then contributes to
generational setbacks; and
2. The subsequent development of a set of values that support antisocial behavior as
a mans to effect social control
3. Collective Efficacy: the shared power of a group of connected and engaged
individuals to influence the maintenance of public order
4. Gang behavior occurs because it is a means to gain access to social good that are
otherwise not in reach for those living within these communities
Structural Features of Neighborhood
▪ Concentrated disadvantages residential stability immigration concentration
Neighborhood Social Processes
▪ Collective efficacy social control
Gang behavior (homicide)
A General Explanation of Gang Origins, Expansion, and Violence
o Stage 1gang formation follows rapid population immigration overwhelming cities of
destination as immigrant concentration quickly exhaust available resources, creating
social disorder. Concentrating poverty and crime, while native-born usually white
American leave the area taking with them their higher incomes and businesses
o Stage 2 family disorganization low neighborhood control, and youth alienation are three
products of social disorganization. Under these conditions, the socialization of children
and adolescents slips from the grasp of parents.
▪ Multiple marginality captures the process through which young people are
left out of mainstream society because of language, education, cultural,
and economic barriers in schools, neighborhoods, and communities.
o Stage 3 youth gangs form, undergirded by the youth subculture that helps fill the gap
between childhood and adulthood by providing values, customs, behavioral expectations
and the like for youths during the adolescent period. Giving children a sense of belonging
they are missing from the mainstream culture.
o Stage 4 gang expansion and dangerous: public housing projects, prison population
growth, gun availability and drug trafficking. The establishment of large public housing
project in major cities-particularly high rise “project” and concentration of multifamily
unities or apartment units that house hundred/thousands of poor families, virtually all of
which were racial/ethnic minorities. These buildings provide a base of operations for
gangs, an area that they could easily control
o Stage 5 street gangs become more solidified and gain prominence, and prison gangs
evolve. Violent gang activity ensues as a characteristic of “street gangs” keeping in mind
that this term denotes gangs with older members, linking inmates with those recently
released, that often commit more common urban crimes, especially assault, robbery, gun
crimes, and murder
Strain Theory/Differential Opportunity Theory
o Argued that crime is cause by the gap between commonly held cultural goals, by most
in the societies or mainstream culture, and the legitimate means available to achieve
o In American culture, monetary success is the predominant cultural goal, but not everyone
has the same access to attain it.
o Some people respond to this disconnect in criminal ways.
▪ Someone wants to live in a better neighborhood so they may lie on their
taxes or mortgage application about their income
▪ Others may want to own a nice car but can’t afford one so they steal one
o Five modes of adaptation to cultural goals”
1. Conformity: acceptance of goals and means
2. Ritualism: rejection of goals; acceptance of means
3. Innovation: acceptance of goals; rejection
4. Retreatism: rejection of goals and means
5. Rebellion: rejection and replacement of goals and means
Subcultural Theory
o Argues that crime is caused by status frustration that originates when lower-class youth
fail to live up to middle-class measuring rods.
▪ View crimes as non-utilitarian, malicious, and negative; sees crime as resulting
from the inversion of middle-class norms
▪ Short-Run Hedonism: the seeking of immediate gratifications to desires without
regard to long-term consequences
o Appl iPhone payment program:
o Cell phone complex know that not everyone can afford their expensive devices
that do nothing new or different than the previous version, but these items provide
people a status symbol
o Young people walking around with $1,000,00 phone they can’t afford; their
families cannot afford as symbol that they too can do it and therefore no different
than their middle-class peers
o The Leas Option then encourages the youth to gain these items by any means
necessary for a temporary time period instead of looking at long term goals that
would require more planning and sacrifice
Routine Opportunity Structure Theory
o States that access to successes in life are not available to everyone in the society, yet most
people do know what successes are and how to achieve them but then also recognize that
the government, politics, education, neighborhood, religion and family create and
maintain barriers/ challenges to overcome
o Just as there are barriers to achieving legitimate success, there are barriers to achieving
illegitimate (criminal) success.
▪ Youth born into an illegitimate “opportunity structure” will go on to join
criminal gangs
▪ They follow in their parents footsteps but they have to pay their dues to other
in the gang or criminal realm
o They do this in order to gain access to network that can then help them
Critical Race Theory
o Race: is a social construct meaning that there is no biological or DNA link to identify
race on a level other than
▪ Race is a means by which society organizes groups of people to serve a specific
purpose in society
o Racial Stratification is a basic feature of society
▪ As humans we categories people to establish manageable understandings of one
▪ The Color of America: Debating Racial Classification in the U.S Census
o Our American history of Slavery, racial inequities can be directly connected to the
improvement of life for a small number of American, typically white Americans who
have benefited from unfettered access to free, cheap and replaceable labor
▪ Pattern of disadvantage or inequality
▪ Variable patterns of inequality: exploitation, slavery, genocide
▪ Minority, or subordinate groups, have less of what society values
▪ Pattern is a result of action by the core or dominant group
▪ Creations of historical and social processes
Chapter 5
Developmental Pathways to Serious and Violent Behavior
Loeber et al. (1997; 199) discover three main but overlapping pathways in the development of
delinquency from childhood to adolescence, see above
The author conflict pathway consists of pre-delinquent offenses
• Children and adolescents engage in behavior that conflicts with established norms
o Truancy, defiance, disobedience
The covert pathway consists of concealing and serious property offenses
• Hidden activities, damaging personal or public property
o Stealing from stores, vandalism, burglary
The overt pathway consists of violent offenses
• Engaging in fights or public displays of stealing or threatening others
o Bullying, aggression, physical attacks
These pathways model have four important dimensions
1. The model shows an orderly progression over time from less serious to more serious
offenses and delinquent behaviors in actual behaviors that were charted by the research
2. The progressively narrowing width of the triangle in this figure illustrates the decreasing
proportion of youths (from many to few) involved in particular problem behaviors and
delinquent offenses
3. The model shows the general age of onset (from early to later)
4. The pathways are hierarchical in that those who have advanced to the most serious
behavior in each of the pathways usually have displayed persistent problem behaviors
characteristic of the earlier stages in each pathway
Location of Gang Membership in Developmental Pathways
R.A. Gordon and colleagues’ (2014) analysis of Pittsburgh Youth Study data filled an important
gap in this line of research: the extent to which gang membership is associated with simultaneous
engagement in multiple criminal behaviors
Research on the importance of the gang membership stage in the formation of youngsters’
criminal pathways is still ongoing, the following are some of the most pivotal finding thus far
So it is with gang members: they, too, join in late childhood, become increasing active in
especially likely to combine multiple types of crimes, particularly in two combinations (serious
violence and drug selling and serious violence, drug selling, and serious theft)

This research extended prior longitudinal studies by showing that gang-involved youths
were especially like to combine multiple types of crimes particularly in two combinations
(serious violence and drug selling; and serious violence, drug selling, and serious theft)
and these multiple patterns of criminal activity were most elevlated during periods of
active gang participation
o In fact, the increase was enormous 4 to 5 times higher during waves of active
gang membership than during waves before or after gang membership up to
age 28
Gang membership also affects the life trajectory of youths
o In a national sample youths who joined gangs were 30% less likely to
graduate from high school and 58% less likely to earn a 4-year degree than
their matched peers
related to precocious transition into adulthood than then predicated disrupted family
relationship, economic instability and criminal behaviors at the age of 30
Long-Term Impact of Gang Membership on Participants Gilman, Hill, and Hawkins
(2004) also reported that the effects of gang membership extended well into adulthood
(age 30)
o Compared with their nongang peers, for those who reported joining a gang in
o Gang membership predicted lower rates of high school graduation, poor
general health, depression, drug abuse or dependence, self-reported crime,
official felony conviction, and incarceration in adulthood
Social Development Model (SDM)
The SDM suggest that children are socialized through processes involving four constructs:
1. Opportunities for involvement in activities and interactions with others
2. The degree of involvement and interaction
3. Skills to participate in these involvements and interactions
4. The reinforcement resulting from performance in activities and interactions
Once opportunities and skills are adequate and performance is rewarded, a social bond develops
between the individual and the socializing agent, group, or institution
o The type of access to the aforementioned activities either rejects or promotes deviant
o The individual’s conformity to the norms and values of the socializing unit will
then inform behavior
o As prosocial or antisocial depending on the predominant behaviors, norms, and
values held by those to whom the individual is bonded
• The level of sociality displayed and shared by agent of socialization (parent, peer, etc)
will then have a direct impact on how the child develops their sociality as prosocial
(group activities with group goals that adhere to mainstream society) or antisocial (where
group activities clash or counter with goals of the mainstream society)
o “Smash and grab” is antisocial as it entails stealing products from a business and
this is illegal and therefore goes against mainstream society goals where we are to
not steal
o “Extracurricular sports” is prosocial as it entails participating in positive role
interactions that the society in general rewards with positive feedback
A Broad Developmental Gang Theory
• A broad developmental gang theory (Howell and Egley’s 2005b) is a theoretical model
which specifies four distinct developmental stages in the pathway to delinquency and
gang involvement- preschool, school entry, childhood, and adolescence
o These stages are displayed in Figure 5.4 please study this table
• Preschool factors predict early child conduct problems such as aggressive and disruptive
behavior upon school entry, and these problem behaviors, in turn, predict childhood
o Combined with risk factors in other development domains, childhood delinquency
increases the probability of delinquent activity and gang involvement during late
childhood and adolescence
o The influence of risk factors for delinquency varies with age and by the time
youth enter high school, most of the risk factors affecting gang involvement will
have been established
• Risk factors measured at age 0-2, and 3-5
o Individual, family
• Risk factors measured at age 6-11
o Individual, family, school, community, peer
• Risk factors measured at ages 12-17
o Individual, family, school, community/neighborhood, peer
Apex of Gang Member Criminal Activity
• Keeping in mind the age-gang membership curve, we next profile youths who maintain
an active course of gang activity for an extended period of time, thus expanding the peak
in the age-gang membership curve by delaying desistance
• Most youths who join gangs have already been involved in delinquency
o Once in the gang youth become more actively involved in delinquency and
violence with the propensity for more elevated criminal activity composed of
serious property and violent crime
o According to R.A Gordon et al., (2014) suggested that the gang culture of
violence introduces members to even more dangerous enterprises
Desistance from gang membership
• The downslope of the age-gang member curve represents the desistance process
o Active gang membership periods are relatively brief
o Majority (48%s-69%) of gang members involved with gangs for 1 year or less
o Declining percentages reported 2 (17%-48%), 3 (6%-27%), and 4 or more (3%5%) years of gang membership among sites
Interactionist Perspective
• Differential Association Theory individuals are likely to commit deviant acts if they
associate with others who deviate

o We are more likely to partake in sociality when others around us participate
▪ Parent cheat on their taxes, we are most likely to do so
▪ Friend speeds down the highway we are then more likely to engage in
similar speeding
Labeling theory it isn’t the criminal or his/her act that is important but the audience that
labels the person or act as “criminal”
o Race and class matter in our perception of crim
▪ Drug use versus mental illness, asylum seekers
o U.S. War on Drugs, political wars, racialization, for-profit prison system, modern
debtors prisons
• Mass incarceration, mandatory minimums> racial disparities, Southern
Strategy, Super Predator
Functionalist Perspective
Robert Merton’s Social Stain Theory
o Socialized to attain traditional material and social goals
o Opportunities are blocked
• “Decriminalization”= discrepancy in criminalization=social position
• We experience anomie, which can lead to crime or perceived crimes
• Criminal activity> economic conditions improve
Agnew’s Expanded Social Strain Theory
o Three types of social-psychological sources of strain
1. Failure to achieve positively valued outcomes
2. Removal or positive or desired stimuli from the individual
3. Confrontation with negative action (or stimuli by others
Chapter 6
Girls and gangs
Girls have been active participants in U.S. gangs since the late 19th century (Asbury, 1972)
▪ The early street gangs in New York City typically had female auxiliaries comparable to
what Sante (1991) describes as the “farm leagues for boys” in which males advanced to
street-level battles
o Female gangster who had ties with the older Five Points gangs helped by serving
as lookouts and decoys
o Younger members of some of the female gangs acted independently at times,
hiring themselves out as errand runners, lookouts, or spies in brothels
Seriousness of Female Gang Crime Involvement
▪ Female involvement in gangs promotes delinquency involvement at a higher level than if
females associated with highly delinquent peers who are not gang members. Thus, gang
membership facilitates delinquency over and above the effect of delinquent peers for
females as well as male
1. Female involvement in gangs promotes delinquency involvement at a high
level than if females associate with highly delinquent peers who are not gang
2. Gang members of both sexes are significantly more likely to have participated
in delinquency, including serious delinquency and substance abuse and to
have committed these acts at much higher frequencies than same-sex
3. Delinquency among girl gang members, just as among boys, is higher than
among opposite-sex nongang member
4. Female gang members commit similar crimes to those male gang members
commit-although a smaller proportion of girls participate in serious, violent
5. Bejerregaard suggested that female gang members had become more
extensively involved in the more serious and violent offenses by the advent of
the new millennium
Table. 6.1 Gang Member’s Annual Prevalence and
A multicity survey found that more than 90% of both male and female gang members reported
having engaged in one or m
Key Risk Factors for Female Gang Involvement
▪ Although risk factors for gang involvement generally apply to girls and boys alike, recent
research suggest that certain risk factors may be more influential for girls than for boys
Family environments: including parental substances use, domestic violence, and physical and
sexual abuse
o The likelihood of gang involvement increases when there is abuse or drug
dependency in the home
Early Problem Behaviors: perhaps aggression
o Aggressive behavior nor addressed earlier in the child’s life could contribute to
the child seeking out activities that encourage aggressive outburst
Neighborhood Characteristics: perhaps continuous exposure to high-risk and dangerous
o As the routine activities (opportunity) theory, the lack of resources in the area,
limited socioeconomic characteristic will encourage behavior not conforming
with mainstream activities
Negative Peers: early dating and violent victimization
o The younger the children is when the first date, the higher the likelihood that they
may enter relationship where they become victimized
School Factors: perhaps academic failure, low educational aspirations, negative labeling, and
trouble at school
o Introduce the school-to-prison pipeline, where students who are isolated or overpoliced are more likely to seek the protection of gangs in order to find comraderie
Female Associated of Gang Members: Rights and Revictimization

A San Antonio study (Av. Valdez, 2007) of girls who associated regularly with gang
members in the Mexican barrios in the West Side of San Antonio
o Eight public housing projects where some of the city’s poorest families live
o Provide a unique perspective on gang risks and revictimization
▪ Valdez discover that girls in these neighborhoods who were continuously
exposed to high-risk situations and dangers unwittingly placed themselves
“beyond risk” (or at extreme risk) for violent victimization, practically
assuring multiple and extremely problematic outcomes
Valdez isolated the major risk factors that elevated risk for the girls he studied
The family context was extremely detrimental for the females who would later be
gang associates
▪ The use of drugs and alcohol violent acts, and criminal behaviors were
“normalized” within the family context of the girls in this study and 8 out 10
of the girls had a family members who used drugs
▪ More than 6 out of 10 of them had family members involved in criminal
2. Peer relationship increased the girls’ risk for violent victimization, particularly their
gangs associates
▪ Each of the female gang associates was “distinctly” integrated into the male
gangs through their relationship with the male gang members
▪ The girls typically first associated with the gang member before age 12
3. Individual exposure to risk behaviors, including delinquency violence (particularly
physical fights), substance use, and external relations, was extensive among the
female gang associate. Based on his exhaustive study Valez (2007) developed the
following typology to categorize nongang females:
o Girlfriends are defined as a type of female gang associate who is a current
steady partner of a male gang member. Relationship range from being a male
gang member’s “man chick” or santita (saint) to the teenage mother of his

Least involved in everyday gang activities and to some extent these
girls are shielded from male gang members (ex: not sexually
harassed), out of respect
o Hoodrats are a more complex type of female gang associate. Although often
(but not necessarily) she is sexually promiscuous she is often seen hanging out
and partying with the guys and generally is a heavy ploydrug and alcohol user
▪ Male gang members often refer to this type of female as bitch, shank,
player, and whore. Normally does not develop an emotional
relationship with any of the boys yet among the four female types most
actively involved in everyday gang activities
o Good girls include childhood friends of many of the male gang members,
often having attended the same schools and having parents who interact with
each other. In time, these relationship have come to be based on mutual
respect. Males characterized these females as “nice girls”
▪ Compared with the other types tends to have conventional lifestyle
very infrequent involvement in criminal activities and also limited
involvement in everyday gang activities
o Relatives refers to girls who are close relatives of gang members, typically
sisters and cousins. These kinship ties afford this female type special status
within the social network
▪ For example: if one of these girls is dating gang member she will be
given special status as his main chick and also as a homeboy’s sister or
cousin. This type of female gang associate also has limited
involvement in everyday gang activities.
Modern Day Examples of Girls in Gangs
Joe Moore’s (1991) Los Angeles study led the way in modern- day studies of female gang
o Moore had return to the barrios of East Los Angeles to see what change, if anything in
the Mexican American gangs that she described in her earlier (1978) widely acclaimed
o Girls in da hood
▪ Vicky’s town 13, Boyle Heights, East Los Angeles, CA
▪ Carefully study the way that these adolescent girls:
1. Describe the relationship with their parents, family, neighborhood
children, and romantic partner
2. Interact with the world around them given their socioeconomic
realities, and how this may affect their life choices/ chance
3. Describe themselves or presents themselves to the outside world
Promising Program for Gang Involved Girls
o Gang Resistance Education and Training (G.R.E.A.T.)
o Movimiento Ascendenica (Upward Movement)
o Stop Now and Plan (SNAP) Girls Connection
o Female Intervention Team
o Safe Dates
o Brief Strategic Family Therapy
o Functional Family Therapy
o Multisystemic Therapy
Theory Applied to Female Gang Involvement
o Sociological Theory presented in previous chapter is intended to account for multilevel
influences on gang involvement across gender, class and ethnoracial identity
a) Macro-level interlocking system of inequality such as racialization and
b) Interpersonal interaction in meso-level proximal spheres such as neighborhood,
families, schools, and peer groups
c) Micro-level processes of situation action such as identity negotiation and agency
within the context of constrained choice. This conceptualization underscores
interlocking oppression and intersectional identities as producing gendered
experiences, and affirms females’ agency, identity, and resilience.
Feminist Perspective
o Focuses on how women’s criminalization experiences are different from men’s and also
from each other based on race, ethnicity, class, age and sexual orientation
o The highest number of female detainees or prisoners were in the U.S, China, Russian and
o Twice the rate of incarceration girlfriend problem unwitting association across race
o U.S race of incarceration affecting not only the prisoner but their children
o Indiana Women’s Prison program 2007, Nursery program for non-violent offenders offer
10 spaces
o Denver jail, Deputies and Nurses
Chapter 7
National Gang problems trends: 1996 to 2012
NYGS Definition
National Youth Gang Survey (NYGS) sample (n=2,546), 17-year (1996-2012) NYGS
Average response rate 84.3%
• Large cities and suburban counties
o Large cities (populations>50,000)
o N=1,361
• Smaller cities and rural counties
o Random sample
o Small cities (populations
Purchase answer to see full

Order your essay today and save 15% with the discount code: VACCINE

Order a unique copy of this paper

550 words
We'll send you the first draft for approval by September 11, 2018 at 10:52 AM
Total price:
Top Academic Writers Ready to Help
with Your Research Proposal