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Julian Tanner

SOCC30 Lecture 10 November 17, 2011 Defining gangs is not an easy task … what Tanner and Scot did in their survey was to ask youth to define gangs themselves, what is their involvement past or present Table one: Belong to gang in their lifetime - Most HS students were never a gang member 88.9% - Street youth has a bit of a higher percentage: former gang members 10.4% and current 16.4% Studies do not focus on what ‘gangs’ do, how they define themselves Tanner et al. asked them “when you were in a gang, did/do you do _____?” - Selling/using drugs - Stealing property - Alcohol use - Protect others - Play sports - Hang out - Party/clubbing - Other • Not that not all of these things are necessarily illegal or criminal behaviour Activity Students Street Sell drugs 39 76 Property crime 40 53 Fight 57 65 Use drugs 57 76 Parties 73 80 Protection 77 81 Sports 64 50 Socialize 83 85 Social gang members - The criminal behaviour is the division between social crime and _____ - 31% are reclassified as social gang members – linking self definition as a gang member in comparison to the behaviours that they classify as gang activity Table 4: engagement of criminal activity, by type of gang involvement - For all the criminal activities you see a steady increase in frequency in engaging in them according tot ype of gang membership - The divide – those who are re-categorized as social gang - Former/present social gang members are more similar to those who are never involved in gangs - Ex. Using marijuana – some say it is not very deviant but it is associated with gangs - Activities, such as marijuana, that have made its way in ‘normal youth culture’, there is an incremental growth of youth in gang membership - Past history of delinquency – if you are a criminal gang, you want your new recruits to have a criminal past 1. Recruitment 2. Socialization - Criminal behaviour needs to be learned and what better place to learn it than becoming involved in a gang - The relevance of the two factors: they are very important that explain the pattern Table 5: victimization; gang affiliation - if you are currently involved with a gang, the more you are likely to experience victimization - strong correlation between offending and victimization; particularly among youth - while this is true, by no means the case that avoiding gangs completely does not necessarily protect your from victimization - ex assault – no weapon: 79.4% people in gangs are assaulted but those who have never been in a gang are assaulted 35.2% - explanation of increased gang involvement, increased victimization: 1. protection - the people in the Tanner study, HS students; possible that people get into gangs is because they were once victimized and then joined a gang to gain protection and prevent such victimization to happening again 2. deviant lifestyle - gang activity can be increased this way because they now have someone to protect them, got their back - once you commit to a gang, you become mor
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