W9 WDW370H.docx

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University of Toronto St. George
Woodsworth College Courses
Sandra Bucerius

W9 WDW370H At Risk and Criminalized Youth Gangs  Defining o Different group use different definitions/ youth gangs have been studied for about 100 years. First person to study them was Fredrick Thrasher who looked at gangs in Chicago o One of the key things in studies it they set out parameter on the meaning of gangs  very loosely or tight nit explanation  Miller: came up with a wide range of definition of gangs. Sociologist in rather specific manner and media in broad terms. Imperative for definition  Doing crime of some sort  Be involved with the gang for a certain period of time  Have an identifiable leader  “Turf”, a geography associated with it  Self identification with the gang (say they are part of the gang) Identifiable characteristics?  Depends/  Organized gang they don’t want to stand out and be easily identifiable to the police/ look though so you don’t get robed by other drug dealers, and addicts wont rob you  Street gang run the streets/ mostly with younger people/ go with the same description as above  Wanna be ones Friendship gangs that don’t look like gangs/ culture adaptation of a gang o There is an age rage teenagers [age has varied because transition from youth to adult has changed, went for being short to have extended now] [what it means to be an adult today is not the same as of 100 years ago] o Why when we mean youth today, the category is more starched then before  the nature of school and work has changed/ marriage is delayed/ age to have the first child is later/ o So youth gangs is not just teenagers anymore/ and definition is key to know how many youth are involved in gangs  Research: was seen at the begging as abnormal kids/ o From a Chicago school view: Thrasher claims they are normal guy living rather in an abnormal environment, they needed protection and ways to make money o Idea of disorganized area: city areas that are poor/high level of family breakdown, social trauma and strain, weaken social controls in the environment as predictor of where gangs would be o Risk factors for gang members themselves  doing poorly at school/ experienced trauma and abused (more for girls), have relatives evolved in gangs o Look at micro and macro factors to predict whether or not evolved in a gang o Cloward and Ohlin: argue that the kind of community where kids grew up and gang has to be presented in the neighborhood where the kids grew up in/ based generally on economic factors o In the 60’s and 70’s media played a big role in raising awareness about the gang/ crime rates became to increase, a lot of it though to be linked to poverty/ war on poverty in that States and targeted poor neighborhoods and had more gangs/ changes of drug distribution, more people on the streets selling drugs and selling crack cocaine and making more transaction [people held more handguns and this lead to more violence in the U.S]  Function o The function of a gang depends on its purpose/ the harder gangs are using each other and killing each other to make money (might look like a gang but they are individualistic, it’s a way to make money o A person immerge as a leader when they have connections and access to the drugs/ as an 15 year old you don’t have much connections o Not a lot of gang research in Canada: less gangs, fewer hand guns/ o Hipper masculinity (most guys in gangs don’t have much education) to make yourself to stand out you has to make yourself strong and scary (a way of not caring for anything), all about power and control  Female gangs o No really involved/ doing the dirty work for the guys (hide the drug at the girlfriends house)/ they move drug from one place to another (seen as “mules”) o Didn’t have power or control in gangs o Began to change in the 80’s, research by Campbell {looked at Hispanic girl gang in NYC/ found that a lot of them were not doing organized stuff and not separate competitive to guys/ Why would these girls would do this  the girls were reversing gender roles, they grew up in single parent households, so i
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