Gang Organization, Business, and Violence An outline of the first several chapters of Jankowski's book, including gang organization, gang business, gang ideology, and gang violence.

39 views7 pages
Published on 16 Oct 2011
School
York University
Department
Social Science
Course
SOSC 1000
Page:
of 7
Feb. 28, 2011
Gang Organization, Business, and Violence
Jankowski’s General Ideas about Gangs
Low-income communities would be organized in a Hobbsean
point of view – the condition of man is the condition of war.
Gangs exist in a state that is relatively nasty.
Characterization of New York as being a jungle – material
deprivation, poverty creates a potentially violent social condition
o Structure Agency
(culture, ethnicity factor into structure and agency)
Defiant Individual
Need to account for variation within the structure; if the
structure were to be the only determinant factor, wouldn’t all the
gangs look the same? New variables that sit below the economic
structure. Most specifically, the introduction of culture and
ethnicity.
oA certain structure leads to the Defiant Individual
oThe characteristics of the organization:
Competitiveness
Mistrust
Self-Reliance
Social Isolation (island in the street: not the gang
but the gang member)
Survival Instinct
Social Darwinist Worldview (they must behave in
this manner because everyone around them must
behave this way)
Defiant Character (everything becomes a
potential confrontation)
The structure/behaviour of the gangs and gang members are
culturally specific reactions to the structural pressures that the
outside society puts on them.
Gang Organization
Analysis of gang organization encounters a gang paradox;
something about them just does not make sense
oThe characteristics described above summarize a
person who is anti-social; the gang is an organization of
people who do not want to be organized
oGang structures:
Vertical/hierarchical
President, prime minister, some kind of
cabinet
In New York, the vertical model is more
pronounced: more organized – a lot of the
gangs in New York wanted to model
themselves on the mafia
Horizontal/commission
Committee of leaders who are equal in
power
Membership under that structure that is
fragmented; groups that did not want to be
organized under the vertical/hierarchical
structure
Transitional Structure
Tends to be the weakest, least effective,
most volatile structure
Influential
Two to four people, but one person in an
organizational setting and then everyone
else
Leader is charismatic, has differentiated
himself through reputation and action
oChicano and Irish gangs will tend toward the influential
and to a lesser extent, horizontal/commission structure
Chicano gangs organized around individuals and
emerge as klikas or as a collection of families
Inwardly –focused community organization
of members
Cultural perspective on family and its
relationship to authority
oFamily for them is a source of
authority, and this authority
supersedes the kind of authority that
exists in a gang
oBecause of this, it becomes
problematic for a person from a
Chicano gang where a member of
their family is given a higher title
oTherefore, it is easier to go into
influential model where someone
naturally establishes themselves as
the leader of the gang
Irish gangs are centered around social clubs,
gangs made up of members who will eventually
graduate into social clubs
oTherefore, authority is unappealing, so it becomes less
formal
Characteristics of the Gangs that Jankowski finds important
Scale
Complexity (how cohesive the group is)
Organizational Orientation (what does the gang want to do, why
does it exist)
oVertical/hierarchical structure most suitable for gangs
that are economically oriented
oInfluential structure potentially least suitable
Competitive Environment
Ethnicity
Extra-Organizational Linkages
Formal & Informal Codes
Regulating the behaviour of members
Regulating the behaviour of female members
Regulating the member’s use of the clubhouse
Formal Codes
Drug Consumption
Leadership Power or Abuse
The extent of punishment
Leadership Change
Formality of these codes is the highest in the vertical structure and the
weakest in the influential structure.
Informal Codes
Norms and Respect
Dress
oContributes to group cohesion
oGangs found merchandise for sport gangs with colors
that they liked and looked like enthusiasts for sport
teams instead of gangs
Ideology
World picture
Interpretation of picture
Justification of the superiority of this picture
Universal Worldview that Gangs Hold
Sense of social exclusion among gang members (largely based
on ethnicity and class)
oAs a byproduct, there is an identification of others who
are oppositionally related to you

Document Summary

Low-income communities would be organized in a hobbsean point of view the condition of man is the condition of war. Gangs exist in a state that is relatively nasty. Characterization of new york as being a jungle material deprivation, poverty creates a potentially violent social condition: structure (culture, ethnicity factor into structure and agency) New variables that sit below the economic structure. Most specifically, the introduction of culture and ethnicity: a certain structure leads to the defiant individual, the characteristics of the organization: Social isolation (island in the street: not the gang but the gang member) Social darwinist worldview (they must behave in this manner because everyone around them must behave this way) Defiant character (everything becomes a potential confrontation) The structure/behaviour of the gangs and gang members are culturally specific reactions to the structural pressures that the outside society puts on them. Vertical/hierarchical: president, prime minister, some kind of cabinet.