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 YOUTH VIOLENCE PREVENTION Gangs: Unique But Similar – Implications for Social Response  Des Lee Collaborative Vision  Department of Criminology and.

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Presentation on theme: " YOUTH VIOLENCE PREVENTION Gangs: Unique But Similar – Implications for Social Response  Des Lee Collaborative Vision  Department of Criminology and."— Presentation transcript:

1  YOUTH VIOLENCE PREVENTION Gangs: Unique But Similar – Implications for Social Response  Des Lee Collaborative Vision  Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice  College of Arts and Sciences Continuing Education & Outreach 

2 Malcolm W. Klein Department of Sociology University of Southern California

3  A street gang (or a troublesome youth group corresponding to a street gang elsewhere)* is any durable, street-oriented youth group whose own identity includes involvement in illegal activity.  *For those preferring not to use the word gang (bande, etc.), the phrase “troublesome youth group” can be substituted

4  Point 1  “durable” is a bit ambiguous, but at least several months can be used as a guideline. Many gang-like groups come together and dissipate within a few months. The durability refers to the group which continues despite turnover of members  Point 2  “street-oriented” implies spending a lot of group time outside home, work, and school—often on streets, in malls, in parks, in cars, and so on.  Point 3  “youth” can be ambiguous. Most street gangs are more adolescent than adult, but some include members in their 20s and even 30s. Most have average ages in adolescence of early twenties  Point 4  “illegal” generally means delinquent or criminal, not just bothersome. Street gangs as defined here understand about themselves that illegal behavior is part of their essence. As groups, they have reached a “tipping point” between an identity as troublesome and an identity as oriented toward illegality.  Point 5  “identity” refers to the group, not the individual self-image

5  Crime Involvement as a “Tipping Point”  Oppositional Culture  Images of Violence as Unifier  Social Marginalization as Unifier

6  Group Cohesiveness  Oppositional Culture  Orientation to Anti-Social Behavior  Reasons for Joining

7  Traditional - a large, enduring, territorial gang with a wide age range and several internal cliques based on age or area  Neo-Traditional - a newer territorial gang that looks on its way to becoming Traditional in time. The subgrouping, territoriality, and size suggest that it is evolving into the traditional form  Compressed - a relatively short history, short enough that by size, duration, subgrouping and territoriality, it is unclear whether it will grow and solidify into the more traditional forms, or simply remain as less complex groups.  Collective - resembles a kind of shapeless mass of adolescent and young adult members that has not developed the distinguishing characteristics of other gangs  Specialty - crime-focused in a narrow way. Its principal purpose is more criminal than social, and its smaller size and form of territoriality may be reflection of this focused pattern

8  The Traditional Gang is a large, enduring, territorial gang with a wide age range and several internal cliques based on age or area  Usually:  Long-lasting  Large  Distinct subgroups  Wide age range  Strongly territorial

9  The Neo-Traditional Gang is a newer territorial gang that looks on its way to becoming Traditional in time. Thus at this point it is subgrouping, but may or may not have achieved the size and wide age range of the Traditional Gang. The subgrouping, territoriality, and size suggest that it is evolving into the traditional form  Usually:  Duration of ten years or less  Medium to large in size  Distinct subgroups  Strongly territorial

10  The Compressed Gang has a relatively short history, short enough that by size, duration, subgrouping and territoriality, it is unclear whether it will grow and solidify into the more traditional forms, or simply remain as less complex groups.  Usually:  Short history  Small  No subgroups  Narrow age range

11  The Collective Gang resembles a kind of shapeless mass of adolescent and young adult members that has not developed the distinguishing characteristics of other gangs.  Usually  Duration ten to fifteen years  Medium to large in size  No subgroups  Medium to wide age range

12  The Specialty Gang is crime-focused in a narrow way. Its principal purpose is more criminal than social, and its smaller size and form of territoriality may be reflection of this focused pattern.  Usually:  Duration under ten years  Small  No subgroups  Usually narrow age range  Narrow criminal focus  Territorial

13  U.K.: London, Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool, Edinburgh, Glasgow, South Wales  France: Paris, Marseilles, Lyon, Toulouse  Belgium: Brussels, Ghent, Antwerp  Holland: Amsterdam, Rotterdam, den Haag  Germany: Berlin, Breman, Teubingen, Frankfurt, Stuttgart, Munich, Cologne, Freiburg  Switzerland: Zurich  Norway: Oslo, Kristiansand, Bergen  Denmark: Copenhagen  Sweden: Stockholm, Gothenberg  Finland: Joensu  Russia: Moscow, Kazan, 10 Volga region cities, St. Petersburg  Italy: Genoa  Greece: Athens  Croatia:  Bosnia:  Spain: Madrid, Barcelona

14  Germany: Duisberg  Switzerland: Luzerne  Portugal: Lisbon  North Ireland  Hungary  Czech Republic  Slovenia  Romania  Estonia  U.K.: Nottingham, Sheffield, Bristol

15  Klein, Weerman, and Thornberry, “Street Gang Violence in Europe”. European Journal of Criminology 3, (4),  Klein, Kerner, Maxson, and Weitekamp (eds.), The Eurogang Paradox: Street Gangs and Youth Groups in the U.S. and Europe. Kluwer Academic Publishers,  Decker and Weerman (eds.), European Street Gangs and Troublesome Youth Groups. Alta Mira Press,  Van Gemert, Peterson, and Lien (eds.), Youth Gangs, Migration, and Ethnicity. Willan Publishing,  Klein, The Street Gangs of Euroburg. iUniverse, 2009.

16  Klein and Maxson, Street Gang Patters and Practices. Oxford University Press, 2006


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