What is a gang?
What is a gang? SOCIOL 2310
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This 2 page Class Notes was uploaded by ehoy32 on Thursday February 11, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to SOCIOL 2310 at Ohio State University taught by Brian Kowalski in Winter 2016. Since its upload, it has received 30 views. For similar materials see Sociology of Gangs in Sociology at Ohio State University.
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Date Created: 02/11/16
What is a gang? 1/15/16 Gangs in our hometown – Data from the class 1. Please identify the area that you identify as your hometown 2. Do you think there are groups of youths or young adults in your hometown that you would identify or classify as a gang? 3. If yes – If gangs are present, please rate the severity that gang problems pose for your broader community: a. Not serious, damaging, and worth trying to fix = 1 b. Not so serious, damaging, and worth trying to fix = 2 c. Neutral = 3 d. Somewhat serious, damaging, and worth trying to fix = 4 e. Very serious, damaging and worth trying to fix = 5 Definitions from a standard college dictionary: Many different definitions leaning towards criminal activities Determining what a gang is and who gang members are is very complex We need to establish a consistent objective and classification for researchers, analysts, policy makers, and law enforcement officials Why is it important to accurately and reliably measure gangs? Keeping people on the same page Gang membership is illegal in Ohio o Bad information can lead to someone’s arrest Two different outcomes from a definitional standpoint: 1. Too narrow – can underestimate the magnitude of the “problem” causing problems from communities and residents 2. Too broad – can overestimate the magnitude of the “problem” by labeling a wide array of individuals, groups, and behaviors as gang-related The definition of gangs shapes and frames the nature of the gang “problem” There is no universal consensus among scholars and the legal community concerning what is a gang and who are gang members. What is a street gang? 1. A group of individuals, at any age, that commit premeditated felonious acts that intend harm against people, property, and the community with an established hierarchy. 2. A street gang is a durable group of three or more people of all ranges who share similar objectives, engaging in destructive or delinquent behavior, typically involving an organized structure and initiation process to prove themselves to the group/leaders. 3. A street gang is a group of two or more people who organize and engage in criminal activity for an extended period of time. These individuals also self- identify as a member of said gang and poses distinguishable markers of their gang and go through an initiation process. 4. ***Any group of people committing organized crime together, more than once, with the intended goal of mutual benefit. 5. A street gang is a group of people who engage in activities, often criminal, for personal gain. Gangs use colors, tags, and symbols to identify themselves and separate themselves from other gangs. Gangs also have an established, organized hierarchy and some form of initiation to join. Gangs have a common purpose often including a terrorist gain and/or the profit of the gang/individual members. 6. A group of individuals that have an identifying characteristic, are bonded by a common ideology, engage in some form of criminal activity, and have a social hierarchy. 7. A street gang is a structured, exclusive group of individuals who self-identify themselves as a gang and engage in illicit activity on a semi-regular basis. Scholars tend to disagree about the role of crime in gang definitions, while the legal/law enforcement community readily embraces the inclusion of criminal activity into the definition.
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