Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM the OXFORD RESEARCH ENCYCLOPEDIA, CRIMINOLOGY AND CRIMINAL JUSTICE (oxfordre.com/criminology). (c) Oxford University Press USA, 2019. All Rights Reserved. Personal use only; commercial use is strictly prohibited (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 20 July 2019

Street Gangs: A Multiple Marginality Perspective

Summary and Keywords

Poverty is the central reason for the rise of street gangs throughout the contemporary world; poor people live in older, rundown areas and labor in the lowest paid jobs. The framework of “multiple marginality” is used to reflect these developments and their persistence over time, especially relying on qualitative time frames and insights. As a holistic or multidimensional overview, multiple marginality provides the basis for how and why macro (historical) forces are related to and shape meso (family, school) developments, which lead to micro (personal) outcomes.

The multiple marginality framework helps us to dissect and analyze the ways place/status undermine and exacerbate social, cultural, and psychological problems. There are striking similarities among place/status factors found in various ethnic groups, which contribute to the promotion of favored public policies and to concerted actions. With such policies and programs, we can assist and shape the future of families who, until now, have lost out. We can restructure and improve schools, which have obviously fallen short. Finally, we can develop partnerships to integrate peoples and communities into new criminal justice strategies that will help encourage youth to respect society and its laws, because respect is tendered to them in kind.

Keywords: multidimensional, multiple marginality, social control, street gangs, family, education, police, prevention, intervention, suppression

The power of place and status in gang formation cannot be discounted, because these two aspects contribute directly to the generation of street gangs. Social distance, limited opportunities, neglected buildings and streets are almost universally present. Older, rundown sections of cities are rife with crime and unconventional lifestyles. People are working in the lowest paid jobs, with limited access to amenities. Place and status are the basis for the initiation of other social sectors, which all revolve around difficulties associated with poverty (Reeves, 2013). The impact is more pronounced after large-scale immigration from a foreign country. Newcomers are adapting to an unfamiliar place and acquiring livelihoods in order to survive (Hagedorn, 2008).

Based on over forty years of street-level ethnographic investigations, this author has learned that street gangs are the offspring of marginalization. In a class-based society, certain groups become relegated to the fringes, where social and economic conditions result in the destabilization and fragmentation of people’s lives (Telles & Ortiz, 2008; Blanc et al., 1995; Hazlehurst & Hazlehurst, 1998; Vigil, 1987). A sense of powerlessness can develop when these conditions continue over a long period of time (Osypuk, Bates, & Acevedo-Garcia, 2010).

Some of the gang members that the author has known have come from such stressed and unstable circumstances that one wonders how they have survived at all. In this article, the framework, “multiple marginality” is useful (Vigil, 2016, 2002) to reflect these strains and their persistence over time, especially relying on qualitative time frames and insights (Youngblood & Maziel, 2012). This is accomplished through “psychological anthropology,” which is also referred to by some ethnographers as a “holistic” or “multidimensional” approach. This approach renders information that provides the basis for how and why macro (historical) forces are related to and shape meso (family, schools) developments, which, in turn, generate micro (personal) outcomes (Bronfenbrenner, 1979). Recent researchers have broadened the scope of this approach to reveal how the relationship between macro and micro forces are present throughout the experiences of other ethnic groups and places (Dmitrieva et al., 2014; Krohn et al., 2011). Importantly, other researchers have applied the multiple marginality theory to youth gangs in other contexts, including other ethnic groups and other countries (Goldman et al., 2014; Freng & Esbensen, 2007; Alonso, 1999; Drake & Melde, 2014; Rogers, 2013; Lynch, 2014).

What is essential in urban research is to use a multi-method approach (Cameron, 2016) and the advantage of an anthropological lens in urban investigations is that the whole picture is addressed, not least of which are the challenges stemming from the size of the setting and the complexity of the lives of the people. A qualitative look at an issue like street gangs requires “being there” in hard-to-reach, vulnerable populations. Furthermore, the guiding principle in “being there” multi-dimensional research is: The more ways of measuring an issue the better the understanding of it. To observe and participate in a setting where people work and live provides an opportunity to see and hear them, to converse with them and listen to what they are thinking and feeling as they go about their day-to-day functions of surviving and raising their children. A prolonged presence allows for the gathering and compilation of “thick” layers of information and insights. Organizing, sorting, and synthesizing this rich information serve as the basis for description and understanding; Geertz’s notion of “thick description” (1973) is the goal.

In street gang research, it is vitally important to conduct participant observation or some other form of qualitative research. The best research combines a mix of quantitative and qualitative techniques, which show numbers and trends along with the “blood and bones;” statistics and census information or surveys are always important.

Multiple Marginality

In its simplest trajectory, multiple marginality can be modeled thus: place/status → street socialization → street subculture → street identity. Contributing processes occur on many levels as products of pressures and forces in play over a long period of time. The term “multiple marginality” reflects the complexities and persistence of these forces. As a theory-building framework, multiple marginality addresses ecological, economic, sociocultural, and psychological factors that underlie street gangs and youths’ participation in them (Vigil, 1988a, 1988b, 2002; Covey, Menard, & Franzese, 1992; Pyrooz, Fox, & Decker, 2010). In short, the power of place and the status of a person or group are the major shapers of gangs—or street subcultures—and identities.

As noted, the global story of immigration seems to follow this path (Anoop, 2009). Over the years, research from the Euro-gang network confirms that immigrant adaptation is key to the emergence of gangs. (Rodgers, 2012; Klein et al., 2001; Esbensen & Maxson, 2012; van Gemert & Lien, 2008; Vigil, 2008 contributed an article in this book on how second-generation immigrants are more likely to spawn gangs). At academic gatherings around the globe, research from Los Angeles is shared, including conferences in Asia as well as in Latin America (Vigil, 2007; Rus & Vigil, 2007), which have deepened and clarified the multiple marginality framework (Valezuela, 2007). Sonja Wolf interviewed this researcher for an article she wrote on El Salvador gangs; the purpose of the interview was to confirm her findings (Wolf, 2017).

Still, regarding gangs, the broadest of discussions must begin with the topic of dynamics present in the gang neighborhoods, where many factors are intertwined. The actions and reactions among them spawn gangs and gang members (Franzese, Covey, & Menard, 2016). With respect to place/status, barrios (“neighborhoods”) or ethnic enclaves derive both from the external barriers imposed on a people as well as from internal forces, such as people’s choice to live within a community where individuals share similar backgrounds and culture. Living in spatially segregated and socially distanced neighborhoods makes for a marginal existence that closes, rather than opens, doors to social mobility (Tita, Cohen, & Engberg, 2005). Race and cultural differences also serve as a rationale for the isolation and denigration of each ethnic group (Santiago, Wadsworth, & Stump, 2011).

The model of multiple marginality helps us to dissect and to analyze the ways in which marginal place and status undermine and exacerbate social, cultural, and psychological problems in ethnic minority communities, especially contributing to the breakdown of social control (Flynn, 2008). Social dysfunctions especially affect family life, educational trajectories, and interactions with law enforcement. In the absence of these influences, the gang replaces parenting, schooling, and policing to regulate the lives of many youth. Ultimately, a gang subculture arises to set rules and regulations for its members (Katz & Schnebly, 2011; Rafael, 2007). Marginalization particularly affects children in the aftermath of massive immigration of ethnically distinct populations, when large numbers of ethnic minorities must find jobs for themselves and places for their families in urban settings (Sanchez-Janowkski, 2008). Immigration affects family structure and stability, school readiness in the context of language and cultural differences, and level of involvement with police and the criminal justice system.

Gang researchers have emphasized different theoretical or conceptual models in gathering and presenting information on street gang life (Covey, Menard, & Franzese, 1992; Moore, 1991; Klein, 1995; Miller, Maxson, & Klein, 2001; Hazlehurst & Hazlehurst, 1998; Vigil, 1987). Collectively, such works show that youth from a wide variety of ethnic groups have become involved in gangs and that there are multidimensional facets to the gang phenomenon itself; thus, to unravel these many strands, hard census and archival information must be combined with interviews and observations. A comparative look at other nations’ gang dynamics adds to this tradition.

Street Gangs: A Multiple Marginality PerspectiveClick to view larger

Figure 1. Framework of multiple marginality “Act and React.”

Source: Vigil and Yun (2002).

Most researchers are in accord that major macrohistorical and macrostructural forces form the backdrop to street gangs. As seen in Figure 1, the causation debate becomes divergent as the focus moves to the intermediate and micro levels of analysis. At this point, while promoting their theories, researchers often engage in contentious, sometimes heated, debate. Barring a major overhaul of the social system, a systematic examination of the major socialization agents (i.e., families, schools, and law enforcement) would help our understanding of gangs and gang members and of how a quasi-institutional gang subculture emerges.

A cross-cultural perspective facilitates our examination of the disruptions of social control within families, schools, and law enforcement, and how these disruptions lead to street socialization and gang involvement on the part of some low income, ethnic minority youth. This approach helps clarify the similarities and differences among groups, while the conceptual model, multiple marginality, specifically identifies the forces that additively and cumulatively shape gangs and gang members. It is a model that gauges the weight and sequence of factors that impinge upon and affect youth that grow up on the streets; the model aids our understanding of the breakdown of social control and how street socialization transpires.

Thus, a theory to unravel the gang phenomenon is most insightful when it is multidimensional and accounts for all the interrelated factors, which includes all the layers that make up the gang (Del Pilar & Velasco, 2004). Multiple marginality is such a framework because it is holistic, multidimensional, and shows the actions and reactions among the factors. The framework also captures the results of the “asking and listening” of anthropologists over a long period of time and in different settings. Multiple Marginality is inspired by the “synchronicity” idea of Carl Jung, which posits that events are connected and require a larger framework, beyond noting the sequence of incidents. Multiple marginality is a gestalt-like theory that accounts for the moment and integrates discrete items. All of these items are associated and related in meaningful ways in that moment, with the sequence and arrangement varying among individuals and groups. Since this framework is an ethnographic approach, relying mostly on qualitative information, it emphasizes description and explanation analyses more than predictions and interpretations. Generally, social scientists agree on the facts and begin to diverge in their descriptions, eventually widely disagreeing when interpretations are offered (Runciman, 2008). Meaningfully, the qualitative stream links a series of snapshots that provide a motion picture of a human reality, not just bits and pieces that seem unrelated and are sometimes difficult to link and explain.

For instance, a family arrives in a new setting that requires that parents consider where to live, what to do, how and when to do it, and with whom to do it. Generally, the overall socialization places demands on the ways and means necessary to work and survive (Goodenough, 1971). While the family members strive to survive and succeed, they also think and reflect on what other tasks need to be addressed and how to fashion strategies to resolve them. The doing, thinking, and feeling are intertwined and become the memory basis for future actions and reactions to the reality imposed on them. In effect, external reality is the objective physical world, with the psychological universe becoming the subjective world.

As one perceives the connections between events, one often observes that cause and effect occur simultaneously. This is not to say that “everything causes everything,” but, instead, it is a way of thinking and analysis that considers the cumulative, additive nature of the situations and conditions that result in and perpetuate urban street gangs. A kaleidoscope serves as a helpful metaphor for multiple marginality. The same pieces and shapes of various colors are contained in the cylinder but each time it is turned a different pattern or image emerges. Multiple marginality, in sum, is a cluster of variables that is altered and re-altered, subject to shifts in time, place, and people—just as a kaleidoscope’s pattern changes with each turn, each tilt of the holder’s hand and each change in the light’s reflection.

Gangs are a stark example of a youth subculture, comprising a dark side of Los Angeles, in particular, and urban America, generally. This is especially the case since the 1980s, when diffusion of gang members and gang culture affected other regions and cities (Maxson, 1998). Street gangs are found primarily in low income, ethnic minority neighborhoods, and emerge from situations and conditions of social neglect and ostracism, economic marginalization, and cultural repression. Some of them in Los Angeles can be traced from the 1930s, following several decades of urbanization and often unplanned changes to the region.

Similar conditions have also afflicted, or are beginning to afflict, other urban centers worldwide (Hazlehurst & Hazlehurst, 1998; Hagedorn, 1988). In all cases, the mostly poor, struggling communities have produced street gangs and some seem to be in the process of generating “mega-gangs.” There are similarities in how these subcultural developments unfold across places and peoples, but historical and cultural factors make each community unique.

Ethnohistorical Considerations

There are ethnohistorical nuances and contours to the ways in which gangs have unfolded within each ethnic population. Every ethnic group’s history (as well as every nation’s) differs in such important areas as time, place, and people—that is, when and where the people settled, how their communities formed, and what distinguished them from other people in the vicinity. Consideration of the time factor allows for an appreciation of the specific conditions in Los Angeles that affected members of groups when they arrived and in how they settled (Umemoto, 2006).

For Mexican American and African American groups (Alonso, 2010), gangs have been around for at least a half-century (Chicanos a decade or two longer) and, because each group was largely relegated to certain places (East Los Angeles and South Central Los Angeles), territoriality and defense of space became an issue (Alonso, 2010). In addition, both have experienced persistent and concentrated poverty and disruptions of social control in these areas of concentration, such that a rooted gang subculture of age-graded youths (more common among Chicanos) spawned and dominated the streets of each neighborhood. Older gang veterans became role models to help guide and direct younger street youth in the ways of the street (Rafael, 2007), especially in settling old scores with rival street gangs (Blatchford, 2008). This gang subculture, born of street socialization, eventually had rituals, routines, signs, and symbols to help in the perpetuation of this lifestyle for barrio and ghetto youth, who seemingly had no other recourse.

In contrast to the Mexican and black groups, the Salvadoran and Vietnamese populations share a more recent migratory background, in both cases from homelands wracked by civil wars. Most of the Vietnamese immigrants, and a large proportion of those from El Salvador, arrived in the United States as political refugees. The unraveling of social control actually began, for both groups, in their home countries, where the United States played a prominent role in volatile military situations, sparked by the anti-communism climate of the era. Thus, Cold War geopolitical considerations have been paramount for both groups.

Reflecting on the differences between groups, these two new groups have had a decidedly different experience. Territoriality became a part of the gang identification process, but more so for the Salvadorans, who concentrated in neighborhoods close to jobs (e.g., janitors, domestics) sought by their parents. For the Vietnamese, a fluid mobility prevailed because of the nature of their secondary migration and settlement, and—only recently—has gang space (or where certain groups hang out) become important (Vigil & Yun, 1990, 1998). Yet both groups had an accelerated street socialization. Because their neighborhoods and schools were rife with existing Chicano gangs, this sped the creation of Vietnamese and Salvadoran street gangs and gang members. This was especially the case for the Salvadorans, who resided squarely in the middle of one of the biggest gangs in Los Angeles, 18th Street.

Although older gang veterans are just—in the early twenty-first century—becoming a factor, both Salvadoran and Vietnamese gangs have been more likely to develop ties to established criminal elements and activities. Gang members, under the purview of older adults, advance from street gang activities to illicit enterprises. Coming from civil war backgrounds, gang members sometimes get caught up in the political rivalries and controversies that persist from the home country; graffiti messages or tattoos often reflect these leanings.

A Cross-Cultural Approach and Street Socialization

These four ethnic groups were examined cross-culturally to help generate trends and tendencies found in street youth populations that give rise to participation in gangs (Vigil, 2002). This comparative approach is beneficial because it facilitates interdisciplinary analysis and incorporates the multi-dimensional dynamics (discussed below) that must be considered in understanding the formation and evolution of street gangs. It adds breadth and depth to an appraisal because it helps account for historical, political, and ethnic group differences while examining those differences from a variety of perspectives. Moreover, it facilitates appreciation of each group’s experiences, as that group understands them (Vigil & Long, 1990). Establishing a cross-cultural research framework will help illuminate most of the forces, events, and circumstances that pushed gangs to the forefront of Los Angeles’ recent history and current issues.

Street socialization is the learning process that blurs the ethnic lines among all four groups because remarkably similar things are learned on the streets, where fear and vulnerability generate the need for protection, friendship, loyalty, and provisions of the gang. The street gang dominates the lives of untethered youth because other institutions have become undermined, fragmented, made fragile, and rendered largely ineffective. Nevertheless, each group has its own uniqueness. For instance, race is a focal issue for African Americans (Alonso, 1999), and Chicanos—as both natives and immigrants—have a dual-nature relationship with the dominant society. Salvadorans and Vietnamese both have global, cold war political ramifications to their entry into the United States. In large part, marginalization began for them before they entered the country.

All these multiple strains take their toll and strip many people in minority communities of their coping skills. Left out of the mainstream of society in so many ways and in so many places, youth are relegated to the margins of society in practically every conceivable area—poor neighborhoods, overburdened schools, limited employment opportunities, to list a few. This positioning leaves them with few conventional options or resources to better their lives. Thus, marginalization of all sorts leads to the emergence of street gangs and the generation of gang members.

A macro-analysis sets the stage for other evidence showing how fractured and marginalized a people become, especially children and youth undergoing major changes. From this broad backdrop, a look at the micro events in the life of a gang member will show how social control networks unfold. A closer look reveals the impact of connections to family and significant others, engagements with avenues for opportunities, involvements with positive and constructive activities, and beliefs associated with the central value system of a society. In assessing the different ethnic gangs along these four social control dimensions (i.e., connections, engagements, involvements, beliefs), a common theme emerges—the weakening of these bonds “frees” the adolescent from the paths of conformity and, with street socialization and the acquisition of a street subculture, insures that unconventional behavior is likely. Thus, family organization, schooling experiences, and interactions with law enforcement institutions can surface as sources of problems in the lives of many youth.

Social Control Themes

In order to apply social control theory to the street gangs of southern California, however, modifications are required, as certain elements of traditional social control theory fail to connect to other forces in the fuller equation of understanding gangs (Wiatrowski et al., 1981). This author maintains that, along with Covey, Menard, and Franzese (1992, p. 173), that social control theory, “. . . as integrated into ecological and other perspectives [i.e., multiple marginality], appears to be fundamental to understanding the formation and illegal behavior of juvenile gangs.” (See also Vigil, 1988a; Rios, 2016; Trasher, 1963[1927]; Shaw & McKay, 1942; Merton, 1949; Cloward & Ohlin, 1960; Moore, 1978, 1991; Hagedorn, 1988; Spergel & Curry, 1998; Klein, 1995; Decker, 1996).

Families, schools, and law enforcement merit special scrutiny in this regard for two main reasons (Bursik & Grasmick, 1995). First, they are the primary agents of social control in society. Second, they are uniquely adaptive and responsive to the concerns of society. Each of these institutions has separately contributed to the gang problem, in terms of what they do and what they fail to do, whether through negligence or diminished resources. Due to their collective failure, street socialization has taken over and rooted the quasi-institution of the street gang. When street socialization replaces socialization by conventional caretakers, it becomes a key factor in developing not only different social bonds, but also different aspirations for achievement, different levels and intensities of participation, and different belief patterns. Whom you associate with, what you strive for, how you spend your time, and why you embrace a belief system are strongly connected to the street subculture.

It should be obvious that, in addition to living in an area of meager resources, families and other household members are not situated in a vacuum (Loeber & Stouthamer-Loeber, 1986). There is a long history of racism and poverty that has repercussive qualities and lingering effects on how, even whether, family life is structured and organized to effectively participate in society (Sampson & Laub, 1994). Moreover, the insufficiency of schooling for minority youth and relations with law enforcement in general have also affected family life insofar as poor people often receive short shrift from these institutions. Thus, youth in poor minority communities generally do poorly in school achievement tests and there is widespread distrust and fear of the police and courts among Blacks and Latinos. This is especially so in light of the many police brutality scandals relative to police behavior in their neighborhoods (Oliver, Johnson, & Farrell, 1993; Los Angeles Times, 1992). In sum, questions regarding the gaps and shortcomings found in the educational realm and the criminal justice system must also be considered, along with those in the family (Coleman, 1990; Vigil, 1999; Goldstein & Kodluboy, 1998; Greenwood, 1996; Petersilia, 1992).

Connection, or attachment, is the first agent of social control. However, macrohistorical and macrostructural forces also undermine this basic process. These forces can even generate shocks that detach family members from each other and many of the youth from these families end up in gangs. Socioeconomic factors such as poverty, economic dislocation, divorce, single-parent households, and racism place severe stressors on many families, so that home life is regularly unstable. Unable to provide adequate sustenance to their children, many parents lose their coping skills entirely and fail to supervise and guide their offspring as they develop social bonds. When this unstable situation persists for years, an attitude of resignation and defeat gradually develops. Mother-centered households are especially vulnerable, and many gang youths suffer the consequences of an absent father. A Chicano gang member relates this story from his childhood:

His mother liked to go dancing and have a good time. One time one of her boyfriends took her and the children (two brothers and a sister; he was the oldest at age five) to the cantina dance hall down the street. When they arrived in the boyfriend’s car in front of the place, the boyfriend looked for a parking spot as close to the entrance as he could find. The mother told them to go to sleep and she would be right back, as she was just a few feet away, and for them not to worry. The boyfriend rolled up the window and locked the car, and he and the boy’s mother walked into the cantina that was rocking with Latin country music. Then the cacophony began. All of the children started to cry. The boy felt so close yet so far from his mother. He consoled the others and they eventually fell asleep.

(Based on a conversation with Luis Rodriguez about an incident described in his book The Concrete River)

Even when families are intact, stressors may be so great that neither parent is very attentive to child-rearing responsibilities. But a male youth from a female-centered family, who is without a father, loses out on the modeling, the guidance, the authority and the protection of a strong male figure. The irony is that he must learn to contend with male-dominated street life, where he is subjected to street socialization.

For female gang members (only 5 to 15% of gang members), the conflict in gender identification and the need to act out aggressively is considerably more complex. Females are especially hard hit in the street socialization process, for, like males, they must struggle with the same forces that generated their street experience. In addition, they must contend with their own homeboys, who devalue them. Females play varying roles within and around gangs and armed groups, ranging from supporting and caring for male members, to carrying and hiding weapons, to actively participating in activities including violence. Female gang involvement is as varied, dynamic, and complex as male gang involvement (Moore, Vigil, & Levy, 1995). Gang membership tends to be an adolescent phenomenon for girls, who “age in” and “age out” earlier than boys (Mendoza-Denton, 1996). Meanwhile, females of all ages are involved in organized armed groups. Gangs and groups tend to be liberating, yet limiting, for females. While gangs offer an alternative family and a means to escape abuse, they also, as noted, put females at risk of being victimized by gang members and entering a world of crime (Moore & Mata, 1981). Like boys and men, girls and women use violence, but their choice of weapon may differ, and the frequency and severity of violence perpetrated is usually lower.

Research suggests that most female gang members belong to mixed-gender gangs that are male-dominated in structure, status hierarchies, and activities (Campbell, 1991; Miller, 2001). An example is the Central American Mara Salvatrucha gang: a girl gang member from Guatemala City reported that “To stay in the male-dominated gang, her leader ordered her to rob buses, grab chains off people’s necks and even kill a girl from a rival gang” (Lacey, 2008). Examples of all-female gangs come from various parts of the world, including Haiti, India, and the United States, and vary enormously in nature. The all-female “Gulabi Gang” of India’s northern Uttar Pradesh State (the Gang of Pink Saris) consists of several thousand vigilante women physically fighting for justice and protection of powerless women (Pal, 2008).

Girls and women are not hapless or powerless victims of gang or group presence or violence, but instead, they are often active supporters or members. Membership can empower girls to resist traditional gender role expectations, while providing protection and a refuge from violence and oppression at home. Yet at the same time, gangs and groups can put girls at risk of violence and lost opportunities. While potentially rewarding in the short run, gangs and groups are socially harmful for females in the longer run (Vigil, 2008).

As gender roles continue to change, the role of females in gangs will likely be transformed. The recent increase in violence among female gang members clearly indicates that these changes are underway. Moreover, of the 94% of gang females who will have a child in their life, 84% will themselves become single parents (Campbell, 1991).

A cultural or generational strain often exists between parents and children, especially during adolescence, when many children rebel against their parents and seek other socialization experiences. In the context of immigration and adaptation, the situation is more complicated, for language, cultural habits, and ethnic loyalties interfere with normal socialization routines and rhythms. During this adolescent passage, peers assume an inordinate influence over what a person thinks and does. Indeed, the gang is a source of attraction for both males and females, because it provides many family-like functions and new cultural customs that signify membership in something. It is a source of familial compensation and a reservoir of connections, when all others have failed.

The second stage of socialization is engagement, which is an expression of well-defined goals and of striving for higher status. Schools are intended to reinforce constructive goals and aspirations inculcated initially within the family. Low-income children often exhibit a gap between aspirations and expectations, as they often realize that what they might wish for is beyond their means of attainment. Conventional engagements, such as wanting a high-paying job, are usually related to an aspiration for higher status, but they can also be a reflection of the simple desire just to be somebody. This desire can overlap with connections such as role models, in that the individual, because of strong social bonds, seeks the approval of significant others or wants to demonstrate the motivation to pursue laudable goals. Stressed parents might short-circuit the connections and, thus, the engagement processes of children under their care. In the same way, overburdened, understaffed schools generally miss the mark in engaging students to strive for higher aspirations, especially those students whose language difficulties marginalize them. A Vietnamese gang member’s story serves as an example:

For this newcomer from Vietnam, going to school became tough after a while, because he never learned to read correctly. His family had tried to help him by lying about his age so that he would be put in the fourth grade, but he was actually three years older than his classmates. Learning what these different places and people expected of him was bad enough. But learning the English language at a school where students of Vietnamese background were only a small minority and other students often made fun of them made the classroom situation almost impossible. There was no one at home to help him, no books in his language to get him started, no teachers and aides who could communicate with him, and no school officials who could talk to his parents, who understood only Vietnamese.

Because ethnic minorities have historically encountered insensitive (or outright racist) policies and personnel in the public school system, minority children, especially the most marginalized gang-youth segments of the population, often leave school at an early age and commit themselves to the gang’s values and norms. Their alienation from conventional values, reinforced by ongoing street socialization, intensifies the discrimination that minority group members so often face. Alienated youths, whose lack of education and occupational opportunities preclude them from attaining respectable status in the dominant society, face severe problems in establishing social identities for themselves. This disjunction between goals and the avenues to achieve them serves as a catalyst for an alternate opportunity structure—one which leads to crime and delinquency (Blatchford, 2008).

Lacking involvement in conventional activities, youths spend an inordinate amount of time on the streets with their peers. Some of their street experiences and activities (such as drinking beer and smoking marijuana) are actually quite benign; others are clearly dangerous and antisocial. Contacts and interactions with the police, sometimes leading to incarceration, begin to play a role in their lives.

Law enforcement and the criminal justice apparatus serve as the sources of sanctions for individuals that consistently fail to conform. Complicating matters, most of the experiences these street socialized youth have with law enforcement are hostile and antagonistic. This further undermines the recognition and acceptance of the dominant value system and generates a defiant resistance orientation. Sometimes, even the very young are not spared frightening encounters with law enforcement. Here is an episode from the childhood of an African American gang member, as recounted by a researcher:

One youth from South Central Los Angeles recalls with hurt and bewilderment how, when he was 5 years old, police officers from the Los Angeles Police Department broke down the bedroom door in his parents’ house. They turned everything upside down as they ransacked the room. He was in the upper bunk bed looking out at them, clearly visible to them and crying with fear at the abrupt shift from quiet sleep to the sudden noise of crashing furniture and heavy-footed movement. One of the officers pulled the top mattress out from under the young child’s body and he came crashing down to the floor. Bleeding from where his mouth was cut by his teeth when he hit the floor, he cried even louder, filled with terror as he lay there.

The breakdown of social control would not be complete without mention of how street realities, particularly street socialization, become the dominant force in the lives of so many children. Contemporary immigrant children are especially hard hit in this regard, as this Salvadoran adolescent so aptly put it in describing how he adapted to Los Angeles.

I came to America in order to become American and leave the killings and sadness that were part of El Salvador behind me. When I first moved in with my aunt I was told to stay away from the Mexican kids in the neighborhood (Pico Union, near the west side of Downtown Los Angeles). They were pandilleros (gang members) and people were always getting shot and kids were getting scared all the time. After school I came home real fast to not talk to anybody, but there was never anyone at home. My mother and aunt always worked real late (he and his cousins) and had to take the bus home from near the beach, so we had to make our own dinner. We were told to stay inside the apartment until they got there. It got boring after a while and we began to go out and play. When some of my friends at school told me to join them, at first I said no. Soon, I was out playing with them. When I got older the playing turned to hanging around with some of the older, tougher guys in the neighborhood. I had come to American to be an American and all there was in my neighborhood was gangbanging, so I became a gangbanger.

Group as Ego Ideal

Among the many experiences that gang members undergo, none is more crucial than the adolescent psychosocial moratorium. According to Erikson (1956, 1963, 1968), the psychosocial moratorium is the marginal status crisis in the passage from childhood to adulthood. Street socialized males in low-income neighborhoods are especially affected by the transition. During this phase, they become tentative and confused about their age and gender identity, while learning to cope within an often-violent male dominated street culture. The personal psychological struggle that occurs in this context is sometimes overwhelming. This “storm and stress” situation triggers in individuals, irrespective of environment, many attitudinal and behavioral shifts that render young people unpredictable and ambivalent. Being raised in the streets can make this human development phase even more difficult and problematic, twisting and skewing options and opportunities in detrimental ways.

Street Socialization and Human Development

The streets generate—through the process of street socialization (Vigil, 1988, 2002)—a need to seek out the gang in order to survive. Multiple marginality identifies the precursors to street socialization, such as households characterized by stressful family life, crowded living conditions, and personal emotional problems (Vigil, 1988a, 2002), which reflect the poverty in the stressed neighborhoods of mostly Latino communities. It is mainly from these households that children find themselves bereft of supervision, and seek attention and adventure in the streets. Mostly poor, immigrant families, along with their second-generation offspring, are likely to experience such adaptation problems (Vigil, 2007).

In gang-ridden neighborhoods, the street gang has become a competitor to other sources of identity formation, often replacing family, school, and other conventional influences. Since their inception more than six decades ago, Chicano street gangs have been made up primarily of groups of male adolescents and youths who have grown up together as children, usually as cohorts in a low-income neighborhood of a city. In Los Angeles today, about 65,000 gang members are spread throughout the metropolitan area, most of them concentrated in Latino neighborhoods. However, only about 10 to 15% of youth in most of these neighborhoods join gangs (Vigil, 1988; Short, 1997; Esbensen & Winfree, 2001); and of this number about 70% eventually “mature out” (Vigil, 2007). Those who do so participate together in both conventional and anti-social behavior (Thornberry, 2001). The anti-social behavior, of course, attracts the attention of authorities as well as the general public (Decker & Van Winkle, 1996; Valasick, Barton, Reid, & Tita, 2017).

Policy Formulations Based on Social Control

If family, schools, and law enforcement are the key elements of social control in any industrialized, urban society, and largely responsible for street socialization developments, they are also accessible and open to human intervention and alteration. The cross-cultural, comparative look suggested here will sharpen policy formulations. Despite variations based on historical and cultural forces, when street socialization takes over, each group exhibits a remarkably similar street subculture, sometimes even blurring gender differences. Moreover, a comparative examination will afford society a broad, historical approach to policy considerations in looking at how and why social control was disrupted, when and where groups and individuals became social outcasts, and what political forces overshadowed the process. To combat the street gang subculture and sub-society, policy makers must look at the ways separate social control influences are integrated and interact with each other. This reciprocal connection shows an action and reaction interplay that evolves over time. Larger dynamics strongly affected social control institutions that—in the present—influence the lives of gang members. Thus, it is all the more laudable when success comes for families that survive, for students who piece together an academic path, and when more constructive relations with law enforcement are formed.

Balancing Strategies to Address Gang Youth

Contextualizing social control within a larger picture helps generate a holistic way to frame prevention, intervention, and suppression strategies. In this way, we can follow a logical, developmental route. Prevention must begin from the early childhood years and continue up to the age of eight or nine. Communities and agencies must take a proactive approach to address the primary problems of the general population in low-income areas, as well as factor in secondary prevention for specific at-risk youth and/or related issues. Intervention actions must aim at the crucial preteen years, from about nine to twelve or thirteen years old, and involve treatment and work with youths that are peripherally, but not yet deeply, connected to the streets. Dissuading and curtailing youth from the attitudes and behavior that clearly lead to delinquent and criminal paths early on opens the possibility for a return to more prosocial activities. Finally, a strategy of suppression must be included to stop the spread of delinquency and criminal behavior during the ages of thirteen to twenty years old, when those who, despite our best prevention and intervention efforts, have nevertheless joined in gang activities. Here, the criminal justice system applies a punitive and corrective approach to control destructive and violent behavior that often goes beyond members of the street populations. In tandem, and as needed, prevention, intervention, and law enforcement strategies can be utilized throughout the life course of an individual.

Comprehensive Analysis for Policy Strategies

In a multidimensional world, the process of separating, distancing, and undermining a people is prolonged and deep seated. First, the settlement of immigrants in segregated, visually inferior locations made adaptation difficult. A life of poverty, in enclaves, worked to distance newcomers from mainstream venues; how can one have access, exposure, and identification paths to the prevailing dominant culture (Telles & Ortiz, 2008)? Place alone creates problems, but the treatment immigrants and their children received exacerbated feelings of alienation. Knowing that they were from a visually distinct place, and from a physically distinct race, did little to accommodate and aid in the adjustment of new groups of immigrants to a new society (Marrow, 2009).

The process of multiple marginalization leads to a breakdown of social control. In turn, this breakdown leads to street socialization and the emergence of a gang subculture. Multiple marginality helps us to pinpoint and highlight the ways ecological and economic marginalization affect and intersect with social, cultural, and psychological strains and stresses. These forces additively and cumulatively contribute to the breakdown of social control and to the emergence of gangs and varieties of gang members. (See Vigil, 1988a for varieties of gang members.) However, the repercussions and ripple effects of economic forces trigger other gang practices: A gang member, who postures in a uniform street manner, puts on a new “front.” The word “uniform” has dual meanings in the context of gangs. Outward appearance is “uniform” in the sense that gang members strive to dress alike to fit in with their cohorts. At the same time, gang members’ attire serves as an informal“uniform,” which differentiates gang members from non-gang members. Schools that now have “cops-on-campus” are overwhelmed and parenting falters when other role models compete for students’ attention and affection. Oftentimes, gang practices become equally or significantly more influential in their own right, such as street socialization and street identity, or adoption of gang as family for some individuals. (See these other works for gang theories: Howell & Griffiths, 2016; Cartwright et al., 1975; Covey & Menard, 1995; Klein, 1995).

It is these broader forces that undermine and create social control dysfunctions, disrupting family life, undermining education, and leading law enforcement, inevitably, to play a stronger role as society’s “conformity” safety net. To fill these gaps (Klein, 1971; Vigil, 1988a, 1993; Heath & McLaughlin, 1993), the gang replaces the parenting, schooling, and policing to regulate youth’s lives to one of a street subculture where routines and regulations help guide gang members. The subculture that emerges varies somewhat between males and females, although as previously documented, there is a remarkable consistency in the major themes among them: multiple marginality, breakdown of social control, and even specific gang routines like initiation, tattoos, graffiti, and gang conflict.

What has emerged in this brief outline of the roots and traditions of the gang street lifestyle is that the facts of time, place, and people can serve as a template for a balanced strategy (Vigil, 2010). A balanced strategy to combat gangs would emphasize prevention and intervention. This concerted effort would fill a major void by adding rewards to the punishments. Taking this broader, more inclusive approach to improving community health by focusing on youth at risk would also address human developmental processes (social, emotional, cognitive, and physical). Our society must address the problems associated with gang families and re-equip parents with coping strategies to guide their children. Schools are under siege; we must undertake a serious effort to remediate the educational problems of children at risk.

To reiterate, the seeds of the solution to gangs are found in the root causes. Even though larger than life historical and structural forces have undermined social control institutions, there is an opportunity to salvage many of the children who have been marginalized and left to the streets. A cross-cultural assessment accounts for differences in time, place, and peoples. However, across all borders—gendered, political, and racial—gangs do share some striking similarities, which are enough in number to generate universal public policy ideas and to plan collaborative actions that will make a difference. With such policies and programs, stakeholders can assist and shape the future of families that, until now, have lost out. Practitioners can restructure and improve schools and schooling routines that have obviously fallen short. Finally, law enforcement and the criminal justice system can develop partnerships that integrate peoples and communities into new criminal justice strategies. When society tenders respect to youth—through focused attention to their circumstances and needs—it is much more likely that youth will respect society and its laws.

Further Reading

Acevedo-Garcia, D. L. (2010). Another Mexican Birthright paradox? The Role of Residential Enclaves and Neighborhood Poverty in the Birthweight of Mexican-origin Infants. Social Science and Medicine, 70(4), 550–560.Find this resource:

Alonso, A. (1999). Territoriality Among African-American Street Gangs in Los Angeles. MA Thesis, Department of Geography, University of Southern California.Find this resource:

Anoop, N. (2009). Race, Place, and Globalization. London: Bloomsbury.Find this resource:

Brantingham, P. J., Tita, G., Short, M., & Reid, S. (2012).The Ecological of Gang Territorial Boundaries. Criminology, 50(3), 851–885.Find this resource:

Cloward, R. A., & Ohlin, L. E. (1960). Delinquency and Opportunity: A Theory of Delinquent Gangs. New York, NY: Free Press.Find this resource:

Covey, H. C., Menard, S., & Franzese, R. J. (1992). Juvenile Gangs. Springfield, IL: Charles C. Thomas.Find this resource:

Decker, S., & Van, W. B. (1996). Life in the Gang: Family, Friends, and Violence. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.Find this resource:

Durán, R. J. (2013). Gang Life in Two Cities: An Insider’s Journey. New York, NY: Columbia University Press.Find this resource:

Erikson, E. H. (1963). Childhood and Society. New York, NY: W. W. Norton.Find this resource:

Erikson, E. H. (1968). Psychosocial Identity. In D. Sills (Ed.), International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences (Vol. 7, pp. 61–65). New York, NY: Macmillan and the Free Press.Find this resource:

Goldstein, A. P., & Huff, C. R. (Eds.). (1993). The Gang Intervention Handbook. Champaign, IL: Research Press.Find this resource:

Goodenough, W. (1971). Cooperation and Change: An Anthropological Approach to Community Development. New York, NY: Russell Sage Foundation.Find this resource:

Hagedorn, J. M. (1988). People and Folks: Gangs, Crime and the Underclass in a Rustbelt City. Chicago: Lake View.Find this resource:

Hagedorn, J. M. (2008). Globalization and Gangs. Champaign: University of Illinois Press.Find this resource:

Hazlehurst, K., & Hazlehurst, C. (Eds.). (1998). Gangs and Youth Subcultures: International Explorations. New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction.Find this resource:

Heath, B., & McLaughlin, M. (Eds.). (1993). Identity and Inner-City Youth: Beyond Ethnicity and Gender. New York, NY: Teachers College, Columbia University Press.Find this resource:

Huebner, B. M., Moule, K. M., Pyrooz, D., & Decker, S. Justice Quarterly, 33(5) 836–862.Find this resource:

Katz, C. M., & Schnebly, S. (2011). Crime and Delinquency, 57(3), 572–577.Find this resource:

Klein, M. (1971). Street Gangs and Street Workers. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.Find this resource:

Klein, M. (1995). The American Street Gang. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.Find this resource:

Moore, J. (1978). Homeboys. Philadelphia: Temple University Press.Find this resource:

Moore, J. (1991). Going Down to the Barrio: Homeboys and Homegirls in Change. Philadelphia: Temple University Press.Find this resource:

Moore, J. (1998). Understanding Youth Street Gangs: Economic Restructuring and the Urban Underclass.Find this resource:

Pyrooz, D., Fox, H. M., & Decker, S. H. (2010). Racial and Ethnic Hetereogenity, Economic Disadvantage, and Gangs: A Macro-Level Study of Gang Membership in Urban America. Justice Quarterly, 27(6), 867–892.Find this resource:

Reeves, R. (2013). The Other American Dream: Social Mobility, Race and Opportunity (pp. 8–28). Washington, DC: Brookings.Find this resource:

Rodriguez, L. (1991). The Concrete River. Willimantic, Conn: Curbstone Press.Find this resource:

Sanchez-Janowkski, M. (2008). Cracks in the Pavement: Social Change and Urban Decay in Poor Neighborhoods. Berkeley: University of California Press.Find this resource:

Santiago, C. B., Wadsworth, M. E., & Stump, J. (2011). Socioeconomic Status, Neighborhoods Disadvantages, and Poverty-related Stress: Prospective Effects on Psychological Syndromes among Low-income Families. Journal of Economic Psychology, 32, 218–230.Find this resource:

Spergel, I. A., & Curry, G. D. (1998). The National Youth Gang Survey: A Research and Development Process. In M. W. Klein, C. L. Maxson, & J. Miller, (Eds.), The Modern Gang Reader (pp. 254–265). Los Angeles: Roxbury.Find this resource:

Tita, G., Cohen, J., & Engberg, J. (2005). An Ecological Study of Gang “Set Space.” Social Problems, 52(2), 272–299.Find this resource:

Valasick, M., Barton, M. S., Reid, S., & Tita, G. S. (2017). Barriocide: Investigating Temporal and Spatial Influence of Neighborhood Structural Characteristics On Gang and Non-gang Homicides in East Los Angeles. Homicide Studies, 21(4), 287–311.Find this resource:

Vigil, J. D. (1988a). Barrio Gangs: Street Life and Identity in Southern California. Austin: University of Texas Press.Find this resource:

Vigil, J. D. (1988b). Group Processes and Street Identity: Adolescent Chicano Gang Members. Ethnos, 16(4), 421–445.Find this resource:

Vigil, J. D. (1999). Streets and Schools: How Educators Can Help Chicano Marginalized Gang Youth. Harvard Educational Review, 69(3), 270–288.Find this resource:

Vigil, J. D. (2002). A Rainbow of Gangs: Street Cultures in the Mega-City. Austin: University of Texas Press.Find this resource:

Vigil, J. D. (2007). The Projects: Gang and Non-Gang Families in East Los Angeles. Austin: University of Texas Press.Find this resource:

Vigil, J. D., & Long, J. M. (1990). Etic and Emic Perspectives on Gang Culture: The Chicano Case. In R. Huff (Ed.), Gangs in America: Diffusion, Diversity, and Public Policy (pp. 55–68). Beverly Hills, CA: SAGE.Find this resource:

Vigil, J. D., & Yun, S. C. (1990). The Vietnamese Youth Gangs in Southern California. In R. Huff (Ed.), Gangs in America: Diffusion, Diversity, and Public Policy (pp. 146–162). Beverly Hills, CA: SAGE.Find this resource:

Vigil, J. D. & Yun, S. C. (1998). Vietnamese Youth Gangs in the Context of Multiple Marginality and the Los Angeles Youth Gang Phenomenon. In K. Hazlehurst & C. Hazlehurst (Eds.), Gangs and Youth Subcultures: International Explorations (pp. 117–139). New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction.Find this resource:

References

Alonso, A. (1999). Territoriality Among African-American Street Gangs in Los Angeles. MA Thesis, Department of Geography, University of Southern California.Find this resource:

Alonso, A. (2010). Out of the Void: Street Gangs in Black Los Angeles. In Black Los Angeles: American Dreams and Racial Realities (pp. 140–167). New York, NY: New York University Press.Find this resource:

Blanc, C. S. (with contributors). (1995). Urban Children in Distress: Global Predicaments and Innovative Strategies. Florence, Italy: UNICEF.Find this resource:

Blatchford, C. (2008). The Black Hand: The Bloody Rise and Redemption of “Boxer” Enriquez, a Mexican Mafia Killer. New York, NY: Harper Collins.Find this resource:

Bronfenbrenner, U. (1979). The ecology of human development: Experiments by nature and design. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Find this resource:

Bursik, R. J. Jr., & Grasmick, H. G. (1995). Defining Gangs and Gang Behavior. In M. W. Klein, C. L. Maxson, & J. Miller (Eds.), The Modern Gang Reader (pp. 8–13). Los Angeles: Roxbury.Find this resource:

Campbell, A. (1990). Female Participation in Gangs. In C. R. Huff (Ed.), Gangs in America. Newbury Park, CA: SAGE.Find this resource:

Campbell, A. (1991). The Girls in the Gang (2nd ed.). Cambridge, MA: Blackwell.Find this resource:

Cartwright et al. (1975). Gang Delinquency. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.Find this resource:

Chesney-Lind, M., & Sheldon, R. G. (1992). Girls: Delinquency and Juvenile Justice. Pacific Grove, CA: Brooks/Cole.Find this resource:

Chesney-Lind, M., Sheldon, R. G., & Joe, K. A. (1996). Girls, Delinquency, and Gang Membership. In C. R. Huff (Ed.), Gangs in America (2nd ed., 185–204). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.Find this resource:

Cloward, R. A., & Ohlin, L. E. (1960). Delinquency and Opportunity: A Theory of Delinquent Gangs. New York, NY: Free Press.Find this resource:

Coleman, J. (1990). Equality and Achievement in Education. Boulder, CO: Westview Press.Find this resource:

Covey, H. C., Menard, S., & Franzese, R. J. (1992). Juvenile Gangs. Springfield, IL: Charles C. Thomas.Find this resource:

Decker, S., & Van Winkle, B. (1996). Life in the Gang: Family, Friends, and Violence. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.Find this resource:

Del Pilar, Velasco. 2004.Find this resource:

Dmitrieva, J., Gibson, L., Steinberg, L., Piquero, A., & Fagan, J. (2014). Predictors and Consequences of Gang Membership: Comparing Gang Members, Gang Leaders, and Non-Gang-Affiliated Adjudicated Youth. Journal of Research on Adolescence, 24(2), 220–234.Find this resource:

Drake, G., & Melde, C. (2014). The Problem of Prediction: The Efficacy of Multiple Marginality in Cross-sectional versus Prospective Models. Journal of Crime and Justice, 37(1), 61–78Find this resource:

Duran, B. J., & Weffer, R. E. (1992). Immigrants’ Aspirations, High School Process, and Academic Outcomes. American Educational Research Journal, 29(1), 163–181.Find this resource:

Durán, R. J. (2013). Gang Life in Two Cities: An Insider’s Journey. New York, NY: Columbia University Press.Find this resource:

Eisbensen, A.F. & Winfree, W. (2001). Youth Gangs and Delinquency Issues. Crime and Delinquency, 47(1), 105–130.Find this resource:

Erikson, E. H. (1956). Ego Identity and the Psychosocial Moratorium. In H. L. Witmer & R. Kotinsky (Eds.), New Perspectives for Research on Juvenile Delinquency. U.S. Children’s Bureau: Publication #356 (pp. 1–23).Find this resource:

Erikson, E. H. (1963). Childhood and Society. New York, NY: W. W. Norton.Find this resource:

Erikson, E. H. (1968). Psychosocial Identity. In D. Sills (Ed.), International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences (Vol. 7, pp. 61–65). New York, NY: Macmillan and the Free Press.Find this resource:

Esbensen, F & Maxson, C. (Eds.). (2012). Youth Gangs in International Perspective: Results from the Eurogang Program of Research. New York: Springer.Find this resource:

Flynn, M. (2008). Social Control and Street Gangs in Los Angeles. New York, NY: Columbia University Press.Find this resource:

Franzese, R. J., Covey, H. C., & Menard, S. (2016). Youth Gangs. Springfield, IL: Charles C. Thomas.Find this resource:

Freng, A., & Esbensen, A.F. (2007). Race and Gang Affliation: An Examination of Multiple Marginality. Justice Quarterly, 24(4): 600–628.Find this resource:

Goldstein, A. P., & Huff, C. R. (Eds.). (1993). The Gang Intervention Handbook. Champaign, IL: Research Press.Find this resource:

Goldstein, A. P., & Kodluboy, D. W. (1998). Gangs in Schools: Signs, Symbols, and Solutions. Champaign, IL: Research Press.Find this resource:

Goldman, L., Giles, H., & Hogg, M. (2014). Going to extremes: Social identity and communication processes associated with gang membership. Group Processes & Intergroup Relation, 17(6), 813-832.Find this resource:

Goodenough, W. (1971). Cooperation and Change: An Anthological Approach to Community Development. New York, NY: Russell Sage Foundation.Find this resource:

Greenwood, P. W. (1996). Diverting Children from a Life of Crime: Measuring Costs and Benefits. Santa Monica, CA: Rand.Find this resource:

Hagedorn, J. M. (1988). People and Folks: Gangs, Crime and the Underclass in a Rustbelt City. Chicago: Lake View.Find this resource:

Hagedorn, J. M. (n.d.) Globalization and Gangs. Champaign: University of Illinois Press, forthcoming.Find this resource:

Hazlehurst, K., & Hazlehurst, C. (Eds.). (1998).Gangs and Youth Subcultures: International Explorations. New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction.Find this resource:

Heath, B., & McLaughlin, M. (Eds.). (1993). Identity and Inner-City Youth: Beyond Ethnicity and Gender. New York, NY: Teachers College, Columbia University Press.Find this resource:

Howell J. & Griffiths H. (2016). Gangs in American. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.Find this resource:

Klein, M. (1971). Street Gangs and Street Workers. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.Find this resource:

Klein, M. (1995). The American Street Gang. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.Find this resource:

Krohn, M. D., Schmidt, N. M., Lizotte, A. J., & Baldwin, J. M. (2011). The Impact of Multiple Marginality on Gang Membership and Delinquent Behavior for Hispanic, African American, and White Male Adolescents. Journal of Contemporary Criminal Justice, 27(1), 18–42.Find this resource:

Lacey, N. (2008). The Prisoner's Dilemma. Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press.Find this resource:

Loeber, R., & Stouthamer-Loeber, M. (1986). Family Factors as Correlates and Predictors of Juvenile Conduct Problems and Delinquency. In M. Tonry & N. Morris (Eds.), Crime and Justice (Vol. 7, pp. 29–150). Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Find this resource:

Los Angeles Times. (1992). Understanding the Riots: Los Angeles Before and After the Rodney King Case [Special issue, multiple authors]. Los Angeles Times.Find this resource:

Marrow, H. (2009). New Immigrant Destinations and the American Colour Line. Ethnic and Racial Studies, 32(6), 1037–1057.Find this resource:

Maxson, C. L. (1998). “Gang Members on the Move.” Bulletin. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice, OJJDP.Find this resource:

Mendoza-Denton, N. (1996). ‘Muy Macha’: Gender and Ideology in Gang Girls’ Discourse about Makeup. Ethnos, 61, 47–63.Find this resource:

Merton, R. K. (1949). Social Theory and Social Structure. Glencoe, IL: The Free Press.Find this resource:

Miller, J. (2001). One of the Guys: Girls, Gangs, and Gender. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.Find this resource:

Miller, J., Maxson, C. L., & Klein, M. W. (Eds.). (2001). The Modern Gang Reader (2nd ed.). Los Angeles: Roxbury.Find this resource:

Moore, J. (1978). Homeboys. Philadelphia: Temple University Press.Find this resource:

Moore, J. (1991). Going Down to the Barrio: Homeboys and Homegirls in Change. Philadelphia: Temple University Press.Find this resource:

Moore, J. (1998). Understanding Youth Street Gangs: Economic Restructuring and the Urban Underclass.Find this resource:

Moore, J. W., & Mata, A. (1981, June). Women and Heroin in Chicano Communities. Community Research Systems Incorporated.Find this resource:

Moore, J. W., Vigil, J., Diego, & Levy, J. (1995). Huisas of the Street: Chicana Gang Members. Latino Studies Journal, 6(1), 27–48.Find this resource:

Moore, J. W., & Hagedorn, J. M. (1996). What Happens to Girls in the Gang? In C. R. Huff (Ed.), Gangs in America (2nd ed., pp. 205–220). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.Find this resource:

Oliver, M. L., Johnson, J. H., & Farrell, W. C. (1993). Anatomy of a Rebellion: A Poliltical-Economic Analysis. In R. G. Williams (Ed.), Reading Rodney King/Reading Urban Uprising (pp. 117–141). New York, NY: Routledge.Find this resource:

Osypuk, T. L., Bates, L. M., & Acevedo-Garcia, D. L. (2010). Another Mexican Birthright paradox? The Role of Residential Enclaves and Neighborhood Poverty in the Birth Weight of Mexican-origin Infants. Social Science and Medicine, 70(4), 550–560.Find this resource:

Pertersilia, J. (1992). Crime and Punishment in California: Full Cells, Empty Pockets, and Questionable Benefits. In J. B. Steiner, D. W. Lyon, & M. E. Vaiana (Eds.), Urban America: Policy Choices for Los Angeles and the Nation (pp. 175–206). Santa Monica, CA: The RAND Corporation.Find this resource:

Rafael, T. (2007). The Mexican Mafia. New York, NY: Encounter Books.Find this resource:

Reeves, R. (2013). The Other American Dream: Social Mobility, Race and Opportunity. Brookings (pp. 8–28).Find this resource:

Rios, V. (2016). Human Targets. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.Find this resource:

Rodgers, D. (Ed.). (2012). Global Gangs. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.Find this resource:

Rogers, S. (2013). UK Public Spending since 1963.Find this resource:

Rodriguez, L. (1991). The Concrete River. Willimantic, CT: Curbstone Press.Find this resource:

Runciman, D. (2008). Forgetting the Founders. New York, NY: John Wiley.Find this resource:

Sampson, R. J., & Laub, J. H. (1994). Urban Poverty and the Family Context of Delinquency: A New Look at Structure and Process in a Classic Study. Child Development, 65, 523–540.Find this resource:

Sanchez-Janowkski, M. (2008). Cracks in the Pavement: Social Change and Urban Issues in Poor Neighborhoods. Berkeley: University of California Press.Find this resource:

Santiago, C. B., Wadsworth, M. E., & Stump, J. (2011). Socioeconomic Status, Neighborhoods Disadvantages, and Poverty-related Stress: Prospective Effects on Psychological Syndromes among Low-income Families. Journal of Economic Psychology, 32, 218–230.Find this resource:

Shaw, C., & McKay, R. (1942). Juvenile Delinquency and Urban Areas. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Find this resource:

Short, J. (1997). Poverty, Ethnicity, and Violent Crime. Boulder, CO: Westview.Find this resource:

Spergel, I. A., & Curry, G. D. (1998). The National Youth Gang Survey: A Research and Development Process. In M. W. Klein, C. L. Maxson, & J. Miller (Eds.), The Modern Gang Reader (pp. 254–265). Los Angeles: Roxbury.Find this resource:

Telles, E. E., & Ortiz, V. (2008). Generations of Exclusion: Mexican Americans, Assimilation, and Race. New York, NY: Russell Sage Foundation.Find this resource:

Thornberry T. (2001). Development of Delinquency. New York, NY: Plenum.Find this resource:

Thrasher, F. (1963 [1927]). The Gang. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Find this resource:

Umemoto, K. (2006). The Truce: Lessons from an L.A. Gang War. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.Find this resource:

Valasick, M., Barton, M. S., Reid, S., & Tita, G. S. (2017). Barriocide: Investigating Temporal and Spatial Influence of Neighborhood Structural Characteristics on Gang and Non-gang Homicides in East Los Angeles. Homicide Studies, 21(4), 287–311.Find this resource:

Van Gemert, F. & Lien, L.L. (2008). Street Gangs, Migration, and Ethnicity FPA. London, U.K.: Willan.Find this resource:

Vigil, J. D. (2007). Marginalidad multiple: Las pandillas y maras y su impacto en la sociedad. In J. M. Valezuela (Ed.), Las Maras de America. Mexico City: COLEF (El Colegio de la Frontera Norte).Find this resource:

Vigil, J. D., & Long, J. M. (1990). Etic and Emic Perspectives on Gang Culture: The Chicano Case. In R. Huff (Ed.), Gangs in America: Diffusion, Diversity, and Public Policy (pp. 55–68). Beverly Hills, CA: SAGE.Find this resource:

Vigil, J. D., & Yun, S. C. (1990). The Vietnamese Youth Gangs in Southern California. In R. Huff (Ed.), Gangs in America: Diffusion, Diversity, and Public Policy (pp. 146–162). Beverly Hills, CA: SAGE.Find this resource:

Vigil, J. D., & Yun, S. C. (1998). Vietnamese Youth Gangs in the Context of Multiple Marginality and the Los Angeles Youth Gang Phenomenon. In K. Hazlehurst & C. Hazlehurst (Eds.), Gangs and Youth Subcultures: International Explorations (pp. 117–139). New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction.Find this resource:

Vigil, J. D. (2016). Multiple Marginality: A Comparative Framework for Understanding Gangs. In M. C. Hay (Ed.), Methods that Matter. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Find this resource:

Vigil, J. D. (1987, April 8–12). Organized and Chaired Session—Youth Gangs and Delinquency: A Cross-Cultural Look at the Children of Immigrants. 47th Annual Meeting, Society for Applied Anthropology, Oaxaca, Mexico.Find this resource:

Vigil J. D. (1988). Barrio Gangs. Austin: University of Texas Press.Find this resource:

Vigil, J. D. (1988a). Barrio Gangs: Street Life and Identity in Southern California. Austin: University of Texas Press.Find this resource:

Vigil, J. D. (1988b). Group Processes and Street Identity: Adolescent Chicano Gang Members. Ethnos, 16(4), 421–445.Find this resource:

Vigil, J. D. (1993). Gangs, Social Control, and Ethnicity: Ways to Redirect Street Youth. In S. B. Heath & M. W. McLaughlin (Eds.), Identity and Inner-City Youth: Beyond Ethnicity and Gender (pp. 94–119). New York, NY: Teachers College, Columbia University Press.Find this resource:

Vigil, J. D. (1999). Streets and Schools: How Educators Can Help Chicano Marginalized Gang Youth. Harvard Educational Review, 69(3), 270–288.Find this resource:

Vigil, J. D. (2002). A Rainbow of Gangs: Street Cultures in the Mega-City. Austin: University of Texas Press.Find this resource:

Vigil, J. D. (2007). The Projects: Gang and Non-Gang Families in East Los Angeles. Austin: University of Texas Press.Find this resource:

Vigil (2008). Mexican Migrants in Gangs: A Second-Generation History. IN F. van Gemert, D. Peterson, & I-L Lien, (Eds.), Street Gangs, Migration, and Ethnicity. London, U.K.: Willan.Find this resource:

Vigil J. D. (2010). The Projects. Austin: University of Texas PressFind this resource:

Wiatrowski, M. D., Griswold, D. B., & Roberts, M. K. (1981). Social Control Theory and Delinquency. American Sociological Review, 46, 525–541.Find this resource:

Wilson, W. J. (1987). The Truly Disadvantaged. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Find this resource:

Wolf S. (2017). Mano Dura. Austin: University of Texas Press.Find this resource: