From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia

Jump to: navigation, search

Related e



A gang is a group of individuals that share a common identity, even if that identity consists of little more than their association with one another. In early English usage, it referred to a group of workmen, and later underwent pejoration. It could refer to harmless associations of youngsters (as depicted in the Our Gang film shorts), and could carry sentimental and positive associations (e.g., the 1917 drinking song "Hail, Hail, the Gang's All Here"). A member of a gang is called a gangster. Activities include drug smuggling and sales, arms trafficking, theft, human trafficking, illegal immigration, battery, extortion, kidnapping, murder, pandering, financial crimes, etc.


Gang violence

[[File:Latin King Graffiti.jpg|thumb|Latin Kings graffiti]] Gang violence refers mostly to the illegal and non-political acts of violence perpetrated by gangs against civilians, other gangs, law enforcement officers, firefighters, or military personnel.

Modern gangs introduced new acts of violence, which may also function as a rite of passage for new gang members. Reports of gang-related homicides are concentrated mostly in the largest cities in the United States, where there are long-standing and persistent gang problems and a greater number of documented gang members—most of whom are identified by law enforcement. Gang-related activity and violence has increased along the U.S. Southwest border region, as US-based gangs act as enforcers for Mexican drug cartels.

Gang violence in schools

Despite gangs usually formed in the community, not specifically in schools, gang violence can potentially affect schools in different ways including:

  • Gangs can recruit members in schools;
  • Gang members from the same school can engage in violence on the school premises or around their school;
  • Gang members from the same school can commit violence against other students in the same school who belong to a different gang or who do not belong to a gang;
  • Gangs may commit violence against other schools and students in the community where they are active, even if these students do not belong to a gang.

Global data on the prevalence of these different forms of gang violence in and around schools is limited. However, available evidence suggests that gang violence is more common in schools where students are exposed to other forms of community violence and where they fear violence at school.

Children who grow up in neighbourhoods with high levels of crime has been identified as a risk factor for youth violence, including gang violence. According to studies, children who knew many adult criminals were more likely to engage in violent behaviour by the age of 18 years than those who did not.

Gang violence is often associated with carrying weapons, including in school. A study of 10–19-year-olds in the UK found that 44% of those who reported belonging to a delinquent youth group had committed violence and 13% had carried a knife in the previous 12 months versus 17% and 4% respectively among those who were not in such a group.

According to a meta-analysis of 14 countries in North America, Europe, the Middle East, Central and South America, sub-Saharan Africa and the Pacific also showed that carrying a weapon at school is associated with bullying victimization.

Comparison of Global School-based Student Health Survey (GSHS) data on school violence and bullying for countries that are particularly affected by gang violence suggests that the links may be limited. In El Salvador and Guatemala, for example, where gang violence is a serious problem, GSHS data show that the prevalence of bullying, physical fights and physical attacks reported by school students is relatively low, and is similar to prevalence in other countries in Central America where gang violence is less prevalent.

Sexual violence

Women in gang culture are often in environments where sexual assault is common and considered to be a norm. Women who attend social gatherings and parties with heavy drug and alcohol use are particularly likely to be assaulted. A girl who becomes intoxicated and flirts with men is often seen as "asking for it" and is written off as a "hoe" by men and women. "Hoodrats" and girls associated with rival gangs have lower status at these social events, and are victimized when members view them as fair game and other women rationalize assault against them.

See also

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Gang" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

Personal tools