Outside Family

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate November 2001

download word file, 4 pages 0.0

Downloaded 7 times

Outside Family Being in a gang is belonging to something giving you people to lean on and expect for help at all times. Gangs give girls the structure and sense of belonging that they don't get from their families. The emergence of a new type of femininity, which is being displayed by young girls who join gangs. In defining a girl gang you can talk about the backgrounds, lifestyles, attitudes and behavior of girls in gangs. It is difficult to establish how many female gangs there are in today. In most places, the Police do not keep a statistical record of gangs. The problem with contacting police officers in police stations is that people assume that they keep track of female gang members. When defining a girl gang you can describe them by many characteristics such as the following. Being organized, having identifiable leadership, identifying with a territory, associating continually, having a specific purpose and engaging in violent or illegal activities.

Considering each characteristic in turn, there is some dispute between researchers about some of these categories. There are mixed findings concerning whether or not gangs are organized. Some people have found that gangs have more informal structures, or they have a casual form of society. Research on girl gangs suggests that they tend to be fairly informal and they do not often have a visible leader. For example, Anne Campbell, writing in Huff's book on Gangs in America observed that in Los Angeles some gangs have godmothers, which are the elder of the group or miner leader. The members insist there is no leader and that decisions are made democratically. Observations suggest that some girls clearly have more control than others, but that this usually is not formalized as a leadership role. Female gang members have been identified as...