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Gang Violence in the Postindustrial Era

John M. Hagedorn
Crime and Justice
Vol. 24, Youth Violence (1998), pp. 365-419
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1147588
Page Count: 55
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Gang Violence in the Postindustrial Era
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Abstract

Economic restructuring may have as many implications for today's gangs as the industrial revolution did for yesterday's. In recent decades, there have been increases in the number of male gangs, and probably of female gangs, in cities and towns of all sizes, and there have been large increases in gang violence. Many gangs operate as well-armed economic units inside a vastly expanded informal economy. Gang membership now extends for many males into their adult years. More violence-prone prison gangs may be claiming a new role in the outside community, complicating an already dangerous situation. Finally, the contrast between media images of the rich and famous and limited real-life opportunities may have encouraged many poor young men to abandon conventional norms and sell drugs instead. When combined with the abundance of handguns and the need to regulate the illegal drug business, the emphasis on profits may be changing the way young adult gang members define their gangs and the nature of postindustrial gang violence.

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