1. How does gender ideology manifest itself in the gang? How is it related to the types of
activities that the gangs engage in?
Women are almost always seen as a form of property to the gang members, and this ideology
manifests itself in many of the activities undertaken by the gang.
Just to join the gang, a major
incentive is the ability to meet women.
Gangs often hold social gatherings, in which members will
have the opportunity to meet women and to impress them with their high status within the community.
Also, a significant portion of the violence that gang members engage in is because of women.
rare instances that a gang member attacks a person of their own community, it is often as a result over
frustration over women.
As long as someone declared that he was with a woman, that woman was
considered to be “his”, and his property.
This view was pervasive throughout the gangs studied –
women were seen as objects that the gang members had control over.
Interestingly, women were
comfortable with this arrangement, and generally only were irritated by the gang members’ infidelity
and lack of responsibility.
Another result of the “women are property” ideology is that gangs would
sometimes seek retaliation on other gangs by attacking their women, which were little more than
To punish a pimp, gangs attacked their prostitutes.
This is just a further of the Social
Darwinist view that a man is defined by his success, and, therefore, his property.
2. What is the relationship between the gender hierarchy and masculinity in the gang?
There is very much an idea of masculinity that pervades the gang. Gang members are, over
expected to be tough.
Although it might be acceptable to fight and lose, it is totally unacceptable to
refuse to fight.
Often, gang members will pick fights with other people just to see how tough they are.
Fighting among gang members is often just playfulness that erupts as a vent for aggression, but there
are rules about the “honor” of fighting.
No weapons, physical fighting
generally view jail time as a rite of passage. In Chicano gangs, someone who has not been arrested is
not yet a man worthy of honor, as he has not passed the trials of being a gang member.
relation to fighting, younger, less experienced gang members often look upon their older “brothers” in
awe of their scars and bruises.
Scars are considered badges of honor, and those who do not have
them have not yet proven their honor.
3. What is the primary cause of the emergence of gangs in urban American society?
Gangs emerge primarily as a result of the low-income neighborhoods.
They are not a reflection of
chaos and tumult in those neighborhoods.
Instead, they are a natural product of poor places.
of being based on a lack of social control, they are a specialized form of social control, the social
control of poverty.
This is the organization around the intense conflict for the very limited resources