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1GANGSGangsMichelle BarberThomas Edison State University
2GANGSAbstractPop culture, media, and general public all have a stereotyped image of the word “gang.” However, the topic isn’t so simple. While most generalize the term in an aggressively negative manner, the group is complicated and requires study and research understand the subject thoroughly. Gangs are multifaceted in their nature, dynamic, causes and effects. They have a significant impact on our youth, individual citizens, and the greater community. Gangs have increased in size and activity in recent years. While some areas in the United States are more affected than others, there is cause for concern of an escalating situation that affects our youth, communities, and society. In order to gain further understanding of the problems that both influence the creation of gangs and the conflict in communities that arise, I have conducted a series of research steps that consist of a combination of methods including interviews of professionals, community organizations, and statistical gathering investigative groups. Also, I utilized news reports, academic journals, periodicals, and published works such as professionals such as The Modern Gang Reader. The purpose of this research was to gain multiple perspectivesin order to understand and evaluate the topic of gangs. The research allowed me to formulate andcomprise this report.
3GANGSResearchUtilizing different methods of research allowed me to obtain vastly different information from each source. Interviewing was the first stage in my inquiry endeavor. I contact various professionals such as law enforcement (Officer Jose Alvarez and Lieutenant William Varanelli), institutional workers (teacher Carlos Arenas), city council (Council Woman Suzan McCartney) and community organizations (Natasha Allen of the Anti-Violence Collation and a halfway house). These interviews were vital for they not only supplied me with valuable data but also unique perspectives on specific issues, concepts, and problems associated with many different aspects of gangs (such as rehabilitation, recruitment, violence, crimes, etc.). A multitude of perspectives allowed me to assess gang formation, behavior, and activities from multiple angles. This was essential to understand gangs on a micro level. It gave me an in-depth understanding of the communities, institutional, and law enforcement impacts and relation to gangs/gang activity/gang membership. Next, I focused on reviewing professionally published work such as the book A Modern Gang Reader. I also focused on academic journals and periodicals such as the American Journal of Public Healthand the Journal of Research on Adolescence. This information gave me access to peer reviewed studies conducted and their findings. Finally, I usednational websites such as the FBI database to gain a grasp on national approaches, findings, and statistics. This helped give me an over view of a macro perspective of gangs, formations, behavior, and activities. All of these methods were essential. Gangs are a complex group. The