The Gang As a Primary Group

The Gang As a Primary Group - neighborhood Within the gang...

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The Gang As a Primary Group What happens when traditional primary groups are unavailable for the individual [like young children] ? Frederick Thrasher (1963) demonstrates the importance of gangs in this regard. Thrasher considers gangs as part of normal development in poor neighborhoods although gangs tended to contribute to antisocial behavior (like crime). Thrasher considers gangs as primary groups because they take on the major responsibilities for socialization of individuals whose need's traditional families did not meet. Thrasher noted that although gangs taught illegitimate means of self- actualization, the skills learned within gangs were necessary for survival. Furthermore, status accrued to individuals because of their gang related activities in their immediate
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Unformatted text preview: neighborhood. Within the gang, illegitimate goals (as seen from societies stand point) become legitimate for the gang members. Secondary groups The Characteristics of Secondary Groups a. Secondary groups are more impersonal . b. They are more specialized (i.e., goal oriented -- Examples include classes and/or a job). c. They are more temporary . d. They are usually larger . e. They require less of an emotional commitment . Example: Part-time waiters in a college dinning hall. Reference Groups Reference groups represent the standards people use to evaluate themselves and others . They can include the family, members of a church, people in the neighborhood, teachers, classmates, or co-workers (see Henslin, 1999:153)....
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