As in the United States youth joined for identity security protection and

As in the united states youth joined for identity

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of females. As in the United States, youth joined for identity, security, protection, and affection. They faced discrimination and blocked employment opportunities; immigrants were allowed to live in the country, but were not issued work permits. Young people had difficulties adapting to the new school system, and Latin families were living in overcrowded conditions. Cultural preferences, including style, demarcated them, and the media criminalized this style by associating it with gangs. It remains unclear whether these groups qualify as gangs under the Eurogang definition (Fexia et al., 2008). ITALY Gatti and colleagues conducted one of the earlier direct studies in Italy (Gatti, Angelini, et al., 2005; Haymoz and Gatti, 2010). Survey data indicated that about 16% of a sample of teenagers aged 13 to 16 years old self-reported membership (Haymoz and Gatti, 2010). A previous ethnographic study confirmed that the youth met the criteria of the Eurogang definition (Gatti, Angelini et al., 2005). They focused on a group of about 20 young people in Sperone in Genoa that consisted of two types: (1) the core—5 youth who have known each other about eight years; and (2) those loosely connected—15 youth who were girl- friends, acquaintances, and others who came and went within a short period of time. Leadership was informal. The youth did not battle with others and in many cases
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had friends or family in gangs in neighboring areas. The gang in Sperone was criminally versa- tile, with a history of involvement in a variety of crimes and seldom committed offenses outside of their group. Gatti, Angelini et al. (2005) note important differences between subgroups of gang members: those who were stable or transient. Stable members were more likely than the transients to have risk backgrounds for membership and to participate in crime and violence. They did not have any signs or symbols or a preference for gangsta rap. They listened to techno dance music and local Neapolitan songs. Associated females were girlfriends or former lovers. NORTHERN COUNTRIES Evidence for gangs has been found in the Northern Countries in Europe, such as Norway and Sweden (Bjork, 2008; Lien, 2005a, 2005b, 2008). Bjork (2008) provided data on the perception of gangs in Gothenburg, Sweden’s second largest city. The focus was on immigrant Muslims from the Balkans, Middle East, and North Africa and their cultural and ethnic differences compared to native Swedes. Bjork’s data are based on police ride-alongs and interviews with those in custody. He indicates how within isolated pockets of Muslim communities, people benefitted from the criminal street gangs. In some cases, items were ordered and then later stolen and delivered by gang members. Rather than contacting law enforcement, community members sought to police these networks on their own.
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