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GANG THEORIES PowerPoint Presentation
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  2. Biological Theories • Franz Joseph Gall (1758 – 1828) • Phrenology - study of the shape of the head and its relationship to human behavior • Cesare Lombroso • “atavism” – A condition characterized by the existence of features thought to be common in earlier stages of human evolution (throwbacks).

  3. Biological Theories • William Sheldon • somatotyping – classification of people into types according to body build • Bertillion Measurements • Criminality based on physical features, and measurements

  4. Criminal Families • Richard Dugdale study, 1877 • used family tree method to study the Juke family • Henry Goddard study, 1912 • Goddard studied two lines of the Kallikak family.

  5. Psychobiological Theories • Chromosome Theory • 1965 – Patricia Jacobs discovered “supermales.” supermale – Men with an extra “Y” chromosome (XYY). • Biocriminology • A field of study that has made attempts at linking violent or disruptive behavior to eating habits, vitamin deficiencies, genetics, inheritance, and other conditions which impact body tissues.

  6. FACTORS LEADING TO GANG INVOLVEMENT • Frequent exposure to crime and violence during formative years, results in desensitivity to such occurrences • There are few positive role models, particularly of their own ethnicity; negative influences are more common than positive ones • They come from unstable families, with little parental control • They live in an environment lacking economic activity conducive to lawful self sufficiency; environment breeds hopelessness and offers few reasons to believe that success can be achieved through conventional means

  7. FACTORS LEADING TO GANG INVOLVEMENT • Their environment lacks constructive social and recreational activities for youths • Their social environment has a distorted set of moral values in which selfish, antisocial conduct is accepted and promoted as the accepted norm • The youth believe they have matured as far as possible; that there is not much more to look forward to except they perceive as “low level” jobs • They are entrapped into selling drugs by the lure of “living large,” despite inadequate skills, education, or qualifications • They suffer from low self-esteem

  8. FACTORS LEADING TO GANG INVOLVEMENT • They inhabit a culture that highly values immediate gratification, both materially and sensually • There is an absence of respected adult figures to give youths the “right word,” or to affirm traditional values and standards, and to encourage youths to keep their conduct within bounds • There is a natural need to ensure physical safety, to have a sense of belonging, and to form secure emotional relationships with others • Because they feel insignificant and powerless, youths are attracted to the power of gangs because gangs exercise considerable control over the lives of others and command the attention of public officials and the news media

  9. SOCIAL DISORGANIZATION THEORY • Crime stems from certain community or neighborhood characteristics • Dilapidated housing • Poverty • High density • High crime rates • High mobility • High rates of unemployment


  11. SOCIAL ECOLOGYCONCENTRIC CIRCLES • I Center City • II Zone in Transition • III Blue Collar Worker’s Zone • IV Residential Zone • V Commuter Zone


  13. STRAIN THEORY • Cultural norms of “success” emphasize such goals as money, power, status • Means to obtain such success are not equally distributed • As the result of blocked opportunities many among the disadvantaged resort to illegal means MERTON

  14. STRAIN THEORY Mode of MEANS GOALS Adaptation __________________________________________ • Conformist + + • Innovator - + • Ritualism + - • Retreatism - - • Rebellion +/- +/- MERTON

  15. SUBCULTURES OF DEVIANCE • Special vocabulary, or argot usually concerning the activities that differentiate the group from those around it • A set of shared beliefs and norms which contrast in direction or emphasis with the norms of other groups, such as the larger society • Contacts between members through which behavior is learned and membership in the group id confirmed • Sometimes a specialized way of dressing and acting, that serves to distinguish the members from those of other groups and to assist in identifying members to one another

  16. LOWER CLASS DELIQUENCY • Lower class boys being evaluated by middle class teachers in a middle class standard • Lower class boys are usually not socialized by their families believing that it is important to: • Be ambitious, get ahead, be someone • Take responsibility – minimize reliance on others • Become skillful in those things that have economic value

  17. Postpone immediate gratification – focus on long term goals • Be rational, plan, and budget time • Cultivate manners and courtesy in order to get along with people • Keep physical aggression under control • Play constructively and wholesomely, not destructively and wastefully • Respect the property rights of others * Faced with constant threats to their self-esteem, many lower class boys retreat to the one group where they can find status – the delinquent gang COHEN

  18. DIFFERENTIAL OPPORTUNITY • Access to any opportunity, whether legitimate or illegitimate, varies according to time and place • In neighborhoods where adult criminal subculture is strong, youths will have both the role models and the means for becoming successful innovators • Faced with frustration of having legitimate or illegitimate means, some boys will turn to violence and crime or retreat into alcohol and drugs CLOWARD & OHLIN



  21. DIFFERENTIAL ASSOCIATION THEORY • Criminal behavior is learned • Criminal behavior is learned in interaction with persons in a process of communications • The principle part of the learning of criminal behavior occurs within intimate groups • When criminal behavior is learned, the learning includes; • Techniques – simple and complex • Specific direction of motives, drives, attitudes • The specific direction of motives and drives is learned from definitions of legal codes as favorable or unfavorable

  22. DIFFERENTIAL ASSOCIATION THEORY • A person becomes delinquent because of an excess of definitions favorable to violation of law over definitions unfavorable to violation of law • Differential association may vary in frequency, duration, priority, and intensity • The process of learning criminal behavior by association with criminal and anti-criminal patterns incorporate all the mechanisms that are present in any other learning • While criminal behavior is an expression of general needs and values, it is not explained by those general needs and values, since non-criminal behavior is an expression of the same needs and values SUTHERLAND

  23. BONDING THEORY • Attachment • Closer one’s ties to society, especially parents, more likely one will conform to society’s expectation • Commitment • The more one aspires to invest in legitimate activities, especially in terms of success aspirations and long range goals, the more likely one will conform

  24. BONDING THEORY • Involvement • The more time and energy one spends on legitimate activities, the more likely one will conform • Belief • The more one attaches moral validity to society’s norms, the more likely one will conform

  25. LABELING THEORY • Primary Deviance – An individual commits deviant act, but does not view him or herself as deviant. • Secondary Deviance – An individual commits a deviant act and sees him or herself as a deviant.


  27. Developmental Process of Criminal Patterns • Traits Learned – Ages 3 - 8 • Begins to manipulate parents • Enjoys toys which are weapons and has an interest in violent heroes • Violent video collection or a preoccupation with violent video games • Steal change from family members • Begins to lie on a consistent basis • Begins to develop negative attitudes towards community, authorities, school teachers

  28. Developmental Process of Criminal Patterns • Traits Learned – Ages 9 - 11 • Has begun minor shoplifting from store • Engaging in acts of vandalism which may or may not have come to the attention of the parents or authorities (breaking windows, graffiti, etc.) • Begins occasional truancy / skipping school • More involved with friends than parents

  29. Developmental Process of Criminal Patterns • Traits Learned – Ages 9 - 11 • Begins to develop “street” personality • Has joined a pseudo gang / friends are questionable • Begins to challenge authority, overtly, and breaks established rules • Becomes more inquisitive about sex • Becomes proficient with street language

  30. Developmental Process of Criminal Patterns • Traits Learned – Ages 12 - 15 • Is aware of community hang outs • Liquor stores, arcades, bars, drug houses • Begins to pick on weaker kids • Taking money, candy, clothing • Begins to see humor in violence and harming others • Begins to experiment with cigarettes, interest in alcohol – experimentation • Befriends and is drawn to older kids • Drop outs, drug dealers / cool

  31. Developmental Process of Criminal Patterns • Traits Learned Ages 12 – 15 • Sexual interest increases – experimentation • Preoccupation with the police and is now on the “look-out” • Has begun cursing regularly with peers • Becomes more proficiently with street language • Spends much leisure time hanging out in the streets

  32. Developmental Process of Criminal Patterns • Traits Learned Ages 16 - 21 • Is ready for street gang activity • Commits burglaries • Has become clothes conscious • Is either establishing or has established a “reputation” • Has spent time in foster homes, group homes, or juvenile institution • Pre-occupation with weapons and violence