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Race, Ethnicity, and Youth Gangs

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Overview

It is difficult to talk about gang membership without including a discussion of race/ethnicity. The two seem invariably linked in our society, both in terms of research and our common perceptions of gang members (Esbensen and Tusinski 2007). Early gang research focused on White ethnic groups, whereas more recently, racial/ethnic minorities such as African Americans, Hispanics, and increasingly Asians and American Indians represent the groups of interest (e.g., Chin 1996; Hagedorn 1988; Major et al. 2004; Moore 1991; Vigil 2002). While the connection between race/ethnicity and gang membership remains in the spotlight in our society, the fact remains that a paucity of information regarding differences between racial/ethnic groups exists, making policy recommendations somewhat complicated.

This entry will explore the similarities and differences in gang membership between various racial/ethnic groups. As we come to understand the race/ethnicity/gang membership relationship more...

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Correspondence to Adrienne Freng .

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Freng, A. (2014). Race, Ethnicity, and Youth Gangs. In: Bruinsma, G., Weisburd, D. (eds) Encyclopedia of Criminology and Criminal Justice. Springer, New York, NY. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-5690-2_124

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