In the course of the development of our society, there have appeared many stereotypes, a great number of them concern stereotypical social roles of community members regarding their gender. For instance, the greater part of research on gang membership focuses on the role of the male population in the activity of gangs. The role of women in the activity of gangs is reduced to their secondary role in the group activity. Thus, the present paper will focus on social relations and the causes of violence in female gangs.
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The present paper will focus on the article “Life-course Events, Social Networks, and the Emergence of Violence among Female Gang Members” by Fleisher and Krienert. Besides, the analysis of the topic will be supported by the statistical information provided by the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) concerning the rate of violence among gang members between 1993 and 2003.
The article by Fliesher and Krienert (2004) has the task of defying “the social context of violence among women’s young gangs in a poor, black community in Champaign, Illinois” that is called “North End” by the locals (p. 607). The authors analyze a gang from a social perspective, omitting judicial understanding of a gang. The authors are trying to observe the interrelation of individual life events of women and their gang membership as a “prosocial community response to entrenched poverty and racial isolation” (Fleisher & Krienert, 2004, p. 608). The main merit of the article is that it demonstrates an innovative vision of female gangs in their cultural and social structural context. Thus, the authors rely on social theory in their research. The information analyzed by the researchers is diverse; it mainly belongs to the following types: personal social-network data, self-report individual gang data, and self-report public health/sex survey data (Fleisher & Krienert, 2004, p. 609). The reliability of the research can be proved by a significant number of participants of the study (74) and their belonging to all major age-groups: adolescents, young adults, and adults.
The advantage of the article is detailed analysis of social background of women who participate in gang activity. It covers such areas as parental abuse, marital state of parents, governmental aid received, drug addiction in the family, number of parents’ arrests, etc. (Fleisher & Krienert, 2004, p. 612-613). All statements made in the article are proven by sufficient and eloquent statistical information.
Besides, the advantage of the article is the analysis of the place of pregnancy in the life of female gang members. It is defined as the main cause of transition from active to inactive position of a woman in a gang (Fleisher & Krienert, 2004, p. 619). This accounts for the lesser number of women in gangs in comparison with male gang membership. According to Harrel (2005), the rate of violence by male gang members is 3.8 while the same rate is 1.8 concerning female gang members (unpaged). These figures can be explained by the decrease of violence among female gang members due to the place of pregnancy in their lives.
Drawing a conclusion, it is necessary to state that the studied article offers a detailed analysis of the reasons why women enter gangs. We believe all the findings are authoritative and reliable. Of great use is the final section of the article that offers policy recommendations concerning social intervention and opportunities provision for female gang members (Fleisher & Krienert, 2004, p. 620). Thus, the article offers the analysis of theoretical information and a guide of its practical application that will be aimed at the decrease of female gang membership. It can be stated, that the article was issued in 2004. Still, the data can be applied to the present situation as well, since social factors of gang membership remain the same.
Fleisher, M.S., & Krienert J.L. (2004). Life-course Events, Social Networks, and the Emergence of Violence among Female Gang Members. Journal of Community Psychology, 32(5), 607-622.
Harrel, E. (2005). Violence by Gang Members, 1993-2003. U.S. Department of Justice.Web.