Critical and Intersectional Gang Studies
This book offers a critical and empirical examination of gang life, using an intersectional framework considering race, class, gender, and other characteristics. The book reexamines mainstream definitions of gangs, identifies myths and misconceptions, and presents the complex subcultural or countercultural realities of gang members and their associates. Special attention is given to the importance of structural violence experienced by gang members and their communities. This book also interrogates how mainstream gang research is complicit in the oppression of marginalized individuals who join gangs.
Assembling contributions from leading experts involved in gang research and the investigation of street gang culture, this book provides a perspective often missing in the conversation around gangs. Direct input from current and former gang members provides a window into the lived experiences of gang life—a picture more accurate and useful than that afforded by the privileged lens often used in gang research. Reliance on an intersectional approach fosters a non-pathological and critical look at gangs and their members.
Critical and Intersectional Gang Studies is intended for students and scholars involved in the study of gangs, delinquency, and subcultural theory and will serve as a reference for researchers who wish to utilize a progressive, critical, and intersectional approach to study the impacts of gangs.
Chapter 1: Introduction
Section 1: Gang Definition
Chapter 2: "Gang Ain’t In My Dictionary": Utilizing Insider Perspectives to Develop a Critical Gang Definition
Jennifer M. Ortiz
Chapter 3: Demystifying Alt-Right Gangs: Are White Power Groups Cut from the Same Cloth as Conventional Gangs?
Matthew Valasik & Shannon Reid
Chapter 4: [Folk]tales of different peoples¹: Transgressing gang definitions and historical ties
Brian Cabral & Sarah Bruno
Section 2: Critical Reflections on Gang Studies
Chapter 5: Towards a Decolonial Imaginary to Reexamine and Redefine Mainstream Definitions of ‘Gangs’ and ‘Gang Members’ in America
Amy Andrea Martinez
Chapter 6: MS-13, Gang Studies, and Crimes of the Powerful
Kenneth Sebastian Leon & Maya Barack
Chapter 7: Evolution of the Folk Devil: Deconstructing Claims about Hybrid Gangs
Christian Bolden & Renee Lamphere
Section 3: Intersectional Gang Studies
Chapter 8: Gang as a Proxy for Race: How the Criminal Justice System uses ‘gang’ to reinforce oppression in minority communities
Jennifer M. Ortiz
Chapter 9: "I wanted to be the first Mexican Mafia female member:" An Intersectional Criminological Analysis of Chicana Gang Members in California
Marisa D. Salinas & Xuan Santos
Chapter 10: LGBTQ Gang Members’ Intersectional Identities and Experiences