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August 4th, 2008
18 with a Bullet
Gang Violence Around the World


Gangs have existed for hundreds of years, in many societies. Some anthropologists have argued that the gang is among the oldest forms of human organization. According to Dr. Malcolm Klein, the former director of the Social Science Research Institute at the University of Southern California, a street gang is durable in that it remains stable even with significant and frequent member turnover; it is public in that the group spends time in public spaces (like the street) or makes an effort to promote its image in a public way; its members are young — most participants in gang culture are teenagers or are in their twenties (though the age cap is flexible); it is involved in illegal behavior of some kind; and it has a discrete identity that it is proud of and makes an effort to promote. Of course, the line between a street gang and a more highly organized criminal syndicate can be blurry — sometimes street gangs, prison gangs, and mafia-like organizations engage in a degree of cooperation. An individual gang may also be an element of a particular political or social justice movement. Click on the links below to find out more about particular gangs and the involvement of youth in street violence around the world.

Sources: BBC, COAV (Children in Organized Armed Violence), CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR, THE ECONOMIST, FOREIGN AFFAIRS, GUARDIAN UNLIMITED, HARPERS, LATIN NEWS DAILY, THE NEW YORK TIMES, National Public Radio, U.S. State Department

  • colleen

    This is really really harsh…………….

  • Emily

    Why isn’t this documentary online? Missed the broadcast airing, and really want to see it!

  • Steve

    Why isn’t this documentary online? Missed the airing and really want to see it.

  • susana

    when will you show this episode again? or where can I find it online?

  • Janet Hamilton

    this is very harsh….

  • johntavis

    this is a bad thing to do and little childern.

  • brenda

    harsh…but true

  • rag

    wow things are out of hand now with gang volience

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