Pub. date: 2010 | Online Pub. Date: November 23, 2010 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412959193 | Print ISBN: 9781412959186 | Online ISBN: 9781412959193| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Jankowski, Martin Sanchez: Islands in the Street
Kirsten Hutzell & Kelly Welch
American gangs have been long identified as troublesome and socially undesirable elements of society. Negative perceptions of gangs permeate the consciousness of members of the public, government officials, and media outlets. As such, Martin Sanchez Jankowski attempted to improve public understanding of gangs by examining uncharted territory with Islands in the Street , which offers a contemporary ethnography of juvenile gangs and represents a considerable departure from previous explorations of gang behavior. Winning “best book” awards from the American Sociological Association in 1992 and the Society for the Study of Social Problems in 1993, Jankowski predicted that gangs were groups with different social organizational patterns rather than disorganized elements of society, which was an uncommon approach to the subject matter. As part of a 10-year field study, Jankowski immersed himself in the environment of 37 urban street gangs of varying size, ethnic composition, and purpose. Using informal interviews and participant ...