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
Gangs and the Underclass
Terrance J. Taylor
Gangs have captured the interest of scholars and members of the general public for several decades. Frederic Thrasher's work remains a classic reading for those interested in gangs, in terms of different types, how they develop, and what their members actually do. Interest in gangs was pronounced in the 1960s, waned during the 1970s, and then garnered considerable attention again during the late 1980s to date. The latest interest was sparked primarily by the perception of the inextricable link between gangs, drugs, and violence. The current entry summarizes the research findings of the link between gangs and the underclass. Although gang research during the past century has pursued a variety of paths, this entry focuses on key studies of the relationship between structural conditions within the underclass framework. Before proceeding, however, a number of empirically supported caveats are in order. First, gangs and gang members are not monolithic, easy to ...