Publication date:

04 May 2006

Length of book:

288 pages

Publisher

AltaMira Press

ISBN-13: 9780759109384

In this absorbing new collection, Short and Hughes and their distinguished coauthors investigate why and how we study youth gangs. Over the last half-century of research by criminologists, sociologists, and gang experts, investigations of gang behavior have become increasingly specialized and isolated from studies of delinquency and deviance. The authors challenge popular and inaccurate definitions of gangs vs. non-gang youth groups, and show how the amazing diversity of gangs_both domestic and international_demands more rigorous study. This book stimulates thinking about valid methods of defining and interpreting gang behavior, in order to better understand delinquent and criminal behaviors, and their control. It is an ideal text for criminal justice, sociology, and social work courses, and a resource for law enforcement, probation and parole practitioners, and public defenders.
As one of my colleagues likes to say, this is 'criminology as it oughta be.' The book addresses issues on the theoretical and analytic cutting edges of the discipline, and do so with an appreciation for the intellectual history of gang research that shaped the contemporary framing of these questions. Professor Short's introductory essay in itself is worth the purchase price in this regard. This definitely is required reading for anyone with even a marginal interest in gang dynamics and their contexts.