gang

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gang,

group of people organized for a common purpose, often criminal. Gangs of criminals were long known on the American frontierfrontier,
in U.S. history, the border area of settlement of Europeans and their descendants; it was vital in the conquest of the land between the Atlantic and the Pacific.
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 and also flourished in urban settings. Notorious were the outlaws led by Jesse JamesJames, Jesse (Woodson),
1847–82, American outlaw, b. Clay co., Mo. At the age of 15 he joined the Confederate guerrilla band led by William Quantrill and participated in the brutal and bloody civil warfare in Kansas and Missouri.
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 and his brother, the Sydney Ducks of San Francisco (active in the 1850s), and the Hudson Dusters of turn-of-the-century New York City. Modern criminal gangs are largely urban and highly organized (see organized crimeorganized crime,
criminal activities organized and coordinated on a national scale, often with international connections. The American tradition of daring desperadoes like Jesse James and John Dillinger, has been superseded by the corporate criminal organization.
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). Adolescent gangs before World War II were generally poverty-area recreational groups that turned to crime under the influence of adult gangs. Often the groups were rehabilitated through recreational leadership and guidance in community centers. In the late 1940s fighting gangs arose in the poverty areas of most large cities. Uniting to seek security and status in a discouraging environment, the young members divide their neighborhoods into rival territories and amass homemade and stolen weapons. Boundary violations or other insults invite intergang fights in streets or parks. Most fighting gangs are organized intricately, with caste systems and with officers who arrange battles and prepare strategy; the gang may range in size from several members to over 100. Factors related to the development of delinquent gangs include blighted communities, dropping out of school, unemployment, family disorganization, neighborhood traditions of gang delinquency, psychopathology, and ethnic status. Gangs provide acceptance and protection to inner-city youth; in Los Angeles gangs doubled from 400 in 1985 to 800 (with 90,000 members) in 1990. See also juvenile delinquencyjuvenile delinquency,
legal term for behavior of children and adolescents that in adults would be judged criminal under law. In the United States, definitions and age limits of juveniles vary, the maximum age being set at 14 years in some states and as high as 21 years in others.
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.

Bibliography

See L. Yablonsky, The Violent Gang (1962, repr. 1970); M. W. Klein and B. G. Myerhoff, Juvenile Gangs in Context (1967); J. F. Short, ed., Gang Delinquency and Delinquent Subcultures (1968); E. Liebow, Talley's Corner (1968); J. Haskins, Street Gangs: Yesterday and Today (1977); W. F. Whyte, Streetcorner Society (1981); A. Campbell, Girls in the Gang (1984); E. Dolan, Youth Gangs (1984); L. Bing, Do or Die (1991).

What does it mean when you dream about a gang?

Dreaming of being a gang member may be an unconscious expression of the need to achieve things through force and intimidation. If threatened by a gang, one may feel that life conditions or the factors associated with a particular issue have “ganged up” on them.

gang

[gaŋ]
(electricity)
A mechanical connection of two or more circuit devices so that they can be varied at the same time.

gang

1. a herd of buffaloes or elks or a pack of wild dogs
2. 
a. a series of similar tools arranged to work simultaneously in parallel
b. (as modifier): a gang saw
References in periodicals archive ?
Courts and juries would better understand the testimony of expert witnesses on the issue of gang members and gang-involved crime as departmental, or even state or federal, law enforcement operating guidelines would document the explanations given by these witnesses.
Keith and two other former gang members were arrested without any evidence of their involvement in a crime.
With Araujo's inclusion, there are now three Valley gang members on the most wanted list, drawn up recently to draw public attention to rising gang crime in Los Angeles.
The authors indicate in their discussions regarding drug sales by gang members that the amount of organization present in the gang may contribute to the level of drug sales by the group's members.
Families of gang members are usually chaotic and dysfunctional, with the father either absent or distant.
Fashion was by no means a feminine preserve among young people in working-class districts, but it is significant that male gang members appear to have been much more concerned with their appearances than other young men in similar occupations.
Many informational sources exist that can provide guidance on where and how to deal with the criminal street gang member.
A code of conduct set out a number of rules to live by, such as restricting gang members from incurring financial debts they could not repay in a timely manner.
City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo has announced plans to increase the use of injunctions against gangs and stay-away orders to keep gang members out of certain neighborhoods.
The majority rejected the argument that requiring officers to reasonably believe that a group of loiterers contains a gang member is a sufficient limitation but then added that police discretion could be sufficiently limited "if the ordinance only applied to loitering that had an apparently harmful purpose or effect, or possibly if it only applied to loitering by persons reasonably believed to be criminal gang members.
LAPD Chief William Bratton will open a three-day summit today to discuss the migration of gang members from Southern California to their homelands, bringing a culture of violence and terror.
Whenever a police officer observes a person whom he reasonably believes to be a criminal street gang member loitering in any public place with one or more other persons, he shall order all such persons to disperse and remove themselves from the area.