Text topic: Culture and Deviance
Text author: Урош Томић
Ever since the Chicago School and the rise of ecological theory, gangs have drawn attention of researchers as a unique phenomenon caused by a high level of urbanization and social disorganization. In their works, correlations were first established between the level of poverty, urban environment and the crime rates. In this paper, criminality is defined as a totality of criminal phenomena caused by various criminogenic factors, while ethos is regarded as a manifestation of basic values inherent in a particular person or group – in this case a criminal gang. Primary goal is to determine how criminogenic factors lead to specific forms of crime. Assumption is that factors such as unemployment, economic and systemic deprivation, racism and suburbanization affect young Afro-Americans in a manner that is reflected by a specific criminal subculture. Los Angeles has for decades been considered as the world capital of gangs, which is also confirmed by the city police reports that show there are about 450 active gangs in Los Angeles area. This topic is relevant both in the field of criminology and in the field of urban sociology because gangs have become a unique expression of coping with deprivation and difficult existential conditions in urban environments.