The book that I chose to read was a book called "Gangs" by a woman named Karen L. I chose this book for one simple reason, the tag at the bottom of the front cover. The tag on the cover says Contemporary World Issues. I wanted to read something that was current in today's society and it was something that is pretty familiar to many young black men these days. If black men are not involved in gangs then they are very knowledgeable about them. This book talked about what gangs are, who joins gangs and why, and many other facets involving gangs.
According to the book, a gang is very difficult to define. This is so because of the questions proposed. One question that was asked was if a gang is just a group of people who hang around each other. Then another question that was asked was if adults in a group could be classified as a gang. Then it was asked if the group has to be involved in some kind of criminal behavior. All these questions make it obvious to see that gangs plague today's society to a point that we can not even put a definition on what a gang really is. According to this book by Karen Kinnear, defining gangs is often a political issue that reflects the interests and agendas of the various individuals and agencies involved with gangs. These individuals and agencies would happen to be law-enforcement personnel, politicians, advocates, social workers, the media, and researchers. After reading this part, I was highly shocked at how true that really was, and I really never recognized that until reading it here in this book.
The definition of a gang has changed from each person who defines it to the next. A researcher named Frederic Thrasher decided to offer his definition in the year of 1927. He said that a gang "is an interstitial group, originally formed spontaneously, and then integrated through conflict. It is characterized by the following types of behavior; meeting face to face, milling, movement through space as a unit, conflict, and planning.