Best Classic Gang Studies

Classic Literature on Street Gangs

If you are interested in gang research, it is important to study the full body of research on all early studies on gangs. Since 1912 up until the 1960s, there have been many important studies that have assisted in advancing our current knowledge of street gangs, gang formation, and how race, income, and immigration, among other factors, have all had different roles in maintaining gang culture.

There were several very important theoretical advancements made during this early period and it is important to understand the basic principles behind the leading theories and how others built upon them. Any good gang practitioner should be able to converse on all of the following publications.

Puffer, John A., 1912, The Boy and His Gang, Boston:MA, Houghton Mifflin.

Thrasher, Frederic, 1927, The Gang: A Study of 1,313 Gangs in Chicago. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.

Shaw, Clifford and McKay H., 1942, Juvenile Delinquency and Urban Areas: A Study of Rates of Delinquency in Relation to Differential Characteristics

Cohen, Albert, 1955, Delinquent Boys: The Culture of the Gang, Glencoe, IL: Free Press.

Miller, Walter, 1958, Lower Class Culture as a Generating Milieu of Gang Delinquency. Journal of Social Issues. Vol. 14, 5-20.

Miller, Walter, 1959, Implications of Urban Lower-Class Culture For Social Work. The Social Service Review. Vol. 33, 219-236.

Cohen, Albert & James Short, 1958, Research in Delinquent Subcultures, Journal of Social Issues, pp. 20-37.

Cloward, R., and Ohlin, L., 1960, Delinquency and Opportunity: A Theory of Delinquent Gangs. New York, NY: The Free press.

Bordua, David J., 1961, The Annals of the American Academy of Politcal and Social Sciences, vol. 338, November, pp. 119-137.

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