The study of gangs in the United States has a long history dating back to the works of Riis, Puffer, and Thrasher. This chapter compares the United States to Europe, mostly in broad terms. First, it examines if there are gangs outside the United States, if they engage in criminal activities, and what group characteristics they have. Next, the chapter turns to gang theory and highlights central themes that may or may not apply to the European situation. It then describes the gang phenomenon in the Netherlands as an example carrying specific traits because of historical influences and its context in society. The chapter suggests that the study of gangs does not only require definitions and instruments, but also a broader comparative theoretical framework. Qualitative and quantitative studies show that European gangs are generally less organized and structured than their American counterparts and make less use of symbols and colors.
|Title of host publication||The Handbook of Gangs|
|Number of pages||17|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Jan 2015|