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Bikers and Motorcycle Gangs

Outlaw motorcycle gangs have been a constant feature of organized crime in North America. Traditionally, bikers were representative of a very American-style cultural model that emphasized the open road and a flagrant disregard for conventional or mainstream values. The roots of the biker culture can largely be traced to the post–World War II era. In the 1950s, biker culture, as well as the Beat generation, turned away from the traditional sources of male commitment to a mainstream lifestyle. Bikers were predominantly, if not exclusively, male. As a result, they represented the particular features of a particular male, a countercultural reaction to the dominant features of American middle-class existence. As the biker subculture developed, it tended to focus on a rejection of marriage, corporatized work, and ...

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