This book takes students on a guided tour of the gang phenomenon through history, as well as current representations of gangs in literature and media. It includes: - A detailed global overview of gang culture, covering, amongst others, Glasgow, Chicago, Hong Kong, and Shanghai - A chapter on researching gangs which covers quantitative and qualitative methods - Extra chapter features such as key terms, chapter overviews, study questions and further reading suggestions. Fraser brings together gang-literature and critical perspectives in a refreshingly new way, exploring ‘gangs’ as a social group with a long and fascinating history.

Researching Gangs

Researching Gangs


Chapter 2 provides:

  • An outline of the differences between research rooted in positivist, interpretivist and critical approaches as they relate to the study of gangs.
  • An overview of differing quantitative and data-driven approaches to gang research, including administrative, self-report and survey data.
  • An introduction to qualitative studies of gangs, with particular focus on ethnographic and interview-based methodologies.
  • A summary of key ethical and political issues involved in researching gangs, drawing out the relationships between philosophy and practice in methods.

Key Terms

  • Administrative data
  • Difficult to reach
  • Epistemology
  • Ethics
  • Ethnography
  • Focus groups
  • Interpretivism
  • Interviews
  • Literature review
  • Methodology
  • Participant observation
  • Partisanship
  • Politics
  • Positivism
  • Qualitative methods
  • Quantitative methods
  • Research design
  • Survey research


From reviewing the literature, reading the news, professional experience or personal opinion, we ...

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