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Revista Panamericana de Salud Pública

Print version ISSN 1020-4989

Abstract

MARTIN, María Jesús; MARTINEZ, José Manuel  and  ROSA, Alberto. Violent youth gangs in Madrid: socialization and culturalization. Rev Panam Salud Publica [online]. 2009, vol.26, n.2, pp. 128-136. ISSN 1020-4989.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1020-49892009000800005.

OBJECTIVES: This study explores the subject of youth involved in violent groups or gangs, with the goal of further understanding the indoctrination, socialization, and culturalization processes undergone by youth involved in group violence or gangs. Furthermore, to examine the dynamics between peer pressure and other social factors (dating relationships, work, family, etc.) within the theoretical framework of the theories of primary socialization and differential socialization. METHODS: A qualitative analysis of 40 interviews of youth belonging to violent gangs/groups. RESULTS: According to the theories of primary socialization and differential socialization, over socialization by the violent group and under socialization by all other social entities can be assumed. Regarding parental supervision and support, three family types were clearly associated with the problem of youth violence. The distinct or unified social identity of the violent youth, as well as their individual self esteem and self image, formed a combination of processes whose relevance was highly predictive. Lastly, an accurate indicator of how these youth mature is their support network-perceived, absolute, and relative (distributed among the various influencing forces). CONCLUSIONS: The study clearly outlines the need for re-imposing fundamental philosophical epistemology and methodologies on social forces of this kind, incorporating elements key to the postmodern, constructionist, and opposing perspectives.

Keywords : Social identification; violence; social problems; juvenile delinquency; social dominance; adolescent behavior; qualitative research; Spain.

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