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"[The Groundwork Guides] are excellent books, mandatory for school libraries and the increasing body of young people prepared to take ownership of the situations and problems previous generations have left them." Globe and Mail Street gangs have exploded worldwide. Tattoos, baggy pants, tagging, gangsta style, the unspoken threat it's all just around the corner in most of the world's major cities. From the streets of Los Angeles to the shantytowns of Cape Town, hundreds of thousands of "at risk" youth are deciding whether they should join their local gang. Violence, guns, the drug trade, racism, poverty, families under pressure and ever-widening slums all provide a witch's brew in which the youth gang tempts young males and females with a sense of identity and belonging that their world has denied them. Gangsexposes the roots of the problem as it moves from the banlieues of France to the favelas of Brazil. It offers a startling analysis of the complicity of the official adult world and some controversial ideas for reforms that might just undermine the appeal of gang life. For many of the world's young especially those who are poor joining a gang is a real career choice. It is a choice that can be as deadly for young gangsters as for their victims. Richard Swift shows us that we fail to understand gangs at our peril.
Richard Swift is an internationally regarded journalist and former editor of New Internationalist magazine. He has done stories from many parts of the world on issues as varied as famine and the plight of farmers, slums, the prison system and struggles for national liberation. Swift is author of The No-Nonsense Guide to Democracy and Trigger Issues: Mosquito, and editor of Ties That Bind: Canada and the Third World. He has also worked as a radio journalist. He lives in Toronto.
Table of Contents
Gangs Are Everywhere
Gangs and Poverty
The Underground Economy
Gangs and Their Communities
The Politics of Gangs
The Assault on Youth
A Future with Gangs
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