The Influence of Child Discipline on Vietnamese American Youths: An Ethnographic Case Study of Vietnamese Gangs

Victoria Van-Nguyen, Gang Crime Prevention Center

This paper seeks to qualitatively examine some recent research on factors influencing Southeast Asian youth gang involvement, with a particular concentration on Vietnamese youths. As researchers are beginning to see the importance and the urgency of examining Southeast Asian youths and their association with gang crime, they have began to look at some major contributing factors to gang entry, but there are some questions and factors which need more attention. For instance, the level of exposure to violence within the home and its influence on youths to join gangs should be looked at to better understand the mentality of this particular group of youths and their association with gang life. In addition, in order to provide an ethnographic perspective of this complex subject, a case study of Vietnamese subjects from the Chicago area who were affiliated with gang life or were gang members will be interviewed one-on-one. This intimate and personal methodology will probe into the home lives and childhood environments of these subjects. The chosen subjects will have been exposed to extreme violence both in the home and surrounding environments. Half of the subjects are presently successful professionals or have successfully deviated from such violent atmospheres; the other half are still exposed to the same environment. The results of these individual interviews will also provide data for quantitative analysis, which will be woven into the qualitative part of this paper in hopes of providing insightful impact on similar research; or inspiring in depth focus on the subject of child discipline and its impact on gang entry within the Southeast Asian culture.

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Updated 05/20/2006