The Ancestors Speak: Relating the Past to Today's Gangs

D. Lee Gilbertson, Saint Cloud State University

This descriptive study explores a possible relationship between present-day gang-related issues and first contact among various peoples in the United States. Hatred passes from generation to generation and transcends centuries. This social fact is evidenced among current events all over the world. Thus, this researcher was compelled to ask whether a relationship may exist between four concepts: (1) the experiential realities of ancestors, (2) the subsequent agreement realities held by their progeny and (3) their experiential realities, and (4) the extent of gang-related issues among corresponding populations today. This study begins with a qualitative, integrative review that describes historical experiences and conditions in both "The Old World" and "The New World" relative to aboriginal populations (i.e., North America) and immigrant populations (i.e., Africa, Asia, Central and South America, Europe, and the Middle-East). Concepts are then quantitatively operationalized using nominal and interval scales that are entered into a color-coded spreadsheet for assessment. Final analysis suggests that three variables within these concepts may be associated with present-day gang-related issues among the demographic populations that make-up the United States.

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Updated 05/20/2006