Using an ecological approach, this thesis explores the effects of social indicators on six cities in the Greater Cleveland area in order to dete1mine gang presence. The variables, including race, clime, poverty, educational attainment, housing, and female-headed households, were chosen from the existing data on this topic which only pe1mitted me to gain a minimal amount of info1mation. The literature and theory sections suggested that the nature and migration of gangs is due prima1ily to factors like pove1ty and crime. However, by analyzing the findings, one will see that it is obvious that gang presence is a combination of all the characteristics that were chosen for this analysis. Although this study seeks to show the social indicators of the six cities that attract gangs; it also speaks for many of the cities in the nation in regards to which indicators are more characteristics and effective in attracting gangs. Though the statistics are radically different from one another, many characteristics are apparent for both types of cities. Again, although this study used a rather small sample, the data in the findings section mirrors much of the literature that has been w1itten on this topic. Perhaps a larger sample would have been more representative of the real nature of the gang problem. In concluding the study, the discussion of this paper suggests that both types of cities, cities with gangs and cities without, share the same characteristics of cities that are indicative of gang presence. However, the cities that do attract gangs or have already detected some level of gang activity seem to be areas that are poor and socially disorganized. Suburbs with characteristics close to inner-city characte1istics are the most likely recipients of gang migration. More attention needs to be paid to the ecology of cities which relates to crime, delinquency and poverty. Future research should address many of the key questions and problems that have been raised in this paper.


Blair, Robert


Sociology and Anthropology

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis

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© Copyright 1997 Marcia J. Coye