Contemporary gangs are persistent despite efforts to control them.
Theories of gangs explain the emergence of gangs but offer
littleinsight into their persistence and growth. Weisel examined
theorganizational characteristics of four criminal gangs. Although
even large gangs appear disorganized, they are not ephemeral
groups. Instead the gangs feature characteristics of
organic-adaptive organizations rather than hierarchical or
bureaucratic organizations. As such, these gangs feature blended
goals, shared decision making, a structure based on subdivisions,
and a generalist orientation. Such features promote efficiency in a
highly volatile environment and contribute to increases in the size
and number of contemporary gangs in America.
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