Homegirls, Hoodrats and Hos: Co-constructing Gang Status through Discourse and Performance


Despite a growing literature regarding female gang membership, little is known about the ways in which gang-affiliated women negotiate the boundaries of gang membership. The current study, based on semi-structured interviews with twenty-four formerly gang-affiliated Chicana women involved with a prominent gang prevention/intervention organization, sought to understand how these women negotiated their interactions and understood their identity within the gang. Findings suggest that these women and the gangs in which they operate recreate broader gender norms that affect their standing and social mobility within the gang.
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Published: 2016-12-01
Pages:29 to 44
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How to Cite
Kolb, A. and Palys, T. (2016) “Homegirls, Hoodrats and Hos: Co-constructing Gang Status through Discourse and Performance”, International Journal for Crime, Justice and Social Democracy, 5(4), pp. 29-44. doi: 10.5204/ijcjsd.v5i4.334.

Author Biographies

Clayton State University
 United States
Abigail Kolb is an Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice at Clayton State University. Drawing upon her background as a clinical social worker and her experience working within the Latino community in East Los Angeles, her current research interests include Latinas/Chicanas in gangs, politics amongst incarcerated women, identity politics, and qualitative research methods.
Simon Fraser University
Ted Palys is a Professor in the School of Criminology at Simon Fraser University. His areas of research and teaching include qualitative, quantitative and mixed methods research; the ethics and law of research confidentiality; privacy, surveillance and internet governance; and the relations between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples in Canada and internationally. He is co-author (with Chris Atchison) of Research Decisions: Quantitative, Qualitative and Mixed Methods Approaches, a research methods text now in its fifth edition (2014, published by Thomson Nelson). His most recent book (with John Lowman), is Protecting Research Confidentiality: What Happens When Law and Ethics Collide, (2014, published by Lorimer).