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Summarizes the empirical article, Gangs and Deviant Leisure, at least one page long. Feel free to write more. In the files I have attached: The article A file indicating what the article summary sho
LEISURE SCIENCES./.. Gangs and Deviant Leisure Monika Stodolska, Liza Berdychevsky, and Kimberly J. Shinew Department of Recreation, Sport and Tourism, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, IL ARTICLE HISTORYReceived  December  Accepted  April  KEYWORDScrime; deviant leisure; differential association; gangs; social learning ABSTRACTThe objectives of this study, guided by the principles of the social learning theory, were to explore the participation and motivations ofgang members for involvement in deviant leisure activities. In-depthindividual interviews were conducted with 30 former gang membersresiding in Chicago and central Illinois. The findings showed that theirleisure behavior included house parties that typically included the use ofdrugs, alcohol, and sex; “hanging around” on street corners and “gang-banging” violence perpetrated against members of opposing gangs orother members of the same gang; and various types of vandalism. Moti-vations for involvement in deviant leisure included those outlined in the social learning theory, as well as thrill and pleasure from committing crimes and achieving flow-like states. The research confirmed that bothindividual factors and social processes contributed to explaining gangmembers’ involvement in deviant pastimes. Gangs and deviant leisure Sinceitsinception,themajorityoftheleisurescholarshipgroundedintheworksofearlythe- orists (Dumazedier, 1967 ;Kaplan, 1975 ) and influenced by the ideals of rational recreation centered on examining positive and enriching leisure pursuits. At the same time, however, countless people around the world engage in the vicarious consumption of deviant leisure by means of entertainment (e.g., violent movies and video games) and participate in morally questionable or outright illegal activities (Delamere & Shaw, 2006 ;Drozda, 2006 ). Moreover, much of the crime is committed within the time and physical space of leisure (Rojek, 2000 ) andmanypeopledevelopcareersbyengagingindeviantbehaviorasaformofleisure(Gunn& Caissie, 2006 ). Following Stebbins ( 1996 ), Williams and Walker ( 2006 ) defined deviant leisure as a “behavior that violates criminal and non-criminal moral norms” (p. 195), while Rojek ( 2000 ) referred to “abnormal leisure” as an experience that pushes the limits and threatens the self or others. Stebbins ( 1996 ) categorized deviant leisure into tolerable (where the welfare of the community is preserved) and intolerable (where the community is in agreement about its wrongfulness and is accompanied by harsh community reaction). The intolerable deviance includes criminal and noncriminal acts such as theft, rape, and assault. This intolerable, crim- inal, and casual deviance will constitute the subject of this study. Despite its wide appeal among users, “deviant” or “purple” leisure has attracted surpris- ingly little attention from leisure scholars (Williams & Walker, 2006 ). Rojek ( 1999a )stated CONTACT Monika Stodolska [email protected] Department of Recreation, Sport and Tourism, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign,  Huff Hall,  South Fourth Str., Champaign, IL , --. This study has been funded by a grant from the University of Illinois Research Board. ©  Taylor & Francis Group, LLC 2019, VOL. 41, NO. 4, 278–293 that “students of leisure, on the whole, ignored both ‘real’ acts of deviant leisure and the huge culture industries that revolve around packaging deviant leisure to consumers in ‘entertain- ing’ and ‘amusing’ forms” (p. 81). Seventeen years later, Williams’s ( 2016a )overviewofthe current scholarship on deviant leisure showed that it still remains an underdeveloped area of inquiry. At the same time, an abundant scholarship in the field of criminology suggests that each year many youth are driven to criminal acts to satisfy the needs for fun, excitement, adventure, peer association, recognition, or simply to pass time when other leisure opportu- nities are unavailable and/or unattractive (Taylor & Smith, 2013 ). In particular, the literature suggests that involvement in gangs may provide youth with the context for engagement in leisure activities that can be considered deviant (Rojek, 1999a ). Gang activity has increased sharply in the United States over the past decade, and youth gang membership has been a persistent and serious national problem (Simon, Ritter, & Mahendra, 2013 ). Klein ( 1971 ) provided a useful and comprehensive definition of gangs as groups of young individuals who: (a) are generally perceived as a distinct aggregation by others in their neighborhood, (b) recognize themselves as a denotable group, and (c) have been involved in a sufficient number of delinquent incidents to call forth a consistent negative response from neighborhood residents and/or law enforcement agencies. (p. 13) Thusfar,inourfield,theeffectsofgangactivityhavebeenexaminedfromtheperspectiveof its detrimental effects on leisure among residents of gang-affected neighborhoods (Stodolska, Acevedo, & Shinew, 2009 ; Stodolska, Shinew, Acevedo, & Roman, 2013 ). Studies have shown that fear of gang crime makes residents less likely to visit outdoor locations and engage in physical activity (Ross, 2000 ; Ross & Mirowski, 2001). None of the studies in our field, how- ever, has explored the dynamics of involvement in gangs as a leisure activity for the gang members. We believe it is a serious omission as examining motivations for gang involvement from the perspective of leisure may help researchers and practitioners to better understand what drives people to join gangs and to devise strategies that may assist in gang desistance efforts. Moreover, as Williams and Walker ( 2006 )claimed,“researchonleisureamongoffenders may potentially lead to a better understanding of criminal behavior, and subsequently, may bring about improvements in crime prevention and offender rehabilitation efforts” (p. 194). Additionally, Williams ( 2016b ) argued there is a need to understand deviant leisure from the perspectives of those who engage in such acts. Thus, the purpose of this study was to examine leisure experiences of people who have been associated with gangs at some point in the past. Specifically, the objectives were to explore: 1) the involvement of former gang members in deviant leisure activities and 2) the motivations of former gang members’ involvement in these deviant activities. The study was guided by the principles of the social learning theory (Akers, 1973 ; Bandura, 1977 ). The research project was located in the Chicago Metropolitan Area and in a medium-size community in Central Illinois that has seen a recent spike in gang activity. Chicago has one of the highest crime rates in the nation, much of which is related to gang membership and is concentrated in the impoverished minority neighborhoods in Western, Central, and South Chicago (Chicago Crime Commission, 2012 ). According to the Chicago Crime Commission, it is estimated there are 70–100 gangs in the Chicago Metropolitan Area with a membership of between 68,000 to over 150,000 people. The Chicago Police Department attributed the “disturbing rise in violence” in 2016 (770 homicides between January 1, 2016 and December 28, 2016, compared to 492 homicides between January 1, 2015 and December 31, 2015) to gangs ( Chicago Tribune ,2016 ;Eligon, 2016 ). LEISURE SCIENCES 279 Deviant leisure Rojek ( 1999a ) claimed that leisure is a “vital medium through which deviance is practiced” (p. 86) and that the culture of leisure “plays a crucial role in engendering and supporting deviance” (p. 91). He believed that leisure provides a setting where antinomial values can emerge and be disseminated as it takes place in low-surveillance contexts and is defined in contradictiontoeverydayobligationsandresponsibilities.Hearguedthatthecultureofleisure “provides the individual with the transgressive license to objectify the ethical and routine boundaries of everyday life” (p. 88). This process of objectification often directly leads to a law-breaking activity. Rojek used criminological work on drug use and gang activity to illus- trate the importance of leisure contexts for practicing deviance. He also quoted criminological work on gangs (e.g., Suttles, 1968 ) to show how youth subcultures control leisure spaces such as parks, social centers, and playgrounds to fulfill deviant functions. Despite these examples, however, Rojek believed that criminologists have failed to appreciate the importance of leisure in understanding deviant actions. Building on Rojek’s ( 1999b ) analysis of deviant leisure, Williams and Walker ( 2006 ) and Williams ( 2009 ) explored the relationships among leisure, deviant leisure, and crime. Williams argued that deviant leisure should be reconceptualized and addressed from beyond themedicalperspectiveandthat“leisureresearchersshouldbemoreattunedtohowsocial, cultural, historical and political forces shape perceptions of deviance” (p. 212). Drozda ( 2006 ) believed that investigations conducted by leisure scholars could provide new understandings of the motivations behind juvenile delinquenc y and that more research is needed to explore leisure from beyond its traditional positive dimensions. Empirical research on deviant leisure, although scant, does exist, and there have even been special issues of leisure journals devoted to this topic (e.g., Leisure/Loisir in 2006). For instance, Sullivan ( 2006 ) addressed the topic of tolerable and intolerable gambling, Delamere and Shaw ( 2006 ) examined playing violent video games, and Drozda ( 2006 )exploredthe“pas- time” of juvenile vehicle theft. Particularly pertinent to our research is Drozda’s study where youth engaged in auto theft out of boredom, (controlled) risk taking, and for the hedonic thrill, excitement, fun, and adrenaline rush that accompanied stealing and cruising in a stolen vehi- cle. In Gunn and Caissie’s ( 2006 ) study, male/female team serial killers engaged in murder for purely hedonistic reasons—for the “thrill” that accompanied the act of murder, its plan- ning, execution, and reminiscing about the crimes. Gunn and Caissie also quoted the work of earlier researchers who had demonstrated that serial murderers spent their leisure time fantasizing about killings (Leyton, 1986 ) and were involved in “subcultures of recreational homicide” (Jenkins, 1990 , p. 142). Theoretical background Numerous theories in the field of criminology have been proposed to explain the causes of violence and factors that draw people to gangs. While the early theories focused mainly on biological and psychological explanations, more recent efforts have concentrated on violence as a social phenomenon. Such theories explored how violence is learned and taught, how it arises from social associations, and how it is g rounded in social inequalities. One of these theories is social learning theory. Social learning theory has its roots in the work of Burges and Akers ( 1966 ), who combined the theory of differential association (Sutherland, 1947 )withthedevelopmentalpsychological theory of reinforcement (Bandura, 1977 ; Bandura & Walters, 1963 ). Social learning theory maintains that criminal values are learned by association and outlines the mechanisms by M. STODOLSKA ET AL. 280 which the learning occurs (Lilly, Cullen, & Ball, 2011 ). Akers and Sellers ( 2013 )arguedthat “the same learning process in a context of social structure, interaction, and situation produces both conforming and deviant behavior. The difference lies in the direction [of ] the balance of influences on the behavior” (pp. 81–82). According to Akers and Sellers, there are four fundamentalpremisesofsociallearning:differentialassociation,definitions,imitation,and differential reinforcement. Differential association refers to “direct association and interaction with others who engage in certain kinds of behavior as well as … indirect association and identification with more dis- tant reference groups” (Akers & Sellers, 2013 , p. 82). Through this association, an individual is exposed to different norms and values. Sutherland ( 1947 ), who developed the theory of differ- ential association, argued that criminal behavior is learned through interaction with others, especially within intimate personal groups, in the process of communication. This learning includes both the techniques of committing the crime and the specific motives, rationaliza- tions, and attitudes toward crime. Definitions are an individual’s own values and attitudes about what is acceptable versus unacceptable behavior. “They are orientations, rationalizations, definitions of the situation, andotherevaluativeandmoralattitudesthatdefinethecommissionofanactasrightor wrong, good or bad, desirable or undesirable, justified or unjustified” (Akers & Sellers, 2013 , p. 83). Some definitions may be general and grounded in, for example, religious beliefs, while others are specific and pertain to unique situations (Lilly et al., 2011 ). Definitions are learned and reinforced through the process of differential association. In explaining criminal behavior, definitions are seen as either approving of or neutralizing the behavior. Definitions that are approving, frame criminal behavior in a positive light, while neutralizing definitions justify and/or excuse criminal acts (Akers & Sellers, 2013 ). Imitation is the notion that individuals engage in behavior because they have previously witnessed others engaging in such acts (Lilly et al., 2011 ). The extent to which behaviors areimitatedisdeterminedinlargepartbythe“characteristicsofthemodels,thebehavior observed, and the observed consequences of the behavior” (Akers & Sellers, 2013 ,p.85).Def- initions and imitation are the most important determinants of people’s initial involvement in the crime. Individuals continue to commit illegal acts, however, because of differential reinforcements—rewards and punishments they anticipate and receive (Lilly et al.). Differential reinforcement is the process by which individuals experience and anticipate the consequences of their behaviors. Reinforcement of attitudes, beliefs, and values can be either positive or negative. Positive reinforcement occurs when actions are rewarded through positive reactions to the behavior as well as through positive outcomes. Negative reinforce- ment involves the removal of negative consequences or responses. Reinforcement can occur either directly or indirectly (e.g., through anticipation of rewards valued in subgroups) and can be social or nonsocial (e.g., through the effects of alcohol or drugs). The most important reinforcements tend to be social and result from interactions with peer groups and family members (Akers, Krohn, Lanza-Kaduce, & Radosevich, 1979 ). Social learning theory has been applied in numerous studies in the field of criminology and its propositions have been validated in empirical research on drug and alcohol use, rape and sexual coercion, terrorism, and other violent and nonviolent criminal behaviors (e.g., Akers et al., 1979 ;Spear&Akers, 1988 ). In particular, the concept of differential association has received significant support in empirical studies (e.g., Hochstetler, Copes, & DeLisi, 2002 ; Sellers, Cochran, & Winfree, 2003 ), and has even been called a “pillar of criminological though and research” (Hochstetler et al., 2002 , p. 559). LEISURE SCIENCES 281 Methods This study was grounded in the interpretivist tradition of social science (Crotty, 1998 )and used in-depth, semi-structured, individual interviews as a data collection method. We chose this tool because we believed it would enable interviewees to address the issues they deemed important while referring to a set of common topics designed to address the study’s research questions. Participants A total of 39 interviews with former gang members and recreation practitioners working with gang members were conducted. In this manuscript, however, only the data collected through interviews with 30 former gang members were used. Due to the Institutional Review Board’s concerns about safety of the research team and potential retribution to the study participants in case illegal activities were to be revealed, people who currently self-identified as gang mem- bers were excluded from the study. The gangs represented by our interviewees included Latin Kings and Latin Queens, Almighty Saints, Satan’s Disciples, Two-Sixes, Tutu Boys, Vice Lords, Latin Angels, La Raza, Insane Spanish Cobras, Almighty Bishops, Gangster Disciples, and Blackstone Rangers (Almighty Black P. Stone Nation). The roles played by the interviewed male gang members included that of a chief enforcer, leader, recruiter, soldier/security, and treasurer. The roles played by the female members of the gangs included girlfriends/wifeys, baby mommas, sisters, and stud-girls/tomboys. The time of desistance from gangs among the participantsrangedfrom1yeartoover10years.Gender,ethnicityandagebreakdownofthe participants are provided in Ta b l e 1 . Data collection Interviewees were recruited with the help of key informants from organizations such as Cure Violence/Ceasefire, Chicago, IL; Center for Women in Transition, Champaign, IL; New Life Community Church, Chicago, IL; and the Chicago Dream Center, Chicago, IL. The inter- viewees were recruited until the point of theoretical saturation has been reached. The inter- views were conducted face-to-face by the three researchers involved in the study. They lasted from one to one-and-a-half hours and were conducted in private offices of Ceasefire, Center for Women in Transition, Chicago Dream Center, and New Life Community Church. The Ta b l e  . The Sociodemographic Profile of the Interviewees. n Gender Men  Women  Race/Ethnicity African American  Latin American  White Unidentified  Age s  s s s and over  Unidentified  M. STODOLSKA ET AL. 282 interviewees were given gift cards to Walmart and Target as a token of appreciation for their participation. The interview guide included questions about deviant and risky leisure activities in the gangs and other topics, such as the impacts of gang involvement on health and well-being, as well as protective and risk factors for gang involvement. Some of the interview questions included: What kind of “fun” activities did you engage in while being a member of the gang? How would you describe the party scene when you were involved with the gang? The inter- views were audio-recorded and transcribed verbatim; pseudonyms were used. Data analysis The data analysis was conducted simultaneously with data collection and unfolded through four phases—initial/open coding, focused coding, axial coding, and theoretical coding (Charmaz, 2006 ;Strauss&Corbin, 1990 ). First, the data were classified into initial themes via incident-by-incident open coding through a comparative study of the occurrences. This process entailed defining what the data were about, with the goal of remaining open to various interpretational directions. Second, focused coding was conducted to center on the most meaningful and frequent open codes that served as the focal points around which the remaining open codes were organized and explained. Identified categories were noted, and major themes isolated. Third, axial coding was implemented to create a coherent, logical structure based on the axes of the key concepts relating categories to subcategories, spec- ifying the properties and dimensions of a category, and focusing on specific conditions, actions/interactions, and consequences (Strauss & Corbin). Fourth, theoretical coding was employed which focused on semantic relationships among the core codes and intertwining the empirical story line with relevant theoretical concepts. Findings The leisure behavior among gang members revolved around house parties that typically involved the use of drugs, alcohol, and sex; “hanging around” on street corners and “gang- banging”; violence perpetrated against members of opposing gangs or other members of the same gang; and various types of vandalism. Although drug and alcohol use will be described under the “house parties” theme and “violence” will be discussed as a separate category, many of the deviant leisure activities were interrelated rather than separate, occurred in multiple contexts (e.g., parties, cruising), and reinforced each other. House parties Drugs and alcohol consumption House parties took place in private houses, apartments or the so-called “trap houses” or “crack houses” where drugs were sold. As Andrea said, “There’s always a few houses, and that’s [where] we’ll all hang inside and kick it and drink and get high [and] sell drugs.” House parties almost always involved drugs and alcohol consumption. Diana described a “common house party” in these words: “Let’s say, we go to someone’s house, there’s about 20 or 30 of us in a house, drinking, smoking weed, hanging out. That’s a house party.” Summarizing life within a gang, Jasmine said, “Partying all the time [and a typical gang party involves] a bunch of cocaine on the table, a bunch of girls, drinks, and food, loud music.” Fiorella added, “Like smoke, all of these people are smoking weed. You walk into houses, and it’s like a fog machine goingbutit’snotafogmachine,it’ssmoke.” LEISURE SCIENCES 283 Drugs were used not only during house parties but also by gang members “hanging out” on street corners and “cruising” in their cars. Weed (marijuana) was the primary drug of choice. The use of PCP (phencyclidine), pills (e.g., Ecstasy), and acid was also mentioned by the inter- viewees. Whether gang members used “hard drugs” (e.g., crack cocaine, heroin) depended on therulesofthespecificgang,theirage,wealth,theroleplayedwithinthegang(theleaders and enforcers would often stay away from hard drugs in order to be “in control”), and timing (drug consumption in gangs evolved over the years). For instance, Jessica said that she only smoked weed in her gang when she was young, while Camilla revealed that she was “too poor” to afford weed: “We couldn’t afford weed. I think we were happy that we could afford a three- dollar hit of acid.” Rodrigo described some relaxation of the gang rules: “before cocaine was onethatyoucouldn’tuse,buttheystartedtobelenientonthatonebecause …it’sapartydrug. You do cocaine, and you have fun and you party and you stay awake.” Santiago explained why hard core drugs were not allowed in some gangs or among the gang leaders and enforcers: The reason why you can’t do heroin, crack or all those heavy drugs is that they don’t want to have a zombie. … You need to protect your neighborhood and how are you going to protect if you’re like a zombie? … They don’t want the guys to be drug addicts. Because what does a drug addict do?Hestealsfromhisfamily. …It’sallabouthimandhissatisfactionwithdrugs. Participants described a process of becoming involved in drug use in the gang. Santiago said, “When you join a gang, you get to try weed for the first time. You get a taste, little by little, the drugs and the violence. So, you start smoking, and you start getting used to it.” Peter added,“Italldependsonhowmuchyou’reopeningyourselfuptothewholelifestyle.Ifyou throw yourself in and you’re smoking and drinking, before you realize it, you’re so into it, you’re just lost already.” Sex Sexual acts were a common occurrence at house parties. They were engaged in by people in romantic and casual relationships, with multiple partners, and with professional prostitutes. The interviewed women recalled engaging in sex “for fun” or personal satisfaction, to please gang members, to be with their boyfriends, to earn money, as a form of initiation into a gang, or as a punishment for misdeeds. Most of the sexual encounters described by the participants seemed consensual, although in many cases consent was ambiguous due to manipulation and coercion and since the acts were often performed under the influence of drugs and alcohol. A few of the female interviewees also recounted being raped or witnessing rape. Milagros described, “I had sex while I was out on the streets; I was just out there having fun, enjoying it.” Fiorella believed that many girls engaged in sexual acts, even with multiple part- ners (i.e., “trains”), out of their free will. However, women who initiated or allowed sex with multiple partners were not respected by the gang. The topic of “trains” surfaced in a number of interviews. When asked to describe a train, Brandon replied, “Where one female … and you’ll have a whole line of guys coming and just having sex with her. They’ll ‘run a train.”’ A number of other interviewees believed that girls were frequently “tricked” or manipulated to engage in sexual acts. As Milagros said, “They used to [take] advantage with a lot of females. That’s why there’s all this coke in there, with all this weed in the neighborhood, all the drinking.” Hanging out and gangbanging “Hangingout”onthestreet,atthepark,orinthealleys(gangways),sellingdrugs,“chilling” or “kicking,” and “gangbanging” were also described as common ways of spending free time. Asked to describe her favorite leisure activity, Jessica replied, “Just basically, hanging around, M. STODOLSKA ET AL. 284 running around, drinking and stuff like that.” When asked where she would “hang around,” shesaid,“We’restayinganywhere,atthepark,infrontofthehouse,[at]theresthouse.”Carlos describedhistypical“funday”inthesewords: About 4 o’clock, we would be hanging out, drinking. We might jump in a car go cruising, looking for girls. Sometimes we bump into other gangs. We get into a fight with them, [then] we come back to the neighborhood, and we start joking, an d everybody is laughing. “Didn’t we mess some guys up or they have messed my car up.” It was just fun. Camila attributed her involvement in “gangbanging” to the lack of other opportunities for leisure in the neighborhood. When asked what she did “for fun” on weekends, she replied, “I hadnowheretogosowhatwasIgoingtodo?Hangingout,drivingaround,gangbanging. … We used to go into other neighborhoods, and I was spray painting, jump out and fight with girls from other neighborhoods.” Brandon described the thrill and rush that gangbanging has given him: Ijustwantedtobeonthestreet.Thatwasmyhigh.Thatwasmyrush.[Interviewer:Whatisit about the street that is so high-adrenaline?] The gangbanging. Causing harm to people by any means necessary. I would ask you what you are. I’ll take off your shirt and look for tattoos, and [if Idon’tfindany]I’llletyougo.Butusually,iftheywereinagang,theyallsaidwhattheyare,and we’ll just start fighting, or they’ll start shooting. We shoot at each other. [Interviewer: So that’s exiting?]Yeah.Always.Also,fear.Itstartsoffwithfear,andthenitendsupbeingarush.Because if I was to get into a fight with somebody, no matter what, I’m always scared, like, “Oh, man, here we go.” But I force myself. Once the drama starts going, you don’t think about fear no more. Fiorella compared the thrill she got from gangbanging to a drug addiction and a feeling of sexual satisfaction: [At first] I was doing it [gangbanging] in retaliation [for the killing of her brother] and then it became like a drug. It was addicting, the adrenaline rush of doing it. It was just out of this world. It’s like you get this excitement. It’s like you’re on a high, like after you had sex with somebody, good sex, like after that orgasm and you’re just in that serene place, that’s what I felt [when] gangbanging. That’s why I did it. Like me going to do the act was like a foreplay. After that, I felt the serene, the peace afterwards like after sex. That’s why it became addictive. Paula and Andrea considered selling drugs and “kicking” on the corner as “fun” activities. Paula described, “Just being around the corner, selling drugs, making money for the block party, throwing bottles at cars that don’t belong in our neighborhood. Pretty much the same old thing that everybody else does.” Andrea described her typical “fun evening” in these words: Everything is fun. Bagging the dope or just kicking it on the corner and even the part about the shooting when bullets go flying by. It doesn’t faze you. You’re very used to it. So that’s a typical night … we’ll just be getting high, kicking it, flirting … no responsibility, you live your life hour by hour. Violence perpetration Although violence was a part of parties and gangbanging, it deserves a separate examina- tion as a form of leisure activity in and of itself. Violence was perpetrated against “outsiders” (members of opposing gangs, bystanders) or against fellow gang members. Violence against outsiders Gang members engaged in violence against outsiders to feel admired and respected, because ofpeerpressure,orforthethrillorfunofdoingit.Theviolenceincludedshootings,beatings, and stabbings. Some of the violence was committed under the influence of drugs and alcohol; LEISURE SCIENCES 285 however, a number of people engaged in it while being sober for the sheer pleasure or fun of seeing other people suffer. Others engaged in violence for “instrumental” reasons—to move upintheganghierarchy,toprotectthegangterritory,forfinancialgain,asretaliation,for personal protection, to prove themselves to the gang or as a form of initiation. As Agustina described, Gang members drink, do drugs, and then they go beat somebody up, or shoot and kill somebody. Butthen,youalsohavegangmemberswhodoitbecauseitjustattractsthem.Ithinkthoseare the most dangerous because they naturally love it. Especially for men, I think they get trigger happy. Fiorella fit the description of a gang member who enjoyed engaging in violence. When askedwhatactivitiesweremost“fun”forher,shereplied, Shooting at people. Like rival gang members. That was the most exciting [thing] for me. It was thehigh.ItwasthefeelingIgot…likeahunterstalkshisprey.That’swhatitfeltliketome… driving around, looking for somebody to shoot at. Daniel recounted his first shooting as a teenager and the feeling of elation he had experi- enced afterwards: So, I remember they [senior gang members] gave us a shotgun. … That day, they [opposing gang members] were coming to our neighborhood and … I ran up to the truck, and I shot it, boom- boom! … I don’t know if I shot anybody, but it felt like HEAVEN, I swear to God! That first time I shot, it was so much excitement and adrenaline. … I was so happy. I was pumped up like crazy. I felt good. I was like, “Man, I like doing that!” For Brandon and many others, engaging in violence was less about the “fun” of doing it, but more about being accepted by other gang members and the feeling of community, recognition and support the gang provided. Brandon who joined a gang at the age of 14 recounted his initial feelings of fear and how he consciously developed a reputation for being violent and “crazy” to gain the respect of fellow gang members. I was scared because these guys I was hanging with, they were older and they’re jumping out of the car and fighting with people … and I’m nervous, I’m paranoid, but I never showed it. I just went with the flow. I was 14-years-old when I was a Disciple. [Gang] was like a football team. Everybodywantstobeinafootballteam.Noteverybodyisgoingtobeabletobeatusonthe starting, but they could be on the bench, they still got the jersey. It’s the same thing; everybody wanted to be one. … And then you had the people in the stands. People in the streets, the streets were the stands, and they were cheering us on. Reputation for violence as an indicator of status within a gang was also brought up by Agustina and Mason. Agustina said, “The more reckless you are, the more popular [you are] and[the]furtheryou’llgoinaganglife.”Mason,added,“[W]henthepressureison,what’sin yourmindis,ifIdon’tuseit[thegun],they’regoingtobecallingmeachump.IfIdouseit, there’s like an arena with a standing ovation.” Proving themselves to the gang was described by Peter as one of the reasons why younger teenagers engaged in violence. “If it’s a young kid that’s really shy, they’re going to make him prove himself. … Whether it’s to go to opposite side of the neighborhood and shoot atsomebody.Yougottotrytobreaktheminto.”Danielclaimedthatgangmemberswould also engage in violence as a form of protection and “self-preservation.” He recounted a story of his brother who was about to get robbed and ended up killing a person, conclud- ing, “So he’s like, ‘Either I killed him, or he was going to kill me. … What choice do I have?’ To the average person, that doesn’t seem logical, but to a guy who is in a gang it [does].” M. STODOLSKA ET AL. 286 Violence within the gang Violence was perpetrated also against members of the same gang as part of the initiation or a ritual for leaving the gang, as a punishment for transgressing gang rules (e.g., stealing, rape, losing guns, using prohibited drugs, snitching, defying authority), over romantic partners, for disrespecting someone, and to establish and/or maintain a hierarchy, status and respect within a gang. For instance, Bill described the internal hierarchy within a gang and violence that was used to establish and protect the “pecking order” and the leadership position, “[The gang leaders] they’re looked up to in the community. They’re like, ‘He’s the alpha guy.’ And when you’re accepted as the alpha male, you have to hold that position … If someone challenged you, you’ve got to fight.” Daniel described the phenomenon of “violations”: “A violation can be either an initiation to be in a gang, or a violation can be when you do something wrong “like if I were to lose a gun or disrespect somebody … or steal from my own gang … or if you want to leave the gang, you get violated.” In Camila’s gang, depending on the decision of the leader, a violation could be from one to five minutes of beating by other gang members surrounding the victim in a circle. Paula remarked that in her gang a violation would be “like 30 seconds if they don’t care; it was just for the principle of doing it.” Mason and Peter revealed that members of their gangs received violations for using the “wrong” drugs (e.g., crack, heroin), while Diana witnessed violations for rape of fellow gang members. Vandalism/destruction of property Cases of vandalism brought up during the interviews included burning property, tag- ging/graffiti, and ramming cars. While some participants mentioned vandalism in their descriptions of “gangbanging,” others talked about it separately as a common leisure activ- ity among gang members. For instance, when asked what he did “for fun” Adrian answered, “Going and burning cars. Just burn cars, garages, houses…. So you burn the car first, and then you go into back and tag quickly. … Yeah [laughing], trouble is fun for us.” Daniel described that he would spray paint gang signs even before officially joining a gang: Before I got the initiation, I would do graffiti for them. They would be like, “Hey, tag something for us. Here’s paint.” So, I would grab all the paint and … do these big, crazy tagging all over the neighborhood. The next morning, everybody will be like, “What the hell happened to the neighborhood?” I would tag on the floor, I would tag on the walls, I would tag on the roofs — everywhere. You knew that that was our block because it was tagged like crazy. Ramming or crashing cars of the “opposition” was mentioned in a number of interviews. When asked what she did “for fun” while being in the gang, Diana replied, Hanging around in the neighborhood, crashing our cars into their cars, stuff like that. I was raised in it. That’s all I knew. When I was younger, it was fun to steal cars and go to other neighborhoods, to other gangbangers and crash them up. We called that ramming. I would ram my car into theirs and make them spin, hurt them. It was fun. When asked to describe a “rammer,” Santiago replied, “A rammer is a truck or the box suburban. So, that’s an attractive thing to the gangs.” To Adrian, rammers were “old school trucks, like Broncos, K5s, and K10s.” He later described his favorite activity of ramming in these words: If we see the OPP [member of an opposing gang] in the car, we start ramming these guys. [I would] go outside [of the neighborhood]. I’ve got two low-key cars following me because as soon as I [leave] my hood [rival gang members] will shoot at me or break my windows.So,wealwayshaveliketherammerandsomebodyelseinthebackwiththedumper [pistol]. LEISURE SCIENCES 287 Discussion Thefindingsrevealedthatleisureprovidedacontextfortheinvolvementindeviantactiv- ities among all of the interviewed former gang members. Acts of violence such as beatings, shootings, and sexual violence were perpetrated during leisure-related events (e.g., house par- ties, cruising in cars) while drinking and drug use accompanied most leisure pastimes such as socializing on street corners. Most of the individuals were the perpetrators, victims, and witnesses of violence. Both male and female participants recalled initiating shootings and assaults, and witnessing other people being beaten, raped or killed. Rojek ( 1999b )arguedthat deviant leisure activities such as drug use, alcoholism, aggression, murder, and sexual assault have an elective affinity with leisure time and are “overwhelmingly situated in leisure time and leisure space” (p. 26). Hughes and Short ( 2014 ) argued that “routine activities” engaged in unstructured and unsupervised leisure contexts (e.g., hanging out, riding around in cars, and attending parties), are conducive to deviance as they bring together peers, “increase expo- sure to situations conducive to unconventional behaviors” (p. 441), and facilitate increasing status among participants. Similarly, in this study, deviant leisure activities that the intervie- wees participated in usually involved friends and were engaged in during free time as none of theformergangmembersheldfull-timeemploymentandmanyattendedschoolonlyonan irregular basis (if at all). Leisure not only provided a context, time, and opportunity for people to get involved in deviant pastimes, but many of the leisure activities in which the interviewees participated (drug use, binge drinking, violent sex) also were considered deviant. In a number of cases, deviant activities had morally acceptable equivalents (e.g., alcohol consumption, sex) but involved violence or were taken to the extreme. The former gang members were engaged in “leisure lifestyles” and created alternative communities and subcultures (Jenkins, 1990 ;Rojek, 1999a ). They spent most of their time together, socialized with each other, and often lived in houses owned by other gang members. In confirmation to Rojek’s ( 1999a ) thesis, these leisure subcultures controlled and often fought over leisure spaces such as parks, streets, and alleys. Rojek ( 1999b ) believed that people who engage in mephitic leisure which involves “external- izing feelings of aggression and engaging in incidents and/or careers of abusive leisure with others” (p. 29) develop a leisure career and form a coherent leisure identity. This was clearly the case among the gang members for whom not only killing, but other forms of deviant leisure, such as drug and alcohol use and violence, fused into a lifestyle of deviant transgression. The motivations for involvement in deviant leisure among the interviewees varied. Some of them can be classified along the categories of social learning theory. Differential associa- tion clearly played a role in propelling participants to engage in deviant pastimes. Actions of the interviewed former gang members were a direct result of association and interaction with deviant family members and peers. Children as young as 12 or 13 years old were slowly intro- duced to the gang subculture and the associated leisure lifestyle. They learned how to obtain andselldrugs,howtostalkvictims,howtoavoidpolice,andhowtooperatefirearms.They also acquired rationalization of and attitudes toward crime. The process of getting involved in the gang subculture followed certain steps (e.g., initiation, testing of loyalty) and depended on the personality and circumstances of a person and his or her willingness to “give him- self/herself to this lifestyle.” In terms of definitions , interviewees sometimes justified their actions as revenge for their familymembersorpeoplefromtheirgangbeingattackedorkilled.Inonecase,aninterviewee recalled his brother shooting a member of an opposite gang in self-defense. Gang subcultures developed their own codes of conduct and punished members for transgressions such as theft of money or guns belonging to the gang, unlawful drug use, abuse of members of the same M. STODOLSKA ET AL. 288 gang, or rape. While individual gang members had little respect for the societal laws and moral codes prohibiting such behaviors, for the most part, they internalized the rules of the gang or its individual chapters. Gangs established their own definitions of which drugs were approved to be taken by gang members, the hierarchy wit hin the gang, the meaning behind their sym- bols, markings, and colors, dues owed by gang members, and which gangs were considered their allies or foes. Moreover, gang activities were guided by their own moral codes such that female gang members who willingly participated in sexual acts with multiple partners were looked down upon and disrespected. Imitation clearly played a role in propelling gang members’ involvement in deviant leisure. Younger gang recruits imitated behaviors of their peers or older relatives involved in the gang subculture. In many cases, gang membership was an “intergenerational” tradition in which both parents and even grandparents of the interviewees were involved in the same gang. Younger recruits wanted to emulate the “tough” and “respected” members of their gang and knew that involvement in brazen acts of violence would help them climb the gang hierarchy. Differential reinforcement was one of the most important motivating factors for involve- ment in deviant leisure. Most of the interviewees committed crimes because they knew it would gain them the approval of the audience, earn them the respect of their group, and help them move up in the gang hierarchy. Showing fear, on the other hand, would relegate them to the lowest rungs of the gang and earn disfavor of their older friends and female members of the gang. Direct reinforcement was gained through the anticipation of valued rewards (e.g., praise,recognition,support,andafeelingofbeingapartofthecommunityora“team”)while indirect reinforcement was achieved through the effects of drugs and alcohol (under which much of the crime was committed). All of the interviewed former gang members were well aware of the possible negative reinforcements—the possibility of being beaten or killed by rivaled gangs or arrested by the police. Many motivations for involvement in deviant leisure activities, however, were in addition to those outlined in the social learning theory and thus broaden the array of factors that may lead people to engage in deviant acts. They included thrill and pleasure from committing crimes and even achieving flow-like states. Some of the participants described the “thrill,” “rush,” and “adrenaline” associated with the involvement in gangbanging, dodging bullets, and shooting at other people. One of the interviewed women compared stalking her victims to stalking prey and the feelings she had experienced following shooting at someone to sexual arousal. Some interviewees also likened the adrenaline rush associated with involvement in violence and killing to a drug addiction, which made them more attached to that lifestyle. Similarly, Rojek ( 1999a ) argued that “some leisure settings deliberately engender aggressive and sexual emotions and, for some individuals, the gratification of these emotions is the paramount quest in their leisure careers” (p. 27) and brought up Katz’s ( 1988 )argumentthattransgressionis inherently pleasurable and is a result of the search for excitement and enjoyment. Williams ( 2016b )citedLeyton’s( 2005 ) work in which killing was described as a form of recreation for the perpetrators, and serial murder was compared to hunting humans. Rojek ( 1999b )also used examples of Fred and Rosemary West who committed multiple killings in search for “peak experience”—an intense pleasurable state that is not available in everyday life. This type of peak experience, or flow (Csikszentmihaly, 1990 ), was clearly sought by some of our inter- viewees. Few of the participants recounted that initially they had to overcome fear and force themselves into committing criminal acts, but the adrenaline rush propelled them into action. They objectified their victims referring to them as “opps” or “prey.” Signs of membership in opposing gangs (e.g., tattoos, gang insignia) relegated their victims to less than human and made performing violent acts easier (Rojek, 1999b ). Many of the interviewees commented LEISURE SCIENCES 289 on how enjoyable killing, violence, and “mayhem” were to them while they were involved in gang activities. What is troublesome is how pervasive this type of “killing for pleasure” was in the gang subculture. Considering the number of gangs operating in the United States and the number of people involved in this type of behavior, involvement in gang activities as leisure has serious consequence for the public safety in our country. In addition to social process theories (differential association and neutralization theory), Williams and Walker ( 2006 ) cited traditional criminological theories (e.g., Sales, 1971 )that related crime to sensation seeking and emphasized individual biological processes rather than social contexts in explaining criminal behavior. They argued that “leisure may func- tion as a criminogenic need” and that leisure gives opportunities to “emphasize sensation- seeking traits of offenders” (p. 197). Such people who display antisocial attitudes also have personalities that make them more prone to substance abuse and have difficulty yielding to authority. In particular, many individuals involved in the obstruction of justice, firearms offenses, robbery, fraud, burglary, theft, and violence share characteristics of the antisocial personality disorder (ASPD) (Roberts & Coid, 2010 ). The ASPD is characterized by traits such as reckless disregard for social norms; impulsive behavior; lack of concern for feel- ings, needs or suffering of others; lack of remorse after hurting or mistreating another; and use of dominance or intimidation to control others (American Psychiatric Associa- tion, 2013 ). Davison and Janca ( 2012 ) comprehensive review of the literature on the role of personality disorders in criminal behavior revealed that ASPD “accounts for most of the relationship between offending and personality disorder” (p. 40). They also argued, how- ever, that a diagnosis of a personality disorder does not necessarily predict people’s offend- ing behavior. Whether or not people engage in criminal acts is also dependent on “the associated co-morbid symptoms, including substance misuse, as well as the actual traits displayed and how these interact in particular circumstances” (p. 43). Similarly, in our study, alcohol and drug use accompanied much of the violence and property destruction engaged in by the gang members. Overall, our research clearly confirmed that both individ- ual factors and social processed played a role in explaining people’s involvement in deviant pastimes. Our study provides an interesting addition to the developing research on deviant leisure (Williams, 2016a ,2016b ),withaparticularemphasisondeviancecommittedaspartofthe gang-related activities. It also adds insights into the literature on leisure motivations that, for the most part, has focused on exploring motivations for involvement in positive pastimes. In particular, our study revealed that activities such as committing crime and involvement in violence provided participants with the same benefits as non-deviant leisure activities, includ- ing thrill, fun, desire to be accepted by the peer group, recognition by others, establishing a place in the social hierarchy, being together with friends, and connecting with members of opposite sex. Many of the participants themselves used leisure analogies (e.g., football, sex, hunting) to describe their motivations for involvement and benefits obtained from participa- tionindeviantleisure.Atthesametime,however,theirliveswereconditionedbyanenviron- ment much different from that enjoyed by others who have been the subject of much of the existing leisure research. To a significant extent, deviant leisure was normative to the life in their communities. The participants often evoked phrases such as “everybody does it,” “you watchthistypeofthinggrowingup,”andtalkedaboutthelackofopportunitiesforengage- ment in more positive leisure pursuits. Moreover, boredom and “having nothing better to do” and “nowhere else to go,” “having no responsibility,” and “living your life hour by hour” were frequently mentioned motivations for involvement in deviant leisure activities. Simi- larly, Drozda’s ( 2006 ) study highlighted the importance of boredom as a context for juvenile M. STODOLSKA ET AL. 290 sensation-seeking activities, and the pervasive need for sensory stimulation that was behind their delinquent leisure acts. Although this study generated some interesting results, it has several limitations that need to be acknowledged. First, its findings are based on a sample of former gang members who had left their gangs from one year to several years prior to the study. Thus, their recollections of the events surrounding their involvement in gangs varied. Second, former gang members interviewed in this study already managed to “turn their lives around,” and for the most part, were actively engaged in organizations whose aim was gang prevention. Thus, their views might not be representative of people who are currently involved in gang activities and whose individual characteristics, including personality orientations, may be quite different. Third, former gang members interviewed in this study were primarily of Latino and African Amer- ican descent. Only one of the participants declared herself as non-Hispanic White and, thus, former members of Caucasian and Asian gangs were not represented in this study. More- over, by design, the data were collected from former members of gangs who operated in the Metropolitan Chicago Area and a medium-size Illinois town, and thus, their views may not be representative of members of other gangs in the United States. This study examined gang membership as a form of leisure activity. Its findings expose the possibility of future research on topics such as the use of leisure and recreation as a tool for assisting in gang prevention and gang desistance efforts. Moreover, future studies should examine differences in involvement in deviant leisure among female and male gang members and how the effects of people’s individual characteristics (including their personality traits) and social contexts affect their propensity to get involved and desist from gang activities. More broadly, we believe that future leisure research should pay more attention to different forms of deviant leisure since such explorations could lead to a better understanding of the broader leisure phenomena. References Akers, R. L. (1973). Deviant behavior: A social learning approach .Belmont,CA:Wadsworth. Akers, R. L., Krohn, M. D., Lanza-Kaduce, L., & Radosevich, M. (1979). 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