The V8 boys : a case study of a delinquent gang.
Christie, Graeme Thomas Charles
A case study is presented of a delinquent gang known as the VS boys who lived and carried out their activities in Dunedin, New Zealand. The name VS refers to the VS cars owned and driven by members of this group. The objectives of this research were to document how VS boys perceived their world; provide a description of the structure and activities of the group; and attempt to explain the observations which had been made of gang life. Data for this study were collected by carrying out participant observation in the group during 1973 and 1974, and analysis, for the greater part was carried out within a framework of symbolic interaction and W. B. Miller's focal concerns. There were many findings on different levels. Primarily it was found that VS boys perceived their world as being dominated by a series of focal concerns, namely: (1) masculinity and the search for excitement; (2) cohesion and conflict; and (3) equality. The V8 group, which was found to lack a permanent hierarchical structure of authority, engaged in activities related to their focal concerns. That these activities were carried out mainly in public had important implications for the eventual dissolution of the group. It was proposed that in addition to the intrinsic import of these focal concerns, the behaviour of V8 boys was influenced by the expectations they attributed to both outsiders and other group members.
Advisor: Mercurio, Joseph; Rich, Peter
Degree Name: Doctor of Philosophy
Degree Discipline: Sociology
Publisher: University of Otago
Research Type: Thesis