Youth Gangs research study

The national project known as ‘Youth Gangs: The Australian Experience' was headed by Associate Professor Rob White from the University of Tasmania. It is the second such study examining youth gangs.

This project was based on research published by the Australian Multicultural Foundation in 1999 which consisted of a seven-volume report examining the formation and sociology of youth gangs and their ethnicity.

'Youth Gangs: The Australian Experience' offers a national perspective on the issue of youth gangs. The project was undertaken by the OzGang Research Network: Associate Professor Rob White, University of Tasmania; Associate Professor Scott Poynting, University of Western Sydney; Carmel Guerra, Centre for Multicultural Youth Issues; Hass Dellal, Australian Multicultural Foundation; and Gerard Daniells, Australasian Police Multicultural Advisory Bureau.

The project encapsulated three major dimensions including:

  • Examining and identifying the various types of youth group formations starting with youth subcultures and ending with criminal gangs.
  • Examining the trends of specific types of youth group formations by investigating the social processes undertaken by individual and/or group movement (particularly focusing on the movement between groups).
  • Analysing the various strategies adopted by law enforcement agencies aimed at the prevention of criminal formation.

A number of methodologies were adopted that focused on primary research techniques such as interviewing street-present young people in each capital city. There was also related research running alongside this project that investigated the issue of gangs in schools and anti-gang strategies in general. This material was collected via questionnaires, program implementation and projects.