Undergraduate Research & Scholarships

Juan Flores Humanities and Social Science

Police Tactics: Reproduction of Criminality in Fragmented Communities

My project seeks to address how gang policing perpetuates divisions in fragmented communities, while jointly producing and reproducing criminality through the labeling of individuals as gang members. Gang policing claims to respond to conflict and rivalries between gangs, but how does this policing itself produce and perpetuate these divisions within the community? My argument will build on other scholarship but fill in the gap of how law enforcement, specifically gang police, continues to divide communities and their members. That there is no official definition of what it is to be a gang member may result in individuals whom are labelled as “gang members” being objectified by the state (e.g. law enforcement) and so-called experts in the field (Hiestand 2018). My research seeks to better understand the relationship between gang policing and the fragmentation of those communities it targets, by reviewing existing scholarship and conducting sociological interviews with members of these communities.

Message To Sponsor

Thanks to the Banatao fund I had an amazing and enlightening summer. Even though I had struggled with defining for myself what research is, I was able to learn various skills that will allow me to conduct in-depth analysis and synthesize scholarship. As I started to indulge myself over the summer with various articles and books, I didn't feel confident enough to pursue my research; however, as I was assisted by my advisors, I grew confident not only on my topic, but in myself. My future plans are to continue my work with the Honors Thesis program in the Sociology department.
Major: Sociology
Mentor: Laleh Behbehanian
Sponsor: Banatao Fund
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