Power of United States Political Parties and Street Gangs: An Analysis of the Strategies Used to Secure Power

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The University of Maryland McNair Scholars Undergraduate Research Journal, 1, no. 1 (Winter 2008): 130-142



Many organizations have reputations according to what they can provide others. Street gangs are looked down upon by society because they are violent, are involved with drugs, and commit crimes. Political parties are looked at with respect because they are made up of the potential future leaders of the nation in which voters place their trust upon. This conceptual paper will show that the strategies between both groups are not that different. The strategies used to secure power will be applied to both urban street gangs and political parties to explore the similarities and differences in both organizations. The inquiry will use a theoretical framework from the literature on power and how it is secured. The frameworks used are based on Stewart Clegg’s theory of having power divided upon sub-units, the pluralists’ versus the stratificationists’ points of views, and an analysis of action-oriented themes. The theories will be used to analyze the individual groups and then used to compare the two organizations. Future research will also use the same theoretical framework but will be applied differently. The recommended research for the future will be qualitative as well. The research will be a focus group and then have the members of the focus groups set up a one-on-one interview. The interviewees will be individuals that work closely with the Republican and Democratic political parties as well as individuals that work with current and former gang members.