Gang Life In Two Cities Chapter Summary

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The book, Gang Life in Two Cities: An Insider’s Journey, by Robert J. Durán to be put simply, is about the gang life in Denver, CO and Ogden, UT. Durán created this book to share his research findings. When Durán moved with his family to Huntsville, UT (but went to school in Ogden) he found himself immersed in an area where gangs were becoming popular. Durán, an ex-gang member himself was curious on how and why gangs operate. He found this research important, because he saw firsthand how society had a role in the formation of gangs. Durán felt that it needed to be brought to light what he witnessed, while being a gang member himself, and when he conducted his research. This book was different than other literature that had been produced, …show more content…
With his ex-gang member background, he truly wants his readers to see the issue from a different perspective. He mentions several times that gangs are known as violent delinquents. For example, on page 72 of Durán’s book he shared an excerpt from a news article from 1944 that was written in such a manner that it intended to strike fear in the local residents of Denver. Durán’s excerpt reads: “Terrible Denver Tragedy: GANGS OF YOUTH, 16 to 18 years old, wandering the downtown streets, beating up women, assaulting soldiers, dragging spectators from movie houses, kicking them and pulling their hair!..” (p. 72)
Throughout this book he discusses and shares the personal interviews that he conducts with some of the gang members, ex-gang members, and gang affiliates. Durán mentioned that he wanted to give their stories a voice. He writes as if he hopes that the reader can see the struggles that gang members go through on a daily
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Due to the fact that Durán was involved in the Utah gang life he grew up in an area that was occupied by primarily white Mormon people. Throughout the last few chapters of this book, Durán mentions how the Mormon religion came to exist, and how the gang life was previously, before the huge increase of Mormon people. Then discusses the role religion had in the formation of the gangs. In the book, Durán explains how harsh the Mormon people viewed people of minority. The Mormon people were in support of slavery, and believed that people of darker skin color were not able to be leaders. This was because they believed that they were associated with Cain’s seed (p. 99). The only escape for non-white (primarily Latino) and non-Mormon children to receive an education was to go to a Catholic school. However, with this the children were segregated by gender and were required to pay five dollars a month to attend (a cost that some could not afford to pay). The children were also not allowed to speak Spanish in school. The unwelcoming environment made these children turned off to the idea of education and learning (p.

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