Gangs of Chicago: Perceptions of Crime and its Effect on the Recreation Behavior of Latino Residents in Urban Communities

Monika Stodolska, Juan Carlos Acevedo, Kimberly J. Shinew

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Perception of safety is an important factor affecting the leisure behavior of Latinos residing in urban neighborhoods. Yet research on how fear of crime and fear of gangs in particular affect leisure of ethnic and racial minorities is underdeveloped. The objectives of this study are to examine how gangs operate in recreation spaces in Latino neighborhoods, how gangs affect the use of outdoor recreation environments and how Latinos respond to these issues. The study is based on focus groups conducted with Latino residents in Chicago. Findings indicate gang members are almost constantly present in parks, which serve as spaces for drug use and distribution. Moreover, gangs operate in other areas of the neighborhood making it unsafe to access parks. Participants employ strategies to address the gang problem including avoidance, protective and collective behaviors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)466-482
Number of pages17
JournalLeisure Sciences
Volume31
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2009

Keywords

  • Fear of crime
  • Gangs
  • Latinos
  • Recreation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management

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