ERIC Number: ED396889
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1996-Apr
The Alienation of Rural Middle School Students: Implications for Gang Membership.
Shoho, Alan R.
Research suggests that public schools and their authoritarian organizational structure contribute to adolescent alienation, which in turn fosters gang membership. This paper examines alienation and gang membership among eighth-graders in a rural middle school in south central Texas. All 147 students in grade 8 completed a modified version of the Dean Alienation Scale that included questions on demographic data and gang membership. Results indicate that gang affiliation was significantly related to higher levels of normlessness and powerlessness, but was not related to feelings of isolation. Males felt significantly more normless than females. Although Hispanics made up nearly 80 percent of the school population, they felt more powerless to influence their education than did Anglos. Hispanics with little knowledge of gangs felt more normless than Hispanics with extensive gang knowledge, while the reverse was true for Anglos. Suggestions are offered for nurturing a nonalienating school environment for all ethnic groups. Contains 22 references and 7 data tables. (SV)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (New York, NY, April 8-12, 1996).