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Why Girls FightFemale Youth Violence in the Inner City$

Cindy D. Ness

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780814758403

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814758403.001.0001

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(p.177) Index

(p.177) Index

Source:
Why Girls Fight
Publisher:
NYU Press
Acland, Charles, 24
African Americans:
girls’ need for assertiveness and self-reliance, 10, 91–92, 97, 98, 111;
girls’ poverty, 158n12;
media representations of youth, 158n13;
police perception of males, 133
alternative disciplinary schools:
academic goals in, 118;
fighting/planning fights in, 111, 124–127;
placement in, 60–61, 124;
prohibition on book bags in, 118–119;
stigma attached to, 121–122, 124;
students in, 56;
teachers’ experience level in, 124;
teachers’ views of girls in, 125–126
Anderson, Elijah:
police perception of Black males, 133;
respect in inner-city neighborhoods, x–xi, 47–48, 157n1;
survival strategies in inner cities, 69;
violence by males, x–xi, 8, 62, 100–101
Anyon, Jean, 123
Artz, Sibylle, 159n23
attachment disorder, 99
Baldwin, J. M., 160n33
Baldwin, James, 133
Bloods (gang), 32
“B.M.” (the term), 86
Boas, Franz, x
Bourgois, Phillipe, 100–101, 164n7
boys:
drug selling by, 144;
as friends, 59;
girls, relations with, 59, 85, 86, 101, 130;
handguns in school, 158n11;
pride in girlfriend’s physical prowess, 102;
respect to inner-city boys, 77;
simultaneous sexual partners, 85
boys’ fighting:
fighting over a girl, 84–85;
girls’ fighting compared to (see fighting, girls’ compared to boys’);
guns in, use of, 90, 144;
harm inflicted by, 130;
humiliation as precursor to, 144;
instrumental nature of, 66–67;
as “rational,” 130;
respect among peers and, 132, 143–145
Brown, Lyn, 19, 20, 159n23
Brown, W. K., 32–33
Burman, Michelle, 164n8
Campbell, Anne:
female gangs, 32;
female psychological development, 12;
violence by girls, 13, 66
Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 152–153
Chesney-Lind, Meda, 157n3, 157n4, 159n23, 162n12
class:
girls’ violence and, 5, 9, 141–142, 157n3;
social realities and, 9;
“underclass” (the term), 30–31
“code switching” between behavioral norms, 48–49, 64
collective devaluation by society, 49, 165n3
community ethos, fighting and, 37, 46–47, 52, 69–70, 99, 145–146
Crips (gang), 32
culture:
girls’ violence and, xii, 9;
human development and, 9;
institutional structures and, 9;
psychology and, individual, ix, xii;
as a structure, 116;
violence and, ix, xii, 9
(p.178) deindustrialization in Philadelphia, 26–31
developmental theory, 160n33
Devine, John, 8, 118
Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (APA), 38
DiIulio, John, 6, 128–129
double-generational dynamic, 91–92, 107–113, 147–149
drug selling:
by boys, 144;
gangs and, 32;
by girls, 61–62;
likelihood of street fighting, 144;
respect in drug trade, 164n7
education. see schools
Erikson, Erik, 49, 160n33
ethnography, 11
female psychological development, 12
female violence:
in American media, xi;
normative view of, 12–13;
women’s participation in violence worldwide, xi. See also girls’ violence
femininity, girls’ violence and, 10, 100–102
Feshbach, N., 159n24
Feshbach, N. D., 159n24
fighting, girls’ compared to boys’:
abuse as a causative factor, 82–83;
anger issues, presence of, 129;
breaking up/ending the fight, 87–88, 109, 125;
community support for, 145–146;
courtroom view of, 151;
double-generational dynamic, presence of, 91–92, 107–113, 147–149;
expressive/emotional vs. instrumental/rational nature, 1, 66–67, 130, 135, 136, 150–151;
face-cutting, presence of, 89–90;
issues involved, number of, 130, 150–151;
likelihood of fighting, 1, 65, 144;
likelihood of repetition, 126;
mental health issues, presence of, 129;
motivations for fighting, 140–141;
number of issues involved in the fight, 126;
police view of, 134–137, 151;
respect issues, presence of, 126, 132, 143–145;
she-said situations vs. money and drug-related issues, 1, 132;
treatment-oriented disposition, frequency of, 130–131, 152;
unsolvable vs. solvable issues, presence of, 131;
weapons usage, 89, 130, 132, 144
firearm-related deaths, 158n6
Freud, Sigmund, 12, 160n33
gangs:
in 1990s, 104;
Bloods and Crips, 32;
drug selling and, 32;
gang fights, 32;
girls in, 32–33, 147, 159n20;
“Holly-Ho’s,” 32–33;
in Philadelphia, 32–33, 104
gender:
gender inequality, 10, 159n23;
gender-responsive programming for girls, 140;
girls’ violence and, 157n3;
violence and, xii
“ghetto” (the term), 117
Gilligan, Carol:
“contrapuntal voices,” 20;
Listening Guide Method, 19;
qualitative approach to narrative, x;
relational psychological theory, x, 19
Gilligan, James, 8
girls:
aspirations of, 120–121;
as “B.M.,” 86;
boys, relations with, 59, 85, 86, 101, 130;
drug selling by, 61–62;
in gangs, 32–33, 147, 159n20;
gender-responsive programming, effectiveness of, 140;
physical aggression in their lives, 52;
potential for violence, 132 (See also girls’ violence);
rejection of mainstream values, 117;
trust of other girls, 59;
view of themselves and authorities, 117. See also inner-city girls; middle-class girls
girls’ fighting, 45–68;
in 1960s, 95–96, 105–106;
alternative schools and, placement in, 60–61;
among study participants’ grandmothers, 25;
arrests for, 60–61;
avoiding/walking away from fights, 58–62, 65, 66;
backing up one another in, 72–73, 107–113;
biting during, 87;
boys’ fighting compared to (see fighting, girls’ compared to boys’);
carrying a knife as a deterrent to, 51, 89;
“code switching” between behavioral norms, 48–49, 64;
“codes,” protocols for, 2, 5;
cutting opponent’s face during, 89–90;
demographic profile of study’s (p.179) participants, 18, 39, 40–43;
ending, 87–88, 109, 125;
erroneous assumptions about, 4–5, 146–147;
exaggerated claims about fights, 42–43, 54, 60, 72;
expressive/emotional nature of, 67, 135, 136;
family troubles and, 63, 80–81, 99;
fear of fighting, 52–53, 67;
fighting security personnel in stores, 56, 63;
girlhood, importance to, 2;
on a girl’s doorstep, 108;
hair pulling and scratching during, 54, 87;
identity enhancement through, 62–66;
keeping fights “on the up and up,” 110–111;
in Lee neighborhood, 1–2;
levels of, 4;
likelihood of being rolled on, 72–73;
limits to, 52, 108;
in Melrose Park neighborhood, 1–3;
nervousness before, 88;
peer ties, strengthening of, 67–68;
pinching during, 87;
police response to, 61;
regrets, remorse for, 52–53, 88, 99;
rush felt before fighting, 53–54;
on school grounds, 111, 124–127;
seeking out fights, 53–58;
spectators for, 87, 102, 109, 112, 137;
spitting during, 87;
striking first as strategy in, 70–71, 88, 95;
unfair fighting, 87;
in white, middle-class communities, 4, 9
girls’ fighting, reasons for, 69–90;
attachment disorder, 99;
community ethos, 37, 46–47, 52, 69–70, 99;
decision to fight, 45–46;
developmental component, 46;
ethic of presumptive retaliation, 69;
ethic of reciprocity, 69, 71, 72–73;
excitement, 63–64;
fear of male sexual violation, 62;
fighting over boys, 83–87;
fun from fighting, 79–80;
humiliation, 144;
inclination to fight, 52;
individual psychology, 46;
insecurity, 77;
insults to their mother, 77–78;
jealousy and envy, 74–76;
letting off steam, 56, 80–82;
loyalty to others, 78–80;
macro factors and organizational structures, 4, 50–52;
maternal physical abuse, 10, 62, 82–83, 100, 164;
most frequently cited, 73–74;
motivation, 1–2, 8–9, 139–141;
praise and adulation, 66;
relational disappointment, 58;
respect among peers, 2, 3, 45, 47–50, 59–60, 132, 143–145;
self-defense, 47, 71;
self-esteem, 57, 74–77;
social capital from reputation for being violent, 1, 8, 9–10, 12, 47–48, 62, 70, 72–73;
traditional explanations of, 2, 12–14, 139–140, 142, 164n14;
violations of the pecking order, 131
“girls gone wild” (the term), 7
girls’ violence:
adult courts and, 42;
arrest rate in Philadelphia, 162n11;
class and, 5, 9, 141–142, 157n3;
collective devaluation by society and, 49, 165n3;
contexts of, 5, 41–42, 157n3;
culture and, xii, 9;
ethnography in studying, 11;
exaggerations about, 42–43, 54, 60, 72;
family history and, 45–46, 80–81, 99;
female youth homicide, 158n6;
femininity and, 10, 100–102;
feminist authors’ understanding of, 13;
fighting (see girls’ fighting);
firearm-related deaths, 158n6;
gender and, 157n3;
gender inequality and, 10, 159n23;
girls as percent of juvenile violent crime, 159n19;
identity formation functions of, 8–9;
inner-city girls and, 1, 8, 9–10;
institutional influences and, xii, 115;
instrumental value of, 103, 142–143;
interdependent and mutual influences on, xii, 4;
internalization of oppression, 165n3;
media representations of, 5–6, 7;
patriarchy, casting off of, 10;
peak period for, 163n7;
prevalence of fighting, 163n8;
race and, 5, 9, 141–142, 157n3;
research on, 5, 11–14, 41, 133, 141–142, 154–156;
siblings’ trajectories, differences in, 96;
sociocultural factors and, xii, 11, 18, 99, 155;
“symbolic violence,” 165n3;
typical display in inner cities, 5;
weapon preferences, 89, 164n15;
weapons, consequence of using, 42, 137;
weapons, fighting with, 89–90. See also physical aggression
guns in school, 158n11
(p.180) handguns in school, 158n11
“Holly-Ho’s” (gang), 32–33
homicide, female youth homicide, 158n6
human development, 9
hypervigilance, 38
identity enhancement through girls’ fighting, 62–66
identity formation, girls’ violence in, 8–9
“inner-city” (the term), 23–24
inner-city boys, respect to, 77
inner-city girls:
girls’ violence and, 1, 8, 9–10, 12;
jealousy and envy among, 74–76;
need for assertiveness and self-reliance, 10, 91–92, 97, 98, 111;
outward appearance, emphasis on, 101;
respect to, 77;
view of having a police record, 145–146
inner-city neighborhoods:
mother’s ability to monitor children, 92;
percent of poor blacks living in, 23;
personal survival vs. “civility” in, 69–70, 100;
respect in, 157n1;
suspicions in, 69–70;
trends in, 23–24;
trust among individuals in, 70;
violence in, 47
inner-city youth:
lack of mobility and prosocial structures, 145;
violence and, ix
institutional structures:
culture and, 9;
girls’ violence and, xii, 115;
human development and, 9;
juvenile justice system (see juvenile justice system);
law enforcement (see police);
schools (see schools)
Irwin, Katherine, 157n3, 157n4
Jack, Dana, 11, 76
jealousy and envy, 74–76
Jones, Nikki, 157n4
Juvenile Justice Act (1966), 33–34
juvenile justice system, 127–133;
charging youths as adults, 1128;
focus on individual criminality, 31;
girls’ recidivism and re-arrest rates, 131, 153;
imprisonment of girls, 33, 158n15;
judicial discretion, 132, 151–152;
“mandatory minimums,” 33;
Miriam White case, effect of, 34–35;
status offenses, 132;
transitional programs for girls returning to their communities, 153;
treatment-oriented disposition of girls’ cases, 129, 130–131, 152;
Youth Violence Act (1994), 132;
“zero-tolerance” policies, 33–35
juvenile violent crime:
1980s-1990s surge in, 6–8, 32;
arrest rate for black vs. white juveniles, 33;
arrest rate for girls and boys (2001), 7–8, 162n11;
availability of weapons and, 32;
girls as percent of, 159n19;
“super-predators,” 128–129;
zero-tolerance approach to, 129
Kensington Welfare Rights Union, 28
Knight, Rosemary, 34
Lamb, Sharon, 66
law enforcement. See police
Leadbeater, Bonnie, 11
Lee neighborhood (Philadelphia), 38–39;
court system, residents’ view of, 72;
feelings of marginalization in, 117;
female-headed households in, 39;
girls’ fighting in, 1–2;
homicide rate in, 39–40;
housing in, 38–39;
importance of girls being able to defend themselves, 5;
male and female arrest rates for violence, 40;
men’s role in, 92;
police presence in, 39, 133;
poverty in, 35;
property values in, 35;
racial enclaves in, 38;
row houses in, 29;
socioeconomic profile of, 36;
stores/shops in, 27, 39;
“white flight” from, 38;
women’s role in, 97
LeVine, Robert, x
Lifton, Robert Jay, ix–x
Listening Guide Method, x, 19–20
Manayunk (suburb of Philadelphia), 27
Maximum Security (Devine), 118
media:
female violence in, xi;
girls’ violence in American, 5–6, 7;
representation of African American youth, 158n13
(p.181) Melrose Park neighborhood (Philadelphia), 35–38;
after-schools programs in, scarcity of, 37;
block parties in, 38;
court system, residents’ view of, 72;
family ties to, 38;
fast food joints in, 36;
feelings of marginalization in, 117;
female-headed households in, 39;
girls’ fighting in, 1–3;
homicide rate in, 39–40;
hypervigilance in, 38;
importance of girls being able to defend themselves, 5;
male and female arrest rates for violence, 40;
men’s role in, 92;
police presence in, 36, 133;
poverty in, 35;
property values in, 35;
racial makeup of, 36;
row houses in, 29;
socializing by youth in, opportunities for, 37;
socioeconomic profile of, 36;
stores/shops in, 27–28, 36–37;
violence as part of community ethos in, 37;
women’s role in, 97
middle-class girls:
incentive/disincentive structure in, 4, 9, 10;
jealousy and envy among, 75–76;
nondirect aggression among, 50;
relational aggression among, 75–76;
relational disappointment and, 58
Miller, Jody, 157n3, 158n5
Morash, Merry, 159n23
mothers of girls who fight:
“blunt” interactions with daughters, 93–94;
circumstances necessitating fighting by, 106–107;
commitment to daughters’ safety, 111;
as daughters’ backup in fights, 107–113, 131, 149;
desire for daughters to transcend the neighborhood, 100;
discouragement of dainty behavior, 100;
double-generational dynamic, 91–92, 107–113, 147–149;
emphasis on self-reliance by, 93;
encouragement of daughters’ fighting, 91–92, 97, 98, 111, 148;
fighting after pregnancy, 103–104;
fighting history of, 102–107;
fighting when high, daughters’ view of mother’s, 103;
gang membership among, 104;
girls’ defense of, 111–112;
gratuitous fighting, daughters’ view of mother’s, 105;
keeping fights “on the up and up,” 110–111;
physical abuse by, 10, 62, 82–83, 100, 164;
sole wage earners among, 92;
view of daughters’ tendency to prolong fighting, 107;
view of necessity of daughters’ fighting, 94–97
National Girl study Group, 133
Ness, Cindy:
aggression as strengthener of ties among girls, 67;
girls’ relations with boys, 86;
girls’ sense of invulnerability, 21;
girls’ social capital from reputation for being violent, 47;
girls’ willingness to fight, 54, 62–63, 65;
jealousy and envy among girls, 76;
police response to girls’ fighting, 61
No Child Left Behind Act (2001), 118
Obsuth, Ingrid, 164n10
Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OFFDP), 7–8, 133, 158n11
oppression, internalization of, 165n3
patriarchy, casting off of, 10
peers:
fighting as gaining respect of, 2, 3, 45, 47–50, 59–60, 132, 143–145;
fighting as strengthening of ties to, 67–68, 78–80
Philadelphia, 23–25;
boarded-up houses in, 29;
deindustrialization of, 26–31;
drug selling in, 32;
educational attainment, 31;
gangs in, 32–33;
gulf between rich and poor, 23;
home ownership rate, 31;
household income, 31;
manufacturing in, 24–27;
murder rate, 35;
population decline, 31;
racial divisions, 23;
row houses in, 25, 28–29;
Schmidt’s Brewing Factory, 28;
service jobs in, 30;
suburban flight from, 29;
textile industry in, 24, 26–27;
unemployment rate, 31;
unionization in, 26;
vacant lots in, 29;
war-related industry in, 27;
working-class communities in, 29–30;
youth violence in, 31–32
(p.182) Philadelphia Naval Shipyard, 27
Philadelphia neighborhoods:
Kensington, 28;
Lee (see Lee neighborhood);
Melrose Park (see Melrose Park neighborhood);
North Philadelphia, 24, 161n1 (See also Lee neighborhood);
West Philadelphia, 24, 162n14, 162n15 (see also Melrose Park neighborhood)
physical abuse:
of children, 83;
by mothers, 10, 62, 82–83, 100, 164;
vs. sexual abuse in explaining violence, 82–83
physical aggression:
community support for expressing, 10;
in girls’ lives, 52;
incentive/disincentive structure in middle-class girls, 10;
instrumental and symbolic value of, 8;
life circumstances and, 9
police, 133–137;
author’s ridealongs with, 39, 133–134;
bootstrap mentality among, 134;
inner-city girls’ view of having a police record, 145–146;
perception of Black males, 133;
presence in Lee neighborhood, 39, 133;
presence in Melrose Park neighborhood, 36, 133;
racial bias among, complaints of, 71–72;
response to girls’ fighting, 61
Pollak, Otto, 10
poverty:
African American girls, 158n12;
in Lee neighborhood, 35;
in Melrose Park neighborhood, 35
professionalization of the social sciences, 14–15
psychological aggression, 159n24
psychology, individual:
culture and, ix, xii;
girls’ fighting and, 46;
intersection of psyche and social world, 15, 22;
violence and, ix, xii
“punk” (the term), 49–50, 60
race:
girls’ violence and, 5, 9, 141–142, 157n3;
social realities and, 9;
trust among individuals and, 70
Reagan, Nancy, 100
relational aggression among middle-class girls, 75–76
relational disappointment, 58
relational psychological theory, x, 19
respect:
boys’ fighting and, 132;
in drug trade, 164n7;
girls’ fighting and, 2, 3, 45, 47–50, 59–60, 132, 143–145;
in inner-city neighborhoods, x–xi, 157n1
“rolled on” (the term), 71
Sampson, Robert, 70
Sapir, Edward, 16–18;
collaborative work of, 160n37;
culture and personality, x, 16–17, 160n34, 160n35;
death, 160n38;
human behavior as simultaneously social and personal, 17–18;
symbols as mediator between individual and society, 16, 160n36
Schmidt’s Brewing Factory, 28
schools, 117–127;
alternative disciplinary schools (see alternative disciplinary schools);
blaming of teachers and schools for students’ academic problems, 122;
custodial nature of, 118;
cycle of devaluation and withdrawal from education, 123;
handguns in, 158n11;
inequality in economics of schools districts, 150;
No Child Left Behind Act (2001), 118;
rejection of teachers before being rejected by them, 122;
security arrangements in, 118–119;
sleeping in class in, 118–119;
students’ disengagement from learning, 119;
transfers from failing schools, number of, 118;
“twilight” programs, students in, 56–57
self-esteem:
girls’ fighting and, 57, 74–77;
money as, 129;
violence as source of, 140–141
sexual abuse, 83
Simmons, Rachel, 163n7
social capital, reputation for being violent as, 1, 8, 9–10, 12, 47–48, 62, 70, 72–73
social realities, 9
social sciences, professionalization of, 14–15
social world’s intersection with individual psyche, 15, 22
(p.183) sociocultural factors, girls’ violence and, xii, 11, 18, 99, 155
stage theorists, 160n33
stores/shops:
girls’ fights with security personnel in, 56, 63;
in Lee neighborhood, 27, 39;
in Melrose Park neighborhood, 27–28, 36–37
Strozier, Chuck, xi
Sunday, Suzanne, 164n10
“super-predators,” 128–129
“underclass” (the term), 30–31
U. S. Office of Juvenile Justice, 133
violence:
culture and, ix, xii, 9;
democratization of, xi;
gender and, xii;
in inner-city neighborhoods, 47;
inner-city youth and, ix;
instrumental vs. expressive, 66–67;
layoffs and, 26;
as part of a community ethos, 37, 46–47, 52, 69–70, 99, 145–146;
physical abuse vs. sexual abuse in explaining, 82–83;
psychology and, individual, ix, xii;
sense of master and self-esteem and, 140–141;
Violent Crime Index, 33
“violent girls” (the term), 4–5, 146–147, 157n2
Way, Niobe, 11, 93–94
West, Cornel, 116
White, Miriam, 34–35
Wilson, William Julius, 161n10
women’s participation in violence worldwide, xi
“workshop of the world” (the term), 27
Youth, Murder and Spectacle (Acland), 24
youth violence:
gang fights, 32;
motivation for in low-income neighborhoods, 140–141;
in Philadelphia, 31–32. See also girls’ violence
Youth Violence Act (1994), 132
Zahn, Margaret A., 133
Zigler, Edward, xii–xiii (p.184)