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God's GangsBarrio Ministry, Masculinity, and Gang Recovery$
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Edward Orozco Flores

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9781479850099

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479850099.001.0001

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Reformed Barrio Masculinity

Reformed Barrio Masculinity

Eight Cases of Recovery from Gang Life

(p.109) 4 Reformed Barrio Masculinity
God's Gangs

Edward Orozco Flores

NYU Press

This chapter examines how recovering gang members described recovery from gangs, where they saw themselves in five years, and who they admired and tried to emulate. It contends that faith-based gang recovery took shape through reformulated notions of manhood. In faith-based recovery, recovering Chicano gang members contrasted masculine expressions: Chicano gang masculinity and reformed barrio masculinity. Whereas gang members rooted their sense of manhood in gang activities, such as drug use and gang violence, recovering gang members rooted their sense of manhood in domestic activities, such as being emotionally supportive husbands, fathers, and sons. The chapter draws upon interview data, and some participant observation, to present eight cases of recovering gang members coming from Homeboy Industries and Victory Outreach. These case studies have different life stories, but they echo a similar theme—the wish to be redeemed for the pain that they had caused their own families.

Keywords:   gang recovery, faith-based gang recovery, manhood, Chicano gangs, masculine expressions, Chicano gang masculinity, reformed barrio masculinity, Homeboy Industries, Victory Outreach

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