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Sociology/Class conflict/warfare


QUESTION: How does class conflict start?   And in effect how do gangs affect class conflict, or how are gangs influenced by class conflict?

ANSWER: There are a number of explanations that relate class status to conflict, but your question goes to the violence relationships in societies where class stratification is an issue so we will accept that class conflicts exist and move to explain the violence relationship.
In my work, I state there is a relationship of type, degree and longevity of violence to type, degree and longevity of class stratification. The more pronounced the class differences, the more evidence of different types of violence, including gangs (Irish, Jewish, Italian, Latino, White, Asian, you name it). Understand that violence exists in every society - be it economic, social and political violence or street violence. And one does rely on the other to maintain a status quo. Please examine Maslov's Hierarchy of Needs:
The triangle illustrates status and the progression from basic survival needs to the higher more esoteric endeavors. The strata within the Triangle is in essence an objective view of the classic human struggle to first survive and then to attain greater freedom to experience and explore other aspects of the human experience available that rounds out the person. However, inherent in the Triangle climb, if you will, is class struggle, aka violence - economic violence, social and political violence - and psychological violence partly resulting from other forms of violence. There are psychological and emotional effects of all violence. These macro forces are seen most vividly in micro situations that have a range of impacts that generally relate to aberrant indicators in early childhood development in families and communities at the bottom of the Moslav Triangle. The rest you can figure out for yourself.  But I am open to further discussion.

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QUESTION: What do you mean in when you say "Understand that violence exists in every society - be it economic, social and political violence or street violence. And one does rely on the other to maintain a status quo".  Specifically when you say one does not rely on the other to maintain the status quo.

You must study the social history of how a group becomes marginalized - be it in the USA, South Africa, Australia, Great Britain, etc. and observe those historical patterns. This examination will expose how various types of 'precipitating violence' i.e., economic, political, social violence by a ruling class(es) is applied to a given homogenous group. In every case, there evolves "gang-like" violence. The gangs are then blamed on the group, not the society that underpins the rage that leads to rage-induced violence. Thus there is no solution to gang violence except further violence now done by the justice system.  
The true objective is to maintain and enhance class standing and separation that added wealth, power and status provide to the ruling class(es). Colonization is one word for it - and colonization involves all manner of 'precipitating violence'.  All violence begets violence, regardless of type or level. However, as a society becomes increasingly integrated (shares power), the 'precipitating violence' will be to some degree overcome. As the integration process proceeds, regardless of integrating group, gang and other violence within that group reduces, e.g., in the USA - violence within and among Italian, Irish, Jewish, Asian groups is now insignificant - but not yet Black or Latino as the societal apartheid is still too pronounced. Blacks are more integrated on TV but remain separated in neighborhoods, for example. Thus these two groups indicate the interdependent relationship of one type of violence to the other that is still evident to varying degrees and according to group. Violence of any sort will always beget violence. The trick is to understand the totality of what constitutes violence.  


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Steven Valdivia


Origins of gangs; causes of gangs; how a community evolves to violence and/or peace; new and workable solutions to gangs, riots and forms of community violence; psycho-social aspects of gang activity. Connection of gangs to riots and other community violence


First gang czar in Los Angeles City and County - 1973-1995; National trainer, lecturer and educator for Dept of Justice and as consultant; invented Target Area Strategy (multi-agency interdisciplinary strategy) still used today; developed new paradigm based on continuum.

Steven Valdivia is co-chair of the Peace and Non-Violence Research Group, Institute for Computing in Humanities, Arts and Social Science (I-CHASS), National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA), University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. His book: “Forces Gangs to Riots. Evolution to Gangs, Riots and Back to Peace" is available at Amazon, etc.

Author, "Forces...Gangs to Riots...Evolution to Gangs, Riots and Back to Peace". Also articles in LA Times; Newsweek, Christian Science Monitor, guest on ABC Nightline...many others

Book Series: "Forces, Gangs to Riots..." Volumes 1,2 and 3. Certified expert NPG. Member of Sociology and Cyber-Infrastructure to Study and Combat Violence (HCSCV) Group, UIUC; numerous credentials in law enforcement and gang training.

Awards and Honors
Honored: US Congressional Record...too many to list including City and County of Los Angeles; LA County Sheriff, LAPD, LA Unified Schools, US Congress, State of California...

Past/Present Clients
National Assoc of District Attorneys; Law Enforcement Admin Assistance; LA County Interagency Gang Task Force...many others

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