An explorative study of the influence of gang violence on the cognitions and behaviors of adolescents in a specific community within the Western Cape
Davids, Alicia Edith
MetadataShow full item record
The subculture of gang violence has become a most feared phenomenon in many povertystricken communities in South Africa and especially in the Western Cape. The gang violence that is prevalent in these communities affects mostly the adolescents, who are supposed to be ‘the leaders of tomorrow’. The purpose of this research study was to focus on adolescents in a community where gang violence is rife and in turn reveals their perceptions on gang violence, what the causes of gang violence are and how they are affected by it as expressed in their own words. The researcher establishes the significance and necessity of focusing on adolescents as influenced by gang violence through a phenomenological exploration of their lives. The position that is developed affirms that adolescents are adversely affected by gang violence both from a behavioral and cognitive standpoint. The dire extent of gang violence on these adolescents’ lives is illustrated by using Fanon’s six dimensions of violence. Furthermore various theoretical hypotheses are provided to explain the or igin of gang violence in comparison to the explanations expressed by the adolescents themselves from the interviews conducted. The study is concluded with recommendations extracted from relevant literature as well as comments expressed by the participants of this study. The main limitation within this study was the lack of research outputs within the South African context on the topic of how gang violence affects adolescents who are not gang members. The rich information produced by this study in conducting in-depth interviews with adolescents makes this study significant.