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This study is based on three years of field work with ninety-nine active gang members and twenty-four family members. The book describes the attractiveness of gangs, the process of joining, their chaotic and loose organization, and their members' predominant activities--mostly hanging out, drinking, and using drugs--and their rather slapdash involvement in major property crime and drug traffic. Extensive interviews with family members provide groundbreaking insights into the gang members' lives, and the story is told largely in the gang members' own words.