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Gang Culture and the Fam

from anovagrrl - Thursday, March 06, 2003
accessed 1980 times

Understanding the "techniques of neutralization" might give insight into how FGAs could break the law and still live with themselves.

David Sykes and Gresham Matza developed a theory of juvenile delinquency (Social Drift Theory) in the 1960s in which they described techniques that individuals use to rationalize criminal behavior. One could argue that the Family is basically a juvenile gang culture. I'm struck by how these techniques of neutralization have been widely used by Family leadership and members for decades.

1. Denial of responsibility. The intent of the behavior was good and loving; the injury caused was accidental, the result of a few immature, misguided extremists who misinterpreted the spirit of a teaching for the letter of the law. Also, I was drunk and didnt know what I was doing.

2. Denial of injury. Nobody was clearly hurt, or maybe a few were hurt, but the majority was not. Also, You're young, you'll get over it. Or, It never happened--You're lying. Or, It's in the past--Forget it.

3. Denial of the Victim. The act was not wrong in and of itself (e.g., adult sexual intercourse with a minor is an act of love, not exploitation); or, S/he asked for it.

4. Condemnation of the Condemners. Shift focus to those who are condemning the deviant behavior: they are acting out of spite, they are demon oppressed (blood-sucking vandari), they are hypocrites.

5. Appeal to Higher Loyalties. Gods law takes precedence over human laws. Those who have not forsaken (e.g., abandoned and abused) family for the sake of kingdom are not worthy.

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