Gangues juvenis, uma perspetiva dos agentes de segurança pública

  • Gualter Barros Moreira (Student)

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


In the present dissertation the youth gangs phenomenon will be approached, particularly by the police officers perspective of such phenomenon, moving through the theoretical framework from an international perspective with the purpose of determining the theoretical base with which to justify the kind of information which was expected to be found in the chosen sample – in this case, police officers. This revealed several inconsistencies when several international definitions of youth gangs were presented to the police officers. The chosen method to conduct the investigation was the qualitative method, as it was considered to be the most adequate in order to access the officer’s perspective considering the phenomenon concerned, as content analysis remains the best option to deconstruct the information provided. This sample was chosen due to its regular direct contact with young people whom are (presumably) members of youth gangs. Individual semi-structured interviews were carried out to the police officers with a script based on the review of juvenile gang’s literature. Generally, the obtained results show a convergence between the officer’s representations and the youth gang’s literature – particularly regarding definition, the gang formation process, and the youth gang characterization –, and although the literature’s level of detail is absent, there was congruence regarding the notions of group, leadership, hierarchy and use of Gang ID, among other aspects. Some results, with greater relevance in the Portuguese context, expose the actual presence of youth gangs in Portugal, their location, and how they’re formed, considering the socioeconomic context (both micro and macro) as risk factors which were responsible for their formation.
Date of Award2012
Original languagePortuguese
Awarding Institution
  • Universidade Católica Portuguesa
SupervisorRaquel Matos (Supervisor)


  • Mestrado em Psicologia

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