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Gang Members Tattoos

Essay by   •  August 8, 2011  •  Case Study  •  646 Words (3 Pages)  •  1,183 Views

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Gang Tattoos

1) What are the meaning/ significance of the tattoos?

2) Why do gang members get certain tattoos on certain parts of their bodies? (Ex: Tear drop tattoo on the face)

3) How are the tattoos identifiable by other fellow gang members and law enforcement?

4) Male and female, age range 13-20

Meaning/ Significance of tattoos

Gang members tattoo their bodies to show membership of the gang they are in. They also get the tattoos to show their accomplishments that they've earned while being a part of the gang such as their skills, murders, or convictions. Gang members frequently have several tattoos gang related or not, however, some tattoos are recognized immediately by fellow gang members, rival gang members, and law enforcement. Some examples of tattoos that are recognized by other gang members and law enforcement are: the open tear drop tattoo located on the face which indicates the number of people they have murdered, the closed tear drop which indicates the person with the tattoo has lost a loved one, a spider web tattoo indicating time spent in prison, the actually name of the gang usually in big bold lettering, three dots which indicates the only three places gang members go to which is the hospital, prison, or the grave, and many, many more. (Input pictures)

Why do gang members get certain tattoos on certain parts of their bodies?

The size and location of the tattoos on gang members have a great deal of significance. Depending on the gang, there are certain tattoos that they get on certain parts of their body as their code. A lot of factors come in to play when it comes to the sizing and location of the tattoos. When the gang member has a very large tattoo on a part of the body it shows that this particular gang member is sort of an extremist when it comes to the loyalty for the gang they are a part of, they do not care who see's the tattoos, or what they think of them. Most common areas for the large tattoo placement on a gang members body is the whole back, the stomach area, and arms. There are lots of smaller tattoos with meaning that are placed on areas of the body that are visible all the time such as the face, neck and hands. Only certain tattoos are placed on these parts of the body such as the tear drop tattoo on the face, or the three dots tattoo on the hands. Gang members with tattoos as large and visible as the ones listed above, are considered more hard core and fearless gang members. Some members have small tattoos in discreet areas of the body, or no tattoos at all which indicates an insecure attachment to the gang, or to avoid constant conflict with other gangs. Two Chicago based gang rivals, the Folk and the People nation alliances, place



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