LISTENING 4 “STUDENTS ON CAMPUS”
Narrator Listen to part of a conversation between two students.
Man: Hi. How did your presentation go?
Woman: Really well.
Man: See. I told you.
Woman: I know, but I was really nervous.
Man: So what happened?
Woman: Well, the T.A. asked tor volunteers to go first, and I raised my hand right away because I wanted to get it over with before I got any more nervous than I already was.
Man: So you went first.
Woman: Yeah. And I used a lot of visuals. I had about twenty slides on PowerPoint, and that really helped me to stay on track. I mean, I didn’t read the slides to the class or anything, but, you know, some of the titles kind of jogged my memory … so I knew what I wanted to say white each slide was shown.
Man: That’s the beauty of PowerPoint
Woman: Of course. I’m always afraid the computer program won’t work… and then there I am without anything. But, I made overheads, you know, copies of all the slides, just in case. Man: So you could have used the overhead projector as a back up. Good idea.
Woman: And I had most of the stuff on handouts so they could follow along without spending a lot of time taking notes. That way I could move along faster and get more in in ten minutes.
Man: Yeah. Ten minutes isn’t very long when you’re trying to present something as complex as population density.
Woman: That’s for sure. The maps really helped.
Man: A picture’s worth a thousand words.
Woman: So true.
Man: Listen, I can’t remember whether you had a group or you had to present all by yourself.
Woman: You had a choice, but I decided to do my own presentation. I don’t know. Group protects are really popular but… you know.
Man: I hear you. I’d rather take responsibility for the whole presentation, it I were you.
Woman: No surprises that way.
Man: Is that one of your handouts? … Wow. That looks fantastic.
Woman: It’s easy. PowerPoint has an option for putting the slides on a handout.
Man: Still, it looks so … professional.
Man: So did you have any questions after the presentation?
Woman: Not realty. I think people were mostly just wanting to get on with their own presentations.
Man: But they seemed interested.
Woman: Oh, yeah. And the T.A. said something about “getting off to such a good start,” so I felt good about that.
LISTENING 5 “SOCIOLOGY CLASS”
Narrator: Listen to part of a discussion in a sociology class. The professor is talking about gangs.
Dr. Jackson: Last class, I asked you to read some articles about gang activity. We’re trying to come up with a definition, so let’s just go around the table and share what we found. Tracy, will you begin please?
Tracy: Okay. Um, actually, I read a review of the research for sociological studies on gang activity, and I found that gangs have been prevalent for much longer than I’d assumed. I was so surprised. For some reason, I thought that gang activity was a fairly recent phenomenon, but actually, one of the largest studies was carried out by Thrasher in 1936.
Dr. Jackson: Good. Good. I’m pleased that you found that. Thrasher’s study is a classic research investigation. Can you summarize the findings? Of the Thrasher study?
Tracy: Sure. First, I should say that the study included more than 1300 gangs with more than 25,000 members. So … according to Thrasher, a gang is a group that may form spontaneously, but after that, it will… integrate … and that happens through conflict and violence. Over time, a spirit of solidarity and an attachment to a local territory kind of forms. What’s most interesting, besides the long history of gangs in the United States, the interesting part… it’s the fact that not much has changed over the years. And, oh yes, gang behavior seems pretty similar even across cultures.
Dr. Jackson: That is interesting.
Bill: Dr. Jackson, may I go next? I have just a brief comment that seems to fit in here.
Dr. Jackson: Please.
Bill: Weil, another classic study, much later, about 1987 or 8, I think, by Joan Moore … that study indicated that gang behavior is probably caused by normal adolescent insecurities … the desire for peer approval, respect, support, acceptance, and. in some cases, protection, if the neighborhood is perceived as dangerous. It seems that gangs take the place of the more childish diques .,. those in-groups that develop in high schools. Good point. And if we can refer back to the Thrasher study, he also suggested that gangs actually form in play groups where children of a very young age begin with the usual games like hide-and-seek or kickball, and progress as they get older to playing craps or engaging in petty theft on the street. Now, back to Moore. Bill?
Bill: Right. Well…
Dr. Jackson: What about Moore’s definition of a gang? That relates to the Thrasher study.
Bill: Oh, I see what you mean. I have that right here. Moore defined a gang as an ‘unsupervised peer group who is socialized by the streets rather than by conventional institutions,’ and I was thinking that the institutions might be schools, churches, organized dubs like boys’ dubs. And one other thing, Moore emphasized that the gang had to define itself as a gang, you know, with some kind of criteria for membership that would be recognized by all of the gang members.
Dr. Jackson : Such as?
Bill: Such as participating in a crime, either stealing something and bringing it back to the gang, or… or even killing someone in an initiation. .
Sandy: Dr. Jackson, I looked up the definitions of gang members by police departments and law enforcement agencies.
Dr. Jackson: Oh, great Let’s hear it.
Sandy: Okay. Well, according to the California Youth Gang Task Force, for example, a gang member will be recognizable because of gang-related tattoos, clothing, and paraphernalia like scarves and hats that identify a particular gang and, sometimes these are called the colors, so that allows other people to confirm that the people with the colors on… that they have a right to be on the gang’s turf. And, to follow up on Tracy’s comments about the history of gangs, it looks like these criteria have been in place for a long, long time.
Dr. Jackson: Good job. So far, what I’m hearing though, what I’m hearing refers to gang membership in general. So now let’s talk about the ages of gang members. Typically, who belongs to a gang?
Tracy: Well, this was an eye–opener. There seem to be stages, or maybe not stages, but at least categories of gang membership. It starts about age 10 or 12, which fits in with what you were saying earlier about play groups. So these kids are playing together and they start writing graffiti on their school lockers or their notebooks, and they look up to the gang members who are about 14-20. So the little kids are “Peeweos” and the teenagers are called “Gang Bangers. But the members who are 20–25 years old. They’re the “Hardcores,” and most of the gangs that I read about didn’t have very many members over 25 years old. So I would say that, in general, gang membership is for young men.
Dr. Jackson: Thanks tor your assessment of membership by age. And I would certainly agree with you. But what about females? Did anyone find any research on their role in gang activity?
Bill: I did. And there are a few girt gangs that’s what they called them n the references … but I found that females are generally not considered members of the male–dominated gang. They’re viewed as more of a support system, and an extended social group friends and girlfriends to party with.
Sandy: That’s what I found, too. And another interesting thing. Maybe this is naive, but I sort of imagined that gang activity was always … always criminal activity. But, uh, according to a study by … it was James Lasley … he looked at gangs in Los Angeles about ten years ago … and anyway, he found that they spent a tot of time hanging out, listening to music, drinking beer, and just partying with their girlfriends. And he made another good point. Since they don’t have spending money, to go places like the movies or ball games, the neighborhood is their… entertainment.
Bill: Yeah. I read that study. Didn’t he say that some of the criminal activity was for fun . .. not really for financial gain?
Sandy: Exactly. And’there seems to be very little planning. Just kind of going with whatever turns up. Of course, there are instances of crimes for revenge or honor to maintain the reputation of the gang, but a tot of the time, crimes simply occur while gang members are looking for something to do.