Based on author T.W. Ward's eight and a half years in Los Angeles conducting participant observation with MS-13, Gangsters Without Borders: An Ethnography of a Salvadoran Street Gang takes an inside look at gang life in the United States and in a global context.
Taking us through their journey from their homeland in El Salvador to the mean streets of Los Angeles, Gangsters Without Borders offers a perspective from the point of view of the hard-core members who live this hard, fast, and dangerous life.
A powerful and engaging overview of gang dynamics, Gangsters Without Borders contextualizes the sources and severity of the marginalization felt by Salvadoran immigrants and debunks myths about street gangs in the United States. This account of gangsters' lives before, during, and after their involvement with the gang delivers an intimate and analytical portrait unlike any other.
T.W. Ward is Associate Professor of Teaching in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Southern California.
"Gangsters Without Borders gives a perspective and analysis not found in other studies. Not only is this happening now, it is a subculture within our society that impacts the lives of students who know little about it."--Vicki Root-Wadja, College of du Page
"The insider view of gang life presented here is a highly valuable contribution. The focus on gender roles in gangs is particularly insightful. The text does an excellent job of providing a balanced discussion that examines the history of past studies of gang life along with detailed personal and ethnographic discussions that bring these social dynamics to life."--Christopher Fennell, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
"An excellent blend of history, literature, poetry, research from numerous disciplines, and the author's own observational data, Gangsters Without Borders helps us understand the larger context that contributed to the emergence of MS-13."--Dana Peterson, University at Albany, State University of New York