| Von Glasersfeld's answers - March 2007  |

 
 
 


QUESTION:
 

Hello Dr. Glasersfeld,
 
I am working on creating solutions to gang enrolment and gang activity in USA. My goal is to create a perspective of intervention to response gang activity in after school time based on Radical Constructivism (RC). I plan to use this model in a Center in Washington DC. Could you please share your thoughts and suggestion about gang as a social phenomenon from the perspective of RC.
 
how to explain gang phenomenon from Radical Constructivism?
 
Fredy Martinez
Case Manager/AD counselor Trainee
YMCA-CYOC

 

ANSWER:

Dear Mr. Martinez,

Your question is really for a social psychologist, which I am not. What I can say will probably  be of no use to you.

From the moment a child is born (and probably also before), her budding consciousness is faced with a stream of sensations that is sometimes pleasant and sometimes not. She is trying to see some order in that stream, and the way to order is the generation of regularities, that is to see repetitions that make it possible to foresee and perhaps to control what is happening. Control means to pursue pleasant experiences and to avoid unpleasant ones. If the family (i.e. whatever people the child grows up with) provides practically no pleasant, physically or emotionally satisfying experiences, the child will inevitable turn to other possibilities of constructing a relatively controllable environment - and what we call "gangs" provides a good opportunity for doing that.

This is a very superficial answer to your question, but I have never got round to thinking much about how social relations are generated.

Best wishes,

Ernst von Glasersfeld

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