EUROCRIM edition:16 location:Münster date:21-24 September 2016
The focus of this research is on the role and agency of women in Nicaraguan street gangs. Most research regarding gangs in Nicaragua (and Central America in general) is focused on male gang members. The sole research on the role of women in gangs in this region has been conducted by the University Institute of Public Opinion (Instituto Universitario de Opinión Pública, IUDOP) in San Salvador, El Salvador. Literature on the role of women in gangs mainly derives from research in the United States and Europe. In order to fill this gap of scientific knowledge, research on this issue in Nicaragua is thus very much in need. Our main hypothesis is that female gang members can be both victims and violators, within a gang. We will test this hypothesis by implementing a theoretical framework based on three schools of theories; i.e. traditional or classic socio-criminological theories, feminist theories, and contemporary theories on gangs in Central America. In order to fulfill this research, a total of one year and three months will be dedicated to research in the field, where we will apply a qualitative methodology framework, incorporating observations, interviews and focus groups.