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Moving up the devil's ladder: Social networks and the timing of promotions in biker gangs

Resource type
Thesis type
(Thesis) M.A.
Date created
Author: Girn, Alysha
Contrary to unstructured criminal groups, outlaw motorcycle gangs (OMGs) utilize a three-tiered promotional process. Through these stages, members have shown to vary in their ability to advance. Since OMGs enforce mechanisms of trust and secrecy, the factors influencing the timing of promotion are unknown. Assessing the social networks of OMGs can inform the internal dynamics of promotion within criminal organizations and can test whether the factors for promotion are analogous to conventional organizations. The current study uses social network analysis (SNA) to measure the influence of social capital on the timing of promotion. Using longitudinal data from the Social Structure of the Hells Angels in British Columbia dataset, the promotional trajectories of 62 members are analyzed. Survival analyses indicated that those with greater social contacts and/or brokerage roles experienced faster promotions. Specifically, how individuals positioned themselves in the year before the promotion was important. Policy and practical implications are discussed.
123 pages.
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Copyright is held by the author(s).
This thesis may be printed or downloaded for non-commercial research and scholarly purposes.
Supervisor or Senior Supervisor
Thesis advisor: Bouchard, Martin
Member of collection
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