Skip to main content


Street Gangs in Chicago

John M. Hagedorn is a professor of criminal justice at the University of Illinois and a subject matter expert on contemporary inner-city street gangs. He is the author of World of Gangs: Armed Young Men and Gangsta Culture and a senior research fellow at the University of Illinois Chicago’s Great Cities Institute. Assisted by historian and author Richard Lindberg, Professor Hagedorn’s discussion is framed around the historical roots of gangs in "Gaslight Era" Chicago, contemporary gangs, and what they represent today.

This lecture is part of "Crime in Chicago—A Contemporary and Historical Perspective." This fall, the Chicago History Museum turns the spotlight on crime in Chicago, probing the historic linkage between street gangs then and now with a concentrated focus on “traditional” vs. “nontraditional” organized crime. Is the Chicago “Outfit” still relevant, and where does this criminal organization forged in the early years of the 20th century stand today? Do street gangs constitute the new face of organized crime? The three-part series will also examine 19th-century Chicago homicide patterns and what it reveals about the city during its formative years.

Recorded Tuesday, November 15, 2011 at the Chicago History Museum.

Get the WBEZ App

Download the best live and on-demand public radio experience. Find out more.