The Federal Definition of a gang is "an ongoing group, club, organization, or association of five or more persons. So one could say that the woman's axillary at the local church is a gang, or that a neighborhood watch is also one, or the schools PTA. Now what is the difference?
Good Gangs vs Bad Ones
The above mentioned examples are considered a group of persons working together having an informal and usually close social relations. They gather together with a common goal in mind. The woman's axillary to help promote social activities in the church, putting together a quilt, or a cookbook. The Neighborhood watch was formed to put an end to criminal activity in their neighborhoods. The schools PTA was formed for the benefit of the school children. All three examples each form a gang to help promote the betterment of the community.
Oklahoma's definition of a gang goes like this "Criminal street gang that specifically either promotes, sponsors, or assists in, or participates in, and requires as a condition of membership or continued membership, the commission of one or more criminal acts"
A street gang member: is any person who actively participates in criminal gang activity, and who willfully promotes, furthers, or assists in any felonious criminal activity.
Or a group of two or more individuals who share an on-going relationship with one another and support of each other individually or collectively, in the reoccurring commission of delinquent and criminal acts.
Gang members use names other than their given or birth name that describe their individual traits. Their gang name is usually a description of where they are from. The gang is usually territorial and will defend their turf, often trying to expand that area, with graffiti, marking and defining the lines of their territory. Most individual gang members will dress the same way or as close as possible, to show who they are and they will "throw" gang signs.
So these gangs mark up our neighborhoods with graffiti, have gang tattoos, wear the same type of clothing or color, "throw" hand gang signs in public to communicate with each other, and make people afraid of them.
This is the difference between Good gangs and Bad gangs
Past Gang Definitions:
In 1912 a gang was defined as one of the three primary social groups formed in response to deep seated but unconscious needs.
In 1927 a gang was defined as a group formed spontaneously and then integrated through conflict.
in 1982 a gang is a group of lawbreakers who are primarily around violence and other illegal activities.