TRANSGANG’s precept is the study of transnational gangs as mediation agents. It aims to respond to the persistence of street youth groups (the so-called 'gangs') being seen as 'problematic'. In particular, we are interested in studying the 'transnationalization' process of these groups from two directions: 'from above' (imaginaries, symbols, criminal and police policies to deal with them) and 'from below' (imagined and practiced communities of mutual aid, through migratory processes and virtual interactions).
The central focus of the project is mediation, understood as the set of techniques and procedures for resolving conflicts within the group, between groups, or between the groups and the social environment. Most research studies and policies that deal with gangs are based on the idea that the solution is the suppression of the group. Our perspective is different: studies carried out for more than a century show that gangs do not disappear, but rather transform to continue responding to unmet needs. Therefore, we understand that the way forward means involving gang members themselves in the search for alternatives to violence, based on a harm reduction policy and the promotion of mediation experiences. Young people who have belonged or belong to street youth groups are currently collaborating with the project. Their life stories are examples of resistance and resilience, two types of experiences that we are studying: how to survive in conditions of social exclusion and how to react to adversity with the help of the group.