Date of Award

8-1-1978

Degree Type

Thesis

University or Center

Atlanta University (AU)

Degree Name

M.A.

Department

Sociology

Abstract

The primary purpose of this thesis is to provide an exploratory study and descriptive case history of the Atlanta Outcast Motorcycle Club. Motorcyclists traveling in groups give a superficial appearance of being a cohesive social group. Motorcyclists in such unions tend to be stigmatized by the society in the same manner that gangs are stigmatized. This study focuses on one outlaw club to determine the codes and behavior patterns as well as the extent to which the group can be classified as a gang.

One of the questions posed and addressed by the researcher has to do with differentiating between the life styles of a conventional motorcycle club" and an "outlaw motorcycle club” of Atlanta: 1) By study of the latter to determine if the social structure and culture of the Atlanta Outcast Motorcycle Club is similar to or different from those of other approved (conventional) motorcycle clubs. It is therefore necessary to determine

a. what are the patterns of life characteristic of conventional clubs?

b. what are the patterns of life perculiar to this outlaw club?

2) Another question raised is to determine to what extent the social patterns of the Atlanta outlaw motorcycle club may be considered deviant from the norm. Is the Atlanta Outcast Motorcycle Club a club which ordinarily exhibits acceptable behavior? 3) Does motorcycling in this kind of group lead a member to engage more extensively in activities which would justify the classification of the group as a gangland its behavior as deviant? The findings suggest that the patterns which differentiate the conventional motorcycle club from the outlaw motorcycle club are: (a) membership; (b) loyalty; (c) sexism; (d) type of dress; (e) cultural system (life style). 4) The researcher has concluded that the Atlanta Outcast Motorcycle Club is an outlaw motorcycle club. Several facts point to the public at large as being a primary source of support in defining this club as outlaw. Each member of the Atlanta Outcast Motorcycle Club in his behavior patterns tend to support the above findings. It was also determined by the researcher that this club has contributed to the changing face of motorcycle clubs in Atlanta. The social and cultural system of the Atlanta Outcast Motorcycle Club can be considered its corner stone. 5) The researcher determined the most effective means of collecting data for this study was through participant observation. The criteria mentioned above tend to I support the claim by the Atlanta Outcast Motorcycle Club that their club is an outlaw club.

Included in

Sociology Commons

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