Dr Zia Rahman1
1University of Dhaka, Dhaka, Bangladesh
From a sociological point of view, Bangladesh is passing a transitional phase in terms of its abrupt social transformation with the influence of modernity, technological advancement and global connectivity, retaining many traditional values, like in the history of many other countries in the world during their social transformation (e.g., the USA). Living in the era transition, Bangladesh society experiences many strange scenarios which are foreign to its traditional nature. Rising rape, especially of children, murder of parents by offspring and vice versa, extra marital and non-traditional sexual relationships, obsession with pornography, use of narcotics and drugs, especially Yaba, by the young boys and girls, etc. are some major issues in Bangladesh’s transitional phase. The dimensions of crime and deviant behavior in many areas are also seeing change, with one alarming issue being the rise of gang culture among the urban youth. Lately gangs such as ‘Disco Boyz’, ‘Nine Star’, ‘Love Lane’, ‘Bangla Group’, etc., sometimes having over 40 members in total, have emerged in different urban neighborhoods with engagement in various criminal activities including brutal murder, assault, bullying, reckless bike racing, hooliganism, etc. Bizarre gang culture is a new phenomenon in a traditional society like Bangladesh demanding a scientific study. Using qualitative research methods, this paper looks into the nature and activities of gang culture and the inner causes of their emergence taking theories of Cohen, Hirchi, Durkheim, Merton and Ogburn as background literature.
Key Words: Gang Culture, Social Transformation, Bangladesh
Zia Rahman is a full professor and the founder chair of the Department of Criminology, University of Dhaka Bangladesh. Originally a sociologist, Professor Rahman finished his undergraduate and post graduate degree from the Department of Sociology, University of Dhaka with first class in both the degrees. Professor Zia completed his second masters and Ph.D. degrees from the Department of Sociology, University of Calgary, Canada. Professor Rahman has been working as a permanent faculty at the University of Dhaka for more than 22 years. Earlier, he served as a sociology faculty at Shahjalal University of Science and Technology, Sylhet for 4 years. Hence he has a 26 years university teaching career. Professor Rahman is also an adjunct faculty of the Department of Economics and Institute of Business Administration (IBA) where he is teaching sociology courses. Professor Rahman was also faculty at the University of Calgary where he taught two senior undergraduate courses. At Calgary, he also received best graduate teaching award in 2008. The dissertation title of Professor Rahman’s Ph.D. was “Labour Union and Labour Movements in the Readymade Garment (RMG) Industries in Bangladesh in the era of Globalization” while the title of the Master’s thesis was “Urban Policy in Bangladesh: the State, inequality and Housing Crises in Dhaka City”. He is one of the leading western trained expert on RMG industries in Bangladesh. His main areas of research include labour union, labour and social movements, labour and globalization, work organization, urban sociology, theory, transnational crime, terrorism and violence, radicalization and deradicalization, sexual violence, drug and crime, juvenile delinquency and research methods.
Zia Rahman has been actively engaged as a team leader and research associates for more than 25 research projects funded by the World Bank, Asian Development Bank, USAID, UNICEF, UNDP and many other national and international organizations. Lately he made contacts with Professor Christoph Scherrer of the International Center for Development and Decent Work (ICDD) at the University of Kassel regarding the sustainable development of the RMG industries in Bangladesh. He is also a proposed project partner of the grand proposal of Professor Christoph in developing the apparel industries in Bangladesh. Professor Zia published 20 peer review articles in different national and international journals including Wiley, Springer, Taylor and Francis, Socialist Studies and ILO. Dr. Zia presented 35 conference and seminar papers nationally and internally. At present he is the team leader of five research projects funded by Dhaka Metropolitan Police, Criminal Investigation Department and the Department of Criminology Professor Rahman is a leading public intellectual in Bangladesh and so far he has published 25 OP-ED pieces in various newspapers and is one of the leading talk show guests in almost all the television channels in Bangladesh. Dr. Zia also served as a Joint Secretary and Executive Member in various terms at Dhaka University Teachers Association (DUTA) and Senate Member of the University of Dhaka. At present he is also a Senate Member and the Provost of Zia Hall (residential hall of the students), University of Dhaka. At present Professor Zia is the President of Bangladesh Criminological Society and Joint Secretary, Bangladesh Sociological Association. He is also members of various learned organizations. Professor Rahman has a dual citizenship of both Bangladesh and Canada. So far he travelled 24 countries including USA, UK, Australia, Japan, Canada, Germany, Netharlands, Sweden, Vietnam and South Africa.