Jankowski discusses the activities and nature of gang members. He explains that gangs lack the fundamental values that would allow them to be productive members of society but at the same time most gang members possess entrepreneurial qualities. Gang members are parasites to society yet they have characteristics that most people would deem useful in a productive society. According to Jankowski gang members have entrepreneurial attitudes that drive them to earn money, compete with other gangs or organizations, seek higher status, make plans and undertake risks. In the article, of the thirty-seven gangs studied (all of which had different cultural backgrounds), each gang possessed all these attitudes to some extent. Jankowski also explains that although gangs participate in many illegal activities, very few gangs exclusively are involved in illegal operations. Gangs members may partake in prostitution, gambling and drug dealing but most gangs are also involved in legal business operations such as running hotels or other real estate for example.
It is mentioned in the article that one of the five entrepreneurial attitudes that drive gang members is the desire to increase status. In gangs, members naturally try to increase their status or their position in their social structure much like people in other cultures may attempt to do. Through the acquisition of money and possessions gang members hope to achieve a high status in the gang and ultimately in the community. This of course is the same way people increase social status in the larger society. However, to increase one’s social position in a gang the member who accumulates wealth must also share his or her wealth with other gang members.