Fraser, Alistair David
Growing through gangs: young people, identity and social change in Glasgow.
PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.
Full text available as:
This thesis explores the social meanings and lived realities attached to the phenomenon of youth gangs for children and young people growing up in Langview, a community in the east end of Glasgow, during the early part of the twenty-first century. Drawing on a two year
period of participant-observation, the thesis situates young people’s understandings, experiences, and definitions of gangs in the context of broader social, cultural, and spatial dynamics within the area. In this way, the thesis analyses the complex and differentiated ways in which gang identities are enacted, and explores their intersection with developing age, gender, and group identities. In so doing, the thesis seeks to challenge pathologising
stereotypes of youth gangs, drawing on nuanced accounts of gang identities that demonstrate the role of social development and youth transitions in the meanings and
motivations of gang involvement. Against representations that construct the gang as an alien other, this thesis argues for an understanding of gangs that is sensitive to the fluidity of, and contradictions in, the formation of all youth identities – of which the gang identity is one. In sum, the thesis argues for the need to move ‘beyond the gang’ in understanding youth violence and territorial identities.
Actions (login required)