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Growing through gangs: young people, identity and social change in Glasgow

Fraser, Alistair David (2010) Growing through gangs: young people, identity and social change in Glasgow. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Abstract

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.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Glasgow, gangs, young people, identity, leisure, masculinity, social change, youth culture.
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Colleges/Schools: College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Sociology Anthropology and Applied Social Sciences
Supervisor's Name: Burman, Professor Michele and Batchelor, Dr. Susan
Date of Award: 2010
Depositing User: Dr Alistair D Fraser
Unique ID: glathesis:2010-2343
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 02 Feb 2011
Last Modified: 24 Jan 2014 09:02
URI: http://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/2343

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