The Gang and Beyond

The Gang and Beyond : Interpreting Violent Street Worlds

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Challenging the widely held conjecture that gangs represent 'the new face of youth crime' this book repudiates claims which situate the gang at the heart of sexual violence, mass shooting and control of the illegal drugs trade. It pushes the epistemological, methodological and ontological borders of cultural criminology in order to understand violent street worlds and the informal organisations that operate within them. In part polemic, in part theoretical treatise, the book deciphers the gang talk now mediated by a developing industry of gang-talkers and explores how street realities have become lost in a collectively induced fantasy where gangs are regarded as public enemy number one. The book makes a case for returning to the analysis of street culture and the imperatives that orientate patterns of social action within it. It concludes by examining how better we might understand the violence of the street and the organisations that inhabit it.

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  • Hardback | 224 pages
  • 144 x 218 x 20mm | 399.99g
  • Palgrave MacMillan
  • BasingstokeUnited Kingdom
  • English
  • New.
  • 6 black & white illustrations, 2 figures
  • 1137358084
  • 9781137358080
  • 1,830,653

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"The 'gang' has become a magical word used to explain away crime, riots, sexual assault, drug dealing and almost every manifestation of violence in our society. Simon Hallsworth's book is a devastating critique: iconoclastic, hard hitting, and amusing. Read it." - Jock Young, John Jay College, City University of New York, USA and author of The Criminological Imagination "Simon Hallsworth's The Gang and Beyond is precisely the sort of boldly brilliant work that criminology badly needs but seldom sees. Strikingly original in its scholarly perspective and in its narrative orientation, this book constitutes an intellectually audacious confrontation with gangs, gang scholarship, and the assumptions that surround them." - Jeff Ferrell, Texas Christian University, USA "Provocative and stimulating, this book provides an emphatic critique of the 'common sense' surrounding youth gangs in the UK and elsewhere. From auto-ethnography to moral outrage at gang talk distortions, Simon Hallsworth provides a personal and powerful indictment of the gang industry within academia, including its convergence with rapidly expanding and inappropriate gang suppression efforts, and its failure to fully understand street culture and street violence. Not to be missed." - Rob White, University of Tasmania, Australia "This book is methodologically creative (e.g. the auto-ethnography), theoretically sophisticated (e.g. the use of Deleuze), and mostly uses good humour to good effect [...] I think it is a must read, it makes an important contribution and I am adding it to my reading list for my students." - Lorcan Byrne, CrimeTalk "This is a timely book. It is bold, contentious, provocative and provides a much needed commentary on the current state of affairs in relation to our understanding of and responses to gangs in the United Kingdom ... Whether you are a 'gang talker' or a 'gang denier', Hallsworth presents a compelling and in parts, acerbic analysis of urban street gangs." - Hannah Smithson, British Journal of Criminology

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About Simon Hallsworth

Simon Hallsworth is Professor of Sociology and Head of the School of Applied Social Sciences, University Campus Suffolk, UK. He has written extensively on punishment in modern society, the local politics of crime and community safety and more recently violent street worlds. His research interests include street violence and informal organisations, structural violence and the role of the state, penal change and development. His previous books include Street Robbery (2005) and The New Punitiveness: Issues Themes and Perspectives (2005).

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