Understanding violent street worlds

Hallsworth, Simon (2019) Understanding violent street worlds. Doctoral thesis, University of East Anglia.

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Abstract

The thesis is composed of two sections. The first provides a critical overview of the published work assembled in the second. This body of work is composed of journal articles, monographs, papers published in educated collections and research reports. Though these papers address a range of different subjects from street robbery, the culture of gun users to the study of urban street gangs, what unifies these papers is that they collectively help make sense of the violent street world occupied by young men, overwhelmingly from deprived backgrounds, who use weapons, collectively and individually, in street confrontations. In the critical analysis the term violent street world is defined and the body of published work which examines it is then contextualised; first, by a consideration of the external political and social forces that led to its production; second, by reference to the internal academic traditions in which and at times against which these papers were produced. Rather than approach the study of the street world by reference to the actors who inhabit it, the crimes they do or the weapons they use, the thesis makes a case for making the street world itself the object and focus of enquiry. The street world is then studied thematically in four chapters. The themes selected are: street crime in a historical context, the aetiology of street violence, the structure and organisation of the street world and the distinction between street representations and street realities. The analysis concludes with reflections on the key contributions the work assembled has made to our understanding of violent street worlds and their social analysis. The work is original in so far as it contests many current myths that have been proposed to explain street violence while producing more compelling explanations for it. These help explicate why the violence occurs, how and why it is changing, who is involved and why people engage in it.

Key words: Gang, street culture, guns, knives, weapons

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Social Sciences > School of Law
Depositing User: James Tweddle
Date Deposited: 21 Aug 2019 10:33
Last Modified: 21 Aug 2019 10:33
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/72019
DOI:

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