Making up gangs: Looping, labelling and the new politics of intelligence-led policing

Alistair Fraser, Colin Atkinson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

21 Citations (Scopus)
6 Downloads (Pure)


The 2011 ‘summer of violent disorder’ in England cast a spotlight on the often arbitrary and uneven process through which individuals become labelled as ‘gang-members’. Based on data from two separate but concurrently conducted qualitative studies in Glasgow, Scotland, this article draws on the critical vocabularies of Bourdieu and Hacking to conceptualize this new frontier in the politics of gang policing: analysing the distinctive ‘fields’ that street-based young people and police actors inhabit; uncovering the complex chain of interactions through which individuals become labelled as ‘gang-members’; and exploring the consequences of such labelling processes.
Original languageEnglish
Article number4
Pages (from-to)154-170
Number of pages16
JournalYouth Justice
Issue number2
Early online date14 Jul 2014
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2014
Externally publishedYes



  • Ethnography
  • Gangs
  • Intelligence
  • Policing
  • Sociology of knowledge

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