Storming the capital: the place of street capital and social capital within gangs

Simon Harding, Ross Deuchar

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter focuses on the essential internal dynamics of urban street gangs by bringing together discussion on the dual concepts of social capital and ‘street capital’. The chapter presents an overview of the multi-faceted perspectives on social capital theory and how it has been drawn upon to explore and understand what may lead the most disadvantaged and vulnerable to join street gangs, before exploring the newer theory of ‘street capital’ and how its accumulation can help gang members climb the social hierarchical ladder. The theories are drawn upon as a means of developing a deeper understanding of why some young men may engage in street gang violence, progress to organised crime and, increasingly, participate in extreme forms of criminality. The chapter concludes by suggesting the reasons why policy-makers and practitioners may find these theoretical persectives helpful in developing and delivering evidence-based public health-focused gang intervention initiatives.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Oxford Handbook of Gangs and Society
EditorsD. C. Pyrooz, J. A. Densley, J. Leverso
Place of PublicationNew York
PublisherOxford University Press (OUP)
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 1 Jan 2023


  • gangs
  • social capital
  • street capital
  • crime
  • violence
  • street culture
  • distinction
  • public health
  • prevention


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