Territorialities in Scotland: perceptions of young people in Glasgow

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This paper presents the results of an exploratory, small-scale qualitative research enquiry into the perceptions and experiences of young people in communities afflicted by deprivation in Glasgow, Scotland's largest city. The context within which we address this focus contains a culture reputed to involve sectarianism, territoriality and gangs. Glasgow has a reputation for being a ‘hard place’. The official crime statistics are consistent with comparatively high levels of violent crime impacting upon this culture. We adopted semi-structured interviews in order to explore young people's perspectives as well as those working with them in youth venues. Most of the data collection took place in ‘youth centres’ close to the two stadiums of the major Scottish football clubs, namely Rangers and Celtic. Social capital theory is incorporated into the analysis of the results. The findings suggest that territoriality is the dominant parameter shaping their experience of and perceptions regarding neighbourhood areas, a conclusion endorsed by recent research about religious intermarriage.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)731-746
JournalJournal of Youth Studies
Issue number6
Early online date16 Oct 2009
Publication statusPublished - 2009


  • gangs
  • youth culture
  • lifestyles
  • identity
  • territoriality


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