The role of affective sanctioning in the formation of hyper-masculine identities among young male gang members in Glasgow

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In this paper we explore the emotions’ role in the construction of particular ‘masculine social worlds’ characterised by a collective sense of hypermasculinity among young working-class men in Glasgow belonging to gang groups. We argue that affective social sanctioning underpins and circumscribes the constitution of local masculine subjectivities. We adopt an ethnomethodological approach to uncover specific local ‘methods’ (and the associated group’s status markers) used by the individuals of those collectives to successfully operate within their situated ‘lived’ experience. Affective sanctioning should be understood as a key method underpinning the constitution of these groups’ distinct status makers and the concomitant subjective identities. We show that emerging status markers are idiosyncratic to the group and relatively independent of wider systemic features. To illustrate the distinctive nature of a group’s constitutive ‘methods’ we contrast two groups which, despite co-existing in the same geographical location (and thus sharing similar wider
structural determinants in relation to a general sense of masculine identity) develop different modes of hyper-masculinity: while violence is central to
achieving masculine status among young street gang members (YSG), money and physical capital are prioritised among members of Serious Organised
Crime Groups (SOCGs). Using empirical data from these two groups we aim to provide a case study for a phenomenological framework which highlights the
constitutive power of individual’s interactions with particular emphasis on mutual susceptibility to affective inter-valuation practices as the bases for the
emergence and maintenance of collective identity and sense of belonging. Most significantly ‘markers’ of group belonging shape practices that while may be
perceived as irrational to an outsider they must be understood as logical, rational and calculative from an insider’s point of view.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2017
Event13th Conference of the European Sociological Association: (Un)Making Europe: Capitalism, Solidarities, Subjectivities - PANTEION University of Social & Political Sciences and HAROKOPIO University, Athens, Greece
Duration: 29 Aug 20171 Sept 2017


Conference13th Conference of the European Sociological Association
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