Weapon-Carrying Among Young Men in Glasgow: Street Scripts and Signals in Uncertain Social Spaces

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Abstract

Our work contributes through a cultural criminological perspective to a contextualised knowledge of street violence and its constructed meanings; uncertainty, familiarity and strangeness in spaces of urban disadvantage as perceived by Scottish white youths are examined. Youth criminal and anti-social behaviour associated with knife-carrying is widely reported and structures political and media discourses which classify street culture. In our article we argue that a particular symbolic construction of social space, as experienced and constructed by weapon-carrying young white men in Glasgow, informs the landscape of violence judged in terms of official statistics and fear of crime. Signal crime theory as a particular type of cultural criminology affords insights about why weapons are carried. Links with a hierarchical codification of consumer culture inform the findings and resonate with the penetration of capitalism in the lives of the marginalised street youth.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)137-151
Number of pages15
JournalCritical Criminology
Volume25
Issue number1
Early online date29 Jul 2016
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2017

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