‘Squashing the Beef’: Combatting Gang Violence and Reforming Masculinity in East London

Armstrong, Gary and Rosbrook-Thompson, James (2018) ‘Squashing the Beef’: Combatting Gang Violence and Reforming Masculinity in East London. In: Youths in Challenging Situations: International and Interdisciplinary Perspectives. Contemporary Issues in Social Science . Routledge, Abingdon. ISBN 9781138616554

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Abstract

The article draws on the findings of two years’ ethnographic fieldwork in exploring how gang activity in Newham, East London is combatted by faith-based organisation, Targeted Against Gangs (TAG). More specifically, the authors examine how TAG seeks to reform the identities of young male gang members according to the principles of what we have called ‘Pentecostal realist masculinity’. The characteristics of this reformed masculinity include an awareness of the racial (and racist) dynamics of criminal and wider society, a focus on individuals thriving within fraternal networks, and the desire to channel creative energies into legitimate entrepreneurial activities. Though this strategy did not mount a direct challenge to the racist societal structures it identified, it was effective in reducing levels of gang violence in East London.

Item Type: Book Chapter
Keywords: Ethnography, Gangs, Intervention, Religion, Violence
Faculty: Faculty of Arts, Law & Social Sciences
Depositing User: James Rosbrook-Thompson
Date Deposited: 26 Jun 2018 14:21
Last Modified: 29 Oct 2018 15:26
URI: http://arro.anglia.ac.uk/id/eprint/703196

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