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

Armstrong, Gary and Rosbrook-Thompson, James (2017) ‘Squashing the Beef’: Combatting Gang Violence and Reforming Masculinity in East London. Contemporary Social Science: Journal of the Academy of Social Sciences, 12 (3-4). pp. 285-296. ISSN 2158-205X

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/21582041.2017.1385833


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: Journal Article
Keywords: Ethnography, Gangs, Intervention, Religion, Violence
Faculty: ARCHIVED Faculty of Arts, Law & Social Sciences (until September 2018)
Depositing User: James Rosbrook-Thompson
Date Deposited: 27 Oct 2017 10:53
Last Modified: 09 Sep 2021 18:58
URI: https://arro.anglia.ac.uk/id/eprint/702388

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