This book takes students on a guided tour of the gang phenomenon through history, as well as current representations of gangs in literature and media. It includes: - A detailed global overview of gang culture, covering, amongst others, Glasgow, Chicago, Hong Kong, and Shanghai - A chapter on researching gangs which covers quantitative and qualitative methods - Extra chapter features such as key terms, chapter overviews, study questions and further reading suggestions. Fraser brings together gang-literature and critical perspectives in a refreshingly new way, exploring ‘gangs’ as a social group with a long and fascinating history.

Histories of Gangs

Histories of Gangs


Chapter 3 provides:

  • An introduction and overview of historical approaches to youth gangs, incorporating key studies from the US and UK.
  • A revisiting of these classical ideas in light of contemporary trends in society, and corresponding questioning of their continued relevance.
  • The construction of an alternative approach to understanding gangs that is called ‘urban genealogy’.
  • An application of this approach to empirical research on gangs in four world cities, namely Glasgow, Chicago, Hong Kong and Shanghai.

Key Terms

  • Childhood
  • Delinquency
  • Disciplinary power
  • Green Gang
  • History from above
  • History from below
  • Honour
  • Hooligans
  • Ideal child
  • Peaky Blinders
  • Popular fears
  • Triadisation
  • Turf
  • Urban genealogy
  • Young teams
  • Youth


Groups of young people, particularly men, banding together for criminal purposes have a ...

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