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.

Cultural Perspectives

Cultural Perspectives


Chapter 7 provides:

  • A critical commentary on traditional approaches to gangs and the media, particularly the concept of ‘moral panic’, in the context of new media.
  • An introduction to cultural criminological approaches to gangs and the media, drawing attention to processes such as ‘media loops’.
  • An outline of a range of cultural analyses of gangs, drawing on literature, film and TV, music and popular culture.
  • A discussion of common themes in cultural representations of gangs, and the impact of these dominant narratives on responses to gangs.

Key Terms

  • Authenticity
  • Bandit
  • Carnival
  • Criminalisation
  • Cultural criminology
  • Deviant leisure
  • Edgework
  • Fashion
  • Folk devils
  • Gangsta rap
  • Grand Theft Auto
  • Hip-hop
  • Ideology
  • Media loops
  • Moral panic
  • Moral regulation
  • Multi-media
  • Outlaw
  • Resistance
  • Subcultures
  • Transgression
  • Virtual-real


The study of gangs is unavoidably and ...

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