Young boys and street gangs: Thrills, recognition and negotiating sense of belonging

Publikation: Konferencebidrag uden forlag/tidsskriftKonferenceabstrakt til konferenceForskningpeer review


Young boys living in deprived Copenhagen neighbourhoods are increasingly in risk of joining street gangs and thereby commencing a criminal life course. This tendency strongly indicate of the growing segregation be- tween social groups in Denmark. Taking the perspective of young boys on the curb of joining street gangs, this presentation demonstrates that, to the young boys, street gangs represent alternative societies that seems much more accessible than school and work communities. Street gangs seemingly gives access to social recognition and networks, economic opportunities and material status objects, and offer an enticing gangster identity, a place to belong and the thrills of fighting enemies.
However, findings from the ‘Local Network for Youth’ (LNY), a three-year-long local police initiated project aiming to prevent gang joining through shared sports activities, frequent dialogues, access to the police sta- tion and a short police internship, show that the boys are very attracted to the police profession and find that it offers many of the same opportunities; network, recognition and thrills. Thus, indicating that, for the
boys, the line between civic and anti-civic participation can be surprisingly blurred and having role models is of great importance.
Publikationsdato11 aug. 2016
StatusUdgivet - 11 aug. 2016
BegivenhedNordic Sociology Conference: Knowledge-Making Practices and Sociology’s Global Challenge - University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland
Varighed: 11 aug. 201613 aug. 2016


KonferenceNordic Sociology Conference
LokationUniversity of Helsinki


  • Unge
  • kriminalitet
  • boligområder
  • Politi