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Other TitlesWhat is to be done about crime and punishment?
AbstractAlthough police officers, health, welfare and educational professionals, local residents and their children in gang-affected neighbourhoods are familiar with the effects of gangs and gang crime (Pitts 2008; Palmer 2009; Harding 2014), some academics remain sceptical (Brotherton and Barrios 2011; Hallsworth 2008, 2013). They argue that notwithstanding the stylistic differences between contemporary youth cultures and those of the past, the contemporary furore surrounding violent youth gangs is akin to the demonising discourses—the ‘moral panics’—which attended the Teddy boys in the 1950s, the mods and rockers in the 1960s, the punks in the 1970s, the lager louts in the 1980s and so on. They argue that these periodic expressions of popular outrage tell us more about the anxieties of an adult public, opinion formers and the media than the behaviour of young people (Hallsworth 2011), for example, claims that the problem of the ‘gang’ is not the gang itself but the media driven moral panic and ‘gang control industry’ that surrounds it.
CitationPitts J. (2016) 'Critical realism and gang violence', in Matthews R. (ed(s).). What is to be done about crime and punishment? Towards a 'public criminology', edn, London: Palgrave pp.57-88.