Young white British men and knife-carrying in public

Journal article


Palasinski, Marek and Riggs, Damien 2012. Young white British men and knife-carrying in public. Critical Criminology.
AuthorsPalasinski, Marek and Riggs, Damien
Abstract

Whilst quantitative research to date gives us some indication of the prevalence at which knife-carrying occurs among young British men, there have been few explanations for why it occurs, and for what the relationship might be between broader social issues of control and power and the behaviours of young men themselves. Drawing on interviews with 16 young white British men, the present paper explores the ways in which the sample accounted for knife-carrying. Two interpretative repertoires were identified: (1) attributions of blame to authorities for a lack of protection and a subsequent justification of knife-carrying, and (2) discussions of masculinity in relation to knife-carrying. The findings suggest that what is required are policy and practice responses that take into account the symbolic functions of knives for young white men, and which recognise the dilemmatic bind that such men are caught in when they attempt to negotiate competing demands of protection and control.

Whilst quantitative research to date gives us some indication of the prevalence
at which knife-carrying occurs among young British men, there have been few explanations
for why it occurs, and for what the relationship might be between broader social
issues of control and power and the behaviours of young men themselves. Drawing on
interviews with 16 young white British men, the present paper explores the ways in which
the sample accounted for knife-carrying. Two interpretative repertoires were identified: (1)
attributions of blame to authorities for a lack of protection and a subsequent justification of
knife-carrying, and (2) discussions of masculinity in relation to knife-carrying. The findings
suggest that what is required are policy and practice responses that take into account
the symbolic functions of knives for young white men, and which recognise the dilemmatic
bind that such men are caught in when they attempt to negotiate competing demands of
protection and control.

Year2012
JournalCritical Criminology
PublisherSpringer
Web address (URL)http://hdl.handle.net/10545/292650
hdl:10545/292650
Publication dates06 Jul 2012
Publication process dates
Deposited23 May 2013, 15:10
ContributorsUniversity of Derby
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File Access Level
Open
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File Access Level
Open
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