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Young Black Street Masculinities

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Young Black Street Masculinities

English | 2022 | ISBN: 9783030935429 | 234 pages | PDF EPUB | 5 MB

“Researchers have tried to understand the enduring relationship between men and violence for years. It is depressing! Why are men disposed to violence? Against one another, women or children? In this book, King sheds new and important light on such questions. Raised in a resource-poor urban area and having lost a teenage friend through knife crime, King explores how young Black men in his childhood community construct and perform masculinity. While analytical light is shone powerfully on these questions, King leaves us with hope: practitioners working with at-risk young men offer alternative, non-violent role models.”
—Robert Morrell, Director of New Generation of Academics Programme, University of Cape Town, South Africa
“This splendid book makes a salient contribution to our theoretical and empirical knowledge about young Black street masculinities and their relation to violent crime. Concentrating on a disadvantaged inner-city housing estate, King’s ethnographic data demonstrates the fluidity of masculine practices—from caring and sensitivity to toughness and violence. This work is both a good read and good scholarship—I highly recommend it!”
—James W. Messerschmidt, Distinguished University Professor Emeritus, Sociology, University of Southern Maine, USA

This book describes how young Black men on a disadvantaged housing estate in London navigate the estate’s expectations for their behaviour as they operate within a street code that endorses violence, knife-carrying and challenging masculinity. This street code informs the men’s masculine identities by promoting values of misogyny, violence and the possession of expensive material objects while subduing any performance or features deemed as weak or feminine. Chapters detail the daily pressure on young men to gain respect and perform the estate’s street code while also providing examples of young men who have escaped or rejected its influence. King also outlines how youth workers can support those trapped by the estate’s street code by embodying personalised or caring masculinity features that seek to transform the dominant masculinity.

Brendan King earned his doctorate at the Institute of Education at University College London, UK. He has held multiple positions working with vulnerable and at-risk youth. His research interests include youth, gender and masculinity, particularly among inner-city communities.

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