Damaged hardmen: organised crime and the half-life of deindustrialisation

Fraser, A. and Clark, A. (2021) Damaged hardmen: organised crime and the half-life of deindustrialisation. British Journal of Sociology, 72(4), pp. 1062-1076. (doi: 10.1111/1468-4446.12828) (PMID:33641171)

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Despite frequent associations, deindustrialization features rarely in studies of organized crime, and organized crime is at best a spectral presence in studies of deindustrialization. By developing an original application of Linkon's concept of the “half‐life,” we present an empirical case for the symbiotic relationship between former sites of industry and the emergence of criminal markets. Based on a detailed case‐study in the west of Scotland, an area long associated with both industry and crime, the paper interrogates the environmental, social, and cultural after‐effects of deindustrialization at a community level. Drawing on 55 interviews with residents and service‐providers in Tunbrooke, an urban community where an enduring criminal market grew in the ruins of industry, the paper elaborates the complex landscapes of identity, vulnerability, and harm that are embedded in the symbiosis of crime and deindustrialization. Building on recent scholarship, the paper argues that organized crime in Tunbrooke is best understood as an instance of “residual culture” grafted onto a fragmented, volatile criminal marketplace where the stable props of territorial identity are unsettled. The analysis allows for an extension of both the study of deindustrialization and organized crime, appreciating the “enduring legacies” of closure on young people, communal identity, and social relations in the twenty‐first century.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:Funding information: Scottish Government, Grant/Award Number: Community Experience of Serious Organised Crime in Scotland
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Fraser, Professor Alistair
Authors: Fraser, A., and Clark, A.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Sociology Anthropology and Applied Social Sciences
Journal Name:British Journal of Sociology
ISSN (Online):1468-4446
Published Online:28 February 2021
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2021 The Authors
First Published:First published in British Journal of Sociology 72(4): 1062-1076
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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