Gangs, space and the state: bringing Henri Lefebvre’s spatial theory to critical gang studies

Schwarze, T. (2021) Gangs, space and the state: bringing Henri Lefebvre’s spatial theory to critical gang studies. In: International Handbook of Critical Gang Studies. Routledge: United States, pp. 89-107. ISBN 9781138616110 (doi: 10.4324/9780429462443-8)

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An increasing level of research attention on street gangs has started to critically examine the socio-spatial processes of neoliberal capitalism. In this context, defining the notion of ‘space’ has become an important undertaking. This chapter stresses that the notion of ‘space’ is not as straightforwardly defined as some mainstream criminological research on gangs might suggest. Too often, mainstream criminology has only defined space in gang research by focusing on the territoriality of gang spaces. To expand on this static notion of space, this chapter introduces Henri Lefebvre’s spatial theory to critical gang studies with the aim to provide a theoretical framework for critical examinations of the relationship between gangs, space and the state. Lefebvre’s spatial theory convinces with its critical exploration of the existing power relations that characterise neoliberal capitalism and how such power relations become evident in (urban) space. By providing some analytical avenues of how his spatial theory can be fruitful to critical gang studies, this chapter seeks to introduce Lefebvre’s writing on space and the state into critical scholarship on street gangs.

Item Type:Book Sections
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Schwarze, Dr Tilman
Authors: Schwarze, T.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Sociology Anthropology and Applied Social Sciences
Journal Name:International Handbook of Critical Gang Studies

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