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Young Black Street Masculinities

Vulnerability, Knife-Carrying and Survival on a Disadvantaged Housing Estate

Palgrave Macmillan

Authors:

  • Incorporates urban ethnography methods including observation, informal conversations, interviews, and focus groups

  • Offers insight into the diverse range of masculinities experienced by a particularly vulnerable population

  • Features discussion questions and annotated bibliographies for current youth work students and practitioners

Buying options

eBook USD 109.00
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • ISBN: 978-3-030-93543-6
  • Instant PDF download
  • Readable on all devices
  • Own it forever
  • Exclusive offer for individuals only
  • Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout
Hardcover Book USD 149.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)

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Table of contents (6 chapters)

  1. Front Matter

    Pages i-xxv
  2. Maxwell’s Street Code

    • Brendan King
    Pages 49-60
  3. Portraits of Life on Maxwell

    • Brendan King
    Pages 91-191
  4. Overall Conclusion

    • Brendan King
    Pages 193-205
  5. Back Matter

    Pages 207-234

About this book

“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.

 

Keywords

  • youth work
  • youth violence
  • masculinity
  • Black Lives Matter
  • knife violence
  • youth vulnerability
  • social work

Reviews

Young Black Street Masculinities brings to life the stories and experiences of young, predominantly Black, men growing up on an inner-city housing estate in their own words. Through these personal accounts, we learn how they form and navigate various identities in the different contexts that they find themselves in. It highlights how, in particular, their varying understanding and expression of masculinity is formed and upheld, and the power and importance of role models in this. It is an essential read for youth workers, teachers, or for anyone working with young people—particularly young people from disadvantaged areas, those impacted by violence, or who are grappling with their identity and what it means to be a man.” (Charly Young, CEO and Co-founder of The Girls’ Network, UK) 

“This book documents a high-quality ethnographic study into an important research area with contemporary relevance. King capitalises on personal familiarity and extensive knowledge of the field of study (both geographical and conceptual) to produce a wide-ranging study that is theoretically and methodologically robust. He is to be congratulated on his ability to get alongside participants who could be resistant and impervious to more formalised forms of research engagement.” (Pete Harris, Senior Lecturer, Newman University, UK)

“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)

 

Authors and Affiliations

  • Impact and Evaluation, The Westminster Foundation, London, UK

    Brendan King

About the author

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.


Bibliographic Information

Buying options

eBook USD 109.00
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • ISBN: 978-3-030-93543-6
  • Instant PDF download
  • Readable on all devices
  • Own it forever
  • Exclusive offer for individuals only
  • Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout
Hardcover Book USD 149.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)