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Inside the Brotherhood: Some Theoretical Aspects of Group Dynamics in Biker Clubs

  • Stig Grundvall
Chapter
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Risk, Crime and Society book series (PSRCS)

Abstract

Previous studies have often referred to the outlaw biker club as a fraternity with security and solidarity functions. In this article, Grundvall highlights some other aspects that suggest that this type of bonding tends to reinforce introversion, secrecy, and a hostile attitude toward the outside world. While on the one hand, unbroken loyalty and ritual self-affirmations form strong ties and security, on the other, they also contribute to mimetic power struggles both within the group and against other biker clubs. Grundvall demonstrates how self-reinforcing processes within the group may create a system in which secrets must be preserved, betrayal must be avoided, and where the outside world seems increasingly intimidating. The conclusions are, in many respects, also relevant to street gangs and other groups in the margins of society.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stig Grundvall
    • 1
  1. 1.University of GothenburgGothenburgSweden

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