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Re: Deliberation

Postby Van Canna » Sat Dec 22, 2012 3:39 pm

Many recent shootings bear out these seemingly ‘tit-for-tat’ violent reprisals. As Elliott
Currie has argued (1997), they are familiar and powerfully corrosive of wider community
safety, confidence and order. Only very recently, the gang-related gun murder of a teenager
in Sheffield bore all the signs of this violent culture of reprisals. Members of the S4 gang
(a postcode area of Sheffield) went in search of a member of the S3 gang to exact their
own brand of postcode justice for a serious insult to S4 family members. No doubt, in
their eyes, they were doing what impetuous, reckless and violent young men have done for
generations. Not to act in the way they did would be to lose face, suggesting they didn’t
have the ‘bottle’ to protect their ‘turf’– the postcode being a very crude and intentionally
ambitious marker for their self-proclaimed ‘business zone’. In their terms, not being
violent would only invite further violence. As Firmin, Turner and Gavrielides (2007) point
out, summarising a range of research findings, such tensions produce:

‘Men who will retaliate at the slightest provocation. A cycle of retaliation is often
inevitable… ‘Feminine’ values such as forgiveness, care and compassion are rejected
in favour of masculine ideals of strength and power… Mundane arguments are
‘reconstructed… into the stuff of legend’ (Hallsworth and Young, 2004). Trivial
arguments are amplified and believed to be ‘wars’ or ‘battles’. Neighbourhoods
and estates become re-branded as ‘turfs’ or ‘territories’ as the legend is expanded
[by] unstable men who consider themselves invincible and untouchable.’
(Firmin, Turner and Gavrielides, 2007: 28)

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Re: Deliberation

Postby Van Canna » Sat Dec 22, 2012 3:41 pm

‘Cowards will find that their criminal careers come to a rapid and ignominious
end. In the criminal underworld there is no place, or mercy, for the weak.’
(Jacobs, 2000: 3)

‘The use of guns and weapons become related to imagery and machismo. They
become a symbolically powerful method of demonstration, far more effective in their
message than fist-fighting. Issues of respect, and disrespect, may lead individuals
and groups to have ‘beef’ with others. So called ‘diss’ shootings become common…
[as] expressive and symbolic violence not only [provides gang members] with
personal status [it is also] used to usurp rivals.’
(Firmin, Turner and Gavrielides, 2007: 28) ... report.pdf
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