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Title: "Being from here, it's not about being famous; it's about surviving" : an urban ethnographic study of young black men's hegemonic masculinity and knife-carrying in an inner-city London estate
Author: King, Brendan
ISNI:       0000 0004 9360 0127
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2020
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This qualitative study explores how the masculine performances of young black men inform their knife-carrying on an inner-city London estate. Young men’s narratives describe how their spaces, which contain violent ‘street codes’, shape the idealised, hegemonic, and complicit masculinities of the street, leading some to justify their knife-carrying. The study also examines the role that formal (e.g., youth workers, police) and informal (parents, peers, social media) agents play in young men’s vulnerability and masculine idealisations. My research uses an interactionist approach within an urban ethnography design. It intersects the fields of gender, criminology and youth studies. Fieldwork took place between February and December 2019. It involved informal conversations and street observations, focus groups, formal interviews, photo projects and community mapping with black males aged between 18-23. During fieldwork, five street-based youth workers also participated in recorded and informal conversations. Using thematic analyses, findings indicate the presence of two localised masculine hegemonies: one, more established and violent, and one emergent, and more inclusive. The thesis highlights how urban ethnography can enhance understandings of young black men’s masculine performances in inner-city spaces and explores various methodologically creative approaches to engaging ‘marginalised’ participants, including the use of youth workers as gatekeepers. The research has implications for street-based youth work practise: firstly, the findings highlight several risk factors in young men’s lives, requiring mitigation; secondly, they emphasise the importance of street-based youth workers in modelling less violent and more inclusive patterns of masculinity.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available