'The Alchemy of Race and Rights’: The Logic of Historicizing Contemporary Narratives on Race, Youth and Gangs:The Logic of Historicizing Contemporary Narratives on Race, Youth and Gangs

Miller, Esmorie Jacqueline (2022) 'The Alchemy of Race and Rights’: The Logic of Historicizing Contemporary Narratives on Race, Youth and Gangs:The Logic of Historicizing Contemporary Narratives on Race, Youth and Gangs. In: The Palgrave Handbook of UK Gangs. Palgrave Macmillan, London. ISBN 9783030996574

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Abstract

In the United Kingdom (UK), race scholars continue to reinvigorate (Phillips et al., 2019; Nijjar, 2018) long established criticisms (Gilroy, 2008; Hall et al., 1978) on the need to historicize contemporary concerns about race, crime, and punishment. Scholars remark on apprehensions with an entrenched racialization of crime, particularly the typification of racialized peoples as normalized suspects and consequently subjects of punishment. As Phillips et al., (2019) note racialized peoples have become inextricably linked with deviance, in the public consciousness. Meting out extraordinary punishment for the racialized has been rationalized on this basis, to appease a public for whom penalty indicates the greater likelihood of the social stability purportedly threatened by the so-called typical deviant (Cox, 2018; Gilroy, 2008; Hall et al., 1978). The opening quotations emphasize the entrenched intersection between race, youth, and punishment, signifying how calls to historicize can also be read as calls to expand the customary explanatory scope, prioritizing concerns for youth’s vulnerability over their normalization as risky. This relational distinction between vulnerability and risk is crucial: while risk informed approaches rationalize amplified punitiveness (Miller, 2022, 2020), vulnerability approaches rationalize judiciousness, protection, and care (Honneth, 2003, 1995; Bottoms, 1980). Against this backdrop, this chapter explores statutory approaches to the contemporary, urban youth gang phenomenon as a relevant case for historicization. Indeed, within the UK, scholarship references a ‘race-gang nexus’ (Williams, 2015: 18; see also Nijjar, 2018), contending the phenomenon has been given a Black and or ethnic face (Hallsworth and Young, 2008: 185), despite knowledge that consumption of concomitant, contributory cultural artefacts like rap [and drill] music ‘include youths of all races, classes, and nationalities’ (Tatum, 1999: 341).

Item Type:
Contribution in Book/Report/Proceedings
ID Code:
177627
Deposited By:
Deposited On:
11 Nov 2022 15:30
Refereed?:
No
Published?:
Published
Last Modified:
21 Nov 2022 17:50