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ERIC Number: EJ814875
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Pages: 16
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-1533-8916
Violence in Street Culture: Cross-Cultural Comparison of Youth Groups and Criminal Gangs
Zdun, Steffen
New Directions for Youth Development, n119 p39-54 Fall 2008
Violence is a widespread phenomenon in juvenile street culture. But the questions of whether this relationship is a deterministic one, and if not, which are the contributing factors, are largely unanswered. This article focuses on the role of public space, starting with a comparison of the meaning of deviant behavior and crime in street culture in Brazil, Russia, and Germany. Focusing on street culture norms and their relevance for youth groups in everyday life, the author shows that there are worldwide similarities, and these are most likely to be seen in disadvantaged neighborhoods. The article deals not only with the question of how people act in conflicts but also focuses on a social order in which the reputation of men is based mainly on questions of masculinity, honor, and power expressed through aggressive behavior. The results are based on more than one hundred semistructured qualitative interviews with street culture youth, prison inmates, adult family members, social workers, police, and researchers that were conducted in recent years in the three countries. The study also describes a typology of conflict behavior among male street culture youth that helps in understanding why even juveniles who were socialized in the milieu of the street culture can reject violence and do not have to turn to violence in all conflicts. The article examines the similarities in the reasons for violence and fear of violence, as well as the differences in frequency and intensity between violent countries (such as Brazil and the Russian Federation) and less violent countries (for example, Germany). (Contains 41 notes.)
Jossey-Bass. Available from John Wiley & Sons, Inc. 111 River Street, Hoboken, NJ 07030-5774. Tel: 800-825-7550; Tel: 201-748-6645; Fax: 201-748-6021; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Brazil; Germany; Russia