Jeff Ferrell



Youth, Crime, and Cultural Space

Author Jeff Ferrell observes that when cultural and criminal processes come together and when style and meaning are negotiated, essential issues of power, status, and control come into question. He explores in whose interest systems of urban authority operate, and by what standards young city residents are judged desirable or undesirable, criminal or noncriminal. Another aspect is the ways in which youth subcultures promote criminality and from what times, places, and cultural resources young people should be legally prohibited. Are the lives and actions of gang members and graffiti writers best understood as cultural alternatives or criminal enterprises to be confined within structures of legal control? Are channels of youthful communication appropriately the province of corporate profit, legal regulation, or unfettered creativity? These are questions of style, meaning, power, and crime, and the spaces in which these social forces intersect.

crime control; criminalization; cultural analysis; curfew; urban conditions; youth and law; youth culture

Citation: Social Justice Vol. 24, No. 4 (1997): 21-38