From Chicago to Glasgow: gangs, race, and the state

This is a SCCJR seminar and all are welcome.

Abstract:  Chicago and Glasgow both have long histories of gangs and have reputations for violence.  Both cities have gangs today with links to the past, and poverty continues to tarnish each city’s more recent, glowing reputations. However, Chicago’s mafia or ‘Outfit’ still exists and black and Latino gangs have persisted or ‘institutionalized’ over the past 50 years. Rates of violence are much higher in Chicago than Glasgow.  The US war on drugs and gangs have filled prisons and increased alienation particularly among African Americans. This talk will explore how race, culture, corruption, and US correctional policy have influenced Chicago’s gangs and offer thoughts on how these factors compare to Glasgow.

Bio:  John Hagedorn is an Associate Professor of Criminology, Law, and Justice and Senior Research Fellow at the University of Illinois-Chicago’s Great Cities Institute. He has been studying gangs and violence for the past twenty years. He is the author of People & Folks: Gangs, Crime, and the Underclass in a Rustbelt City and co-editor of Female Gangs in America: Essays on girls, gangs, and gender. He edited the recent Gangs in the Global City: Alternatives to Traditional Criminology, and his most recent book, A World of Gangs: Armed Young Men and Gangsta Culture, was published in 2008 by the University of Minnesota Press (foreword by Mike Davis).

‘A World of Gangs is an illuminating journey around the cultures, lives, tragedies, and dreams of millions of rebellious youth around the planet. It is an indispensable work to understand the world we live in and essential reading for students of cities and communities’ –– Manuel Castells