Next Article in Journal
Trustworthiness in Higher Education: The Role of Professor Benevolence and Competence
Next Article in Special Issue
Changes in Personal Social Networks across Individuals Leaving Their Street Gang: Just What Are Youth Leaving Behind?
Previous Article in Journal
Stonewalling in the Brick City: Perceptions of and Experiences with Seeking Police Assistance among LGBTQ Citizens
Previous Article in Special Issue
The Social Network Consequences of a Gang Murder Blowout
Article

Making Sense of Murder: The Reality versus the Realness of Gang Homicides in Two Contexts

1
Department of Sociology, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB T6G 2H4, Canada
2
Erasmus School of Law, Erasmus University Rotterdam, 3062 PA Rotterdam, The Netherlands
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Soc. Sci. 2021, 10(1), 17; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci10010017
Received: 8 December 2020 / Revised: 5 January 2021 / Accepted: 6 January 2021 / Published: 12 January 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Research on Gang-Related Violence in the 21st Century)
Despite the proliferation of research examining gang violence, little is known about how gang members experience, make sense of, and respond to peer fatalities. Drawing from two ethnographies in the Netherlands and Canada, this paper interrogates how gang members experience their affiliates’ murder in different street milieus. We describe how gang members in both studies made sense of and navigated their affiliates’ murder(s) by conducting pseudo-homicide investigations, being hypervigilant, and attributing blameworthiness to the victim. We then demonstrate that while the Netherland’s milder street culture amplifies the significance of homicide, signals the authenticity of gang life, and reaffirms or tests group commitment, frequent and normalized gun violence in Canada has desensitized gang-involved men to murder, created a communal and perpetual state of insecurity, and eroded group cohesion. Lastly, we compare the ‘realness’ of gang homicide in The Hague with the ‘reality’ of lethal violence in Toronto, drawing attention to the importance of the ‘local’ in making sense of murder and contrasting participants’ narratives of interpretation. View Full-Text
Keywords: gang homicide; comparative research; ethnography; gang violence gang homicide; comparative research; ethnography; gang violence
MDPI and ACS Style

Urbanik, M.-M.; Roks, R.A. Making Sense of Murder: The Reality versus the Realness of Gang Homicides in Two Contexts. Soc. Sci. 2021, 10, 17. https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci10010017

AMA Style

Urbanik M-M, Roks RA. Making Sense of Murder: The Reality versus the Realness of Gang Homicides in Two Contexts. Social Sciences. 2021; 10(1):17. https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci10010017

Chicago/Turabian Style

Urbanik, Marta-Marika, and Robert A. Roks. 2021. "Making Sense of Murder: The Reality versus the Realness of Gang Homicides in Two Contexts" Social Sciences 10, no. 1: 17. https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci10010017

Find Other Styles
Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Article Access Map by Country/Region

1
Back to TopTop