“Like the Ghetto – You Hurt Me, I Hurt You.” Security and Street Violence in a Socially Excluded Locality

Walach Václav Císař Ondřej

Abstract

This paper empirically examines the meaning of security within
a socially excluded locality. Drawing on critical security studies and cultural
criminology, ethnographic research was conducted to make sense of security
from the perspective of the excluded. We provide an account of the dominant
security narrative identified in the investigated discourse, where street violence
is recognized as the most serious threat to the well-being of a local population.
Violence is understood both as a means of satisfying drug addiction and as
a mechanism of creating ’respect’. The interpretation is further analyzed
through a framework inspired by the thought of Pierre Bourdieu, utilizing
the concepts of street culture field, street capital, and street habitus. In the
conclusion of the article, we claim that street violence is not the manifestation
of the Roma ethnicity, as some put it, but that it should be approached as
a symptom of social marginalization instead.

Keywords

security; critical security studies; cultural criminology; social exclusion; street culture

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Vydání: 15, 2013, 3