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Bomb alert: Graffiti writing and urban space in London

Kindynis, T. 2018. Bomb alert: Graffiti writing and urban space in London. British Journal of Criminology, 58(3), pp. 511-528. ISSN 0007-0955 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

Based on three years of ethnographic research undertaken in London amongst a loose network of what British Transport Police term ‘serious graffiti vandals’, this article considers how we might conceive theoretically of the interrelationships between graffiti writing, urban space and social control. The article proceeds in two parts. By way of introduction, the first half of the article delineates some of the major subcultural elements that comprise the day-to-day practice of graffiti writing as it exists in present-day London. The second half of the article engages the theoretical work of Henri Lefebvre. It is suggested that graffiti can be understood as simultaneously disrupting authoritative spatial orderings, whilst superimposing its own alternative social geography onto the city.

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graffiti, ethnography, cultural criminology, Henri Lefebvre, urban space, tagging

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4 July 2017Accepted
31 July 2017Published Online
6 April 2018Published

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Date Deposited:

08 Jun 2018 11:08

Last Modified:

10 Jul 2018 08:04

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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