The Place of Trust: Young Masculinities, Relationality and Everyday Violence

McShane, Brian. 2018. The Place of Trust: Young Masculinities, Relationality and Everyday Violence. Doctoral thesis, Goldsmiths, University of London [Thesis]

Text (The Place of Trust: Young Masculinities, Relationality and Everyday Violence)
SOC_thesis_McShaneB_2018.pdf - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

Download (1MB) | Preview

Abstract or Description

This thesis argues for a re-thinking around young men, masculinities and urban cultures. It asks how are young masculinities practiced and what are the tensions that arise for young men in maintaining their gender identity? As a five-year ethnographic study of young men conducted through youth work spaces in South London, it gives a detailed account of the ways young men do gender and the relational practices through which vernacular cultures are made, maintained and (re)produced. Young masculinities are over-determined in the urban imagination readily explained through crime, gangs and violence and stereotypical representations of cultural productions and resistance. Bringing together literatures on urban cultures and space, young men in urban contexts, and masculinities it offers an understanding of how young men and masculinities can be better understood in relation to urban cultures and spaces. Moving across four youth work projects it examines the inter-personal and group relationships amongst young men giving an account of their emotional life, to show how belongings are practiced and re-made in the active production of urban multiculture. Young men carry their bodies in certain ways and embody distrust operating an instrumental relationship to language. But these practices are also active in building relationships and are used as ways to address uncertainties and develop knowledge in gendered ways. The thesis shows how young men navigate their peer relationships and the complex belongings of urban life through navigating exclusions and threats and remaking local identities linked to place whilst focusing on their futures, by maintaining codes of humour, respect and trust.

Item Type:

Thesis (Doctoral)

Identification Number (DOI):


young people, urban cultures, masculinities, gender, violence, youth cultures, youth work, ethnography

Departments, Centres and Research Units:



31 August 2018

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

25 Sep 2018 12:10

Last Modified:

07 Sep 2022 17:14


View statistics for this item...

Edit Record Edit Record (login required)