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Interpreting Teenage Inter-Ethnic Violence

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An ethnography of a particular locality within London - Euston - provides the basis for an analysis of the complex causes behind conflict between groups from 1991 to 1995. The groups consist of teenage boys drawn from various 'races' of popular discourse and I shall investigate the alliances and antagonisms which these boys believe to be linked to ethnic difference. The key institutional centres for inter-group conflict are the school, youth club and the street and my analysis examines the instances of violence which take place in those contexts principally between Bangladeshis and others. I conclude that the violence described is less important than drug abuse and the long-term effects of unemployment. The major problem concerning inter-ethnic violence are the stereotypical reactions by both local people and outsiders, i.e. the media and anti-racists.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Anthropology, University College, London


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