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Knife crime - how the hell do you stop it?

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  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Yerascrote wrote: »
    And what exactly has this got to do with the UK?

    I did apologise for the digression :p Sofie asked for the source and I obliged.

    Just that I happen to be doing research about Germany, so that's where my sources come from. In the UK during the war there were countless complaints about the ruffian evacuees that their hosts had to put up with, stealing, swearing, not knowing how to behave etc. Girls' encounters with American GIs led to increases in STIs. Further back in the 19th century, London would have been a horrible place to live - violence, crime, child prostitution. So, things weren't all rosy in the UK either, but I haven't got links for that. I was making a general point about how each generation thinks thing were so much better earlier, rather than specifically about knife crime. Sorry, it's the historian in me.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    stargalaxy wrote: »
    I'm thinking about feckless parents who live on benefits and can't be bothered to look after their kids properly.

    :rolleyes:
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    No matter what might have led somebody to do a criminal/damaging act, most of the responsibility is still theirs. People always have a choice in what to do.
    At last, someone else who gets it.
  • Indrid ColdIndrid Cold Posts: 16,688 Skive's The Limit
    stargalaxy wrote: »
    At last, someone else who gets it.
    Thanks, but that doesn't mean I agree with everything you said. Just making this clear.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Thanks, but that doesn't mean I agree with everything you said. Just making this clear.
    That's fine. I realise this is pretty contentious an issue. I just happen to think that part of the solution lies in nipping this in the bud - via the education system, via parents, etc. Why a certain member is using this as an excuse to make attacks on me, I don't know.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Whilst yerascrote's language does make into a personal attack - so stop that please Turlough, I don't think it's necessarily a personal attack, it's just difficult when you say things that people do find unpleasant- which inevitably leads to a reaction that might be somewhat harsher than is fair.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Jim V wrote: »
    Whilst yerascrote's language does make into a personal attack - so stop that please Turlough, I don't think it's necessarily a personal attack, it's just difficult when you say things that people do find unpleasant - which inevitably leads to a reaction that might be somewhat harsher than is fair.
    Hey, don't get me wrong here. I'm well-aware that some of my views are ones that other members find very divisive. I also appreciate this is probably one of the most complex debates going on at the moment, so it was inevitable there was going to be disagreement.

    About the point on sympathy, let me clarify. A lot of these shootings and stabbings in recent times have taken place in poorer communities. The people involved are often those who have little chance of bettering themselves, and that is the one thing that angers me more than any other. If they have no chance of bettering themselves, it means a life of crime could be an attractive option, as they have little to lose. I don't think that feeling sorry for a group of people is helpful, I actually consider it quite patronising. People need a lot more than sympathy. What they need is practical help to get themselves out of the rut, realising that whilst the government can do a certain amount, people have to take responsibility for themselves and others if they're going to get anywhere.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Jim V wrote: »
    Whilst yerascrote's language does make into a personal attack - so stop that please Turlough, I don't think it's necessarily a personal attack, it's just difficult when you say things that people do find unpleasant- which inevitably leads to a reaction that might be somewhat harsher than is fair.

    Haha if you say so. I thought I presented myself quite gracoiusly. :)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Runnymede wrote: »
    Build more and bigger prisons sharpish

    Where and with what money?
  • Indrid ColdIndrid Cold Posts: 16,688 Skive's The Limit
    Sofie wrote: »
    Where and with what money?
    Maybe he wants to follow Pascal Sauvage's idea... :p
    (See Johnny English)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Sofie wrote: »
    Where and with what money?

    i dunno, just borrow or print some more? seems to be the done thing these days...
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    i dunno, just borrow or print some more? seems to be the done thing these days...

    :lol:
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    It's interesting that this topic has cropped up, cause it has loads to do with my research...

    I'm also interested that hardly anything has been said about gender yet, specifically masculinity (except from a few posts).

    I honestly think that the preponderance of knifecrime does not have one definable cause. As Yerascrote has already mentioned, it's a complex issues with numerous factors constantly interacting with each other, some of which have already been discussed.

    But I think a lot of what goes on in the street develops from minor comments, escalating into violent crime. The causes behind that though are difficult to pin down. Some have said that this comes from broken homes without parental influence, but that doesn't take into account those families where violence and anti-social behaviour are a learned part of growing up, where big brothers, uncles, fathers, friends of the family are all implicated in a system which values violence.

    There is also the fact that working-class adolescents are restricted from participating in the types of social structures which would get them out of the situation they are in. From primary school to high school to employment they are systematically rejected from a system which looks down on them, limits their life chances, and stigmatises them. In addition to that, there are structural inequalities in their spatial organisation. Working-class areas have fewer libraries, GP clinics, areas in which to socialise, less green areas, and so on. In comparison to middle-class areas, working-class adolescents are struggling against inequality at all different levels from the word go. Stargalaxy said that this kind of crime happens in poorer communities where the residents have no chance to better themselves. I'd agree with this (to an extent) but I would say that it's both the establishment's and middle-class society which has caused this. Get rid of these barriers and offer people in these communities to take advantage of the chance to 'better themselves'. But this is loaded and problematic. Who says people want to better themselves? That kind of thinking led to a lot of bloodshed during Britain's colonialisation of the world. Who are we to say that that's what working-class people want? Maybe they are happy with their lives, and we shouldn't force 'improvement' on anyone.

    Then there's the system of masculinity, where adolescent males are denied access to middle-class ways of being a man, such as technical or intellectual abilities. That's not to say that a working-class male can't go to university and become a doctor, just that being a man in that way is not valued by their peer-group (and often not by their family). To gain access to power, being violent is one of the most effective ways to do so, and in turn you gain respect, deference, and visible power from your peers. The 'code of the streets' is a powerful way in producing and reproducing the systems of violence we see everyday.

    How to solve it? It can't be a silver bullet approach. Because the problem is multi-faceted, the 'solution' has to be as well. By breaking down the barriers between middle and working-class, by offering chances to develop skills which would be valued, and by making working-class adolescents (and adults as well) a part of society, rather than looked down on, will go some way to addressing the issues. But the value system of working-class communities would have to be looked at, and through consultation with these communities make them an active part of changing their lives, if that's what they want. By actually listening to these people rather than arbitrarily foisting schemes, actions, and plans on them, there is more possibility that these plans will be taken up. Agentiveness is a powerful factor.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    It's interesting that this topic has cropped up, cause it has loads to do with my research...

    I'm glad someone's research is relevant :lol: That was a very insightful and well-thought out post by the way.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Meryn wrote: »
    I'm glad someone's research is relevant.
    It's the only thing that's getting me through my PhD.....
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    They need to eliminate gang culture. For one they can do this by not glorifying it. The idea that people in gangs, people who go into combat are "tough" and "brave" and those who avoid conflict are "timid" or "yellow".

    A lot of kids join gangs to gain a feeling of importance which is otherwise denied them. This must be addressed.

    For starters though, actually having more police presence might help.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    They need to eliminate gang culture. For one they can do this by not glorifying it.

    How are they meant to do that?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    They need to eliminate gang culture. For one they can do this by not glorifying it. The idea that people in gangs, people who go into combat are "tough" and "brave" and those who avoid conflict are "timid" or "yellow".

    A lot of kids join gangs to gain a feeling of importance which is otherwise denied them. This must be addressed.

    For starters though, actually having more police presence might help.

    You want to eliminate groups of adolescents getting together and socialising? Gangs do not equal criminality, although that is overwhelmingly the case.

    But I do agree with the fact that being in a gang makes adolescents valued, and that is a problem.

    And more police presence wouldn't help, but maybe more community policemen would.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    i actually think a couple years national service would do a lot of these kids good, if only to teach them a bit of respect for authority.....problem is they don't learn this anymore at school and increasingly at home because parents are working/too busy/don't care, it's no wonder they get up to trouble because throughout childhood there are very few consequences for stepping over the line, so the boundaries are blurred....hell most kids don't even take the police seriously anymore.

    that and some decent youth clubs might help, what ever happened to the scouts?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    It's the only thing that's getting me through my PhD.....
    what is your PhD on?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    ^^ Saucyness through the ages. A modern look at past strumpetism :)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    otter wrote: »
    what is your PhD on?

    If only it was on something as interesting as what Rubberskin suggested...

    I'm looking at how ideas about violence and anti-social behaviour interact with language in working-class adolescent males in Glasgow. I did three years of ethnography and I'm analysing how the adolescents produce their vowels /a/ and /I/, and if this is linked in anyway to their social practices and groupings. I'm also interested in how masculinity works alongside linguistic practices. So yeah, this thread is pretty relevant.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I'm looking at how ideas about violence and anti-social behaviour interact with language in working-class adolescent males in Glasgow.

    And how do they then?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    If only it was on something as interesting as what Rubberskin suggested...

    I'm looking at how ideas about violence and anti-social behaviour interact with language in working-class adolescent males in Glasgow. I did three years of ethnography and I'm analysing how the adolescents produce their vowels /a/ and /I/, and if this is linked in anyway to their social practices and groupings. I'm also interested in how masculinity works alongside linguistic practices. So yeah, this thread is pretty relevant.

    Interesting, care to give a run down of your thesis?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Yerascrote wrote: »
    And what exactly has this got to do with the UK?

    The murder rate has more than doubled since the 60's.

    The population has almost doubled and the numbers of people living in high density areas has soared. We're packed in like sardines.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    And how do they then?
    Yerascote wrote:
    Interesting, care to give a run down of your thesis?

    In Glasgow we have neds, and when people talk about neds they use a particular configuration of linguistic resources to invoke particular social and stylistic stereotypes of how neds look, act, and (importantly for me) talk.

    In order to find out if there was any relationship between neds (and male urban adolescents more generally) and language I did three years of ethnography in a high school in Glasgow, hanging out with teenagers from 2005 - 2007. I conducted a set of recordings every year, collecting in total about 30 hours of data which I'm transcribing at the moment.

    I've analysed year 1 of the data, looking at the productions of /a/ (as in CAT) , /I/ (as in BIT) and /th/ (as in THINK and SOMETHING) using acoustic spectography and auditory analysis.

    I had three communities (Alternative = 3 members, Sports = 3 members, Floater = 1 member) with the floater member going between the other two groups (as a mosher and Sports guy).

    When I analysed the Alt and Sports group, they clustered together in their groups for every variable, with the Alternatives being lower than the Sports. There was also more variation in the Alternatives' realisations of /th/ (for example more THINK/FINK/HINK variation).

    What happened with the Floater guy was that he ended up in both communities, being higher in some contexts and lower in other. And with /th/ he varied depending on where in the word /th/ occured (beginning or middle), and so he patterned with the other communities depending on the environment.

    After one-way ANOVAs, all the differences between the groups were significant.

    As far as violence goes, in these two communities their orientations to violence differ, using violence primarily as a peer-group enhancement method (facilitating trust etc) than as a destructive force. But in the Sports community, there is more of a recognition that violence can (and is) used in this way.

    At the moment I'm working on transcribing year 2 and year 3 of the data, and I've got a bunch of other speakers. What I'm planning to do is a general overview of their linguistic system and then extract violent narratives and look at vocalic realisations in these extracts to compare them to normal narratives. I've not figured out quite how to do that yet, but it should be interesting.

    There's not really all that much work on urban adolescent males and their language, and even less on masculinity and language, so I'm hoping my work will plug a gap somewhere.

    I'm not sure how much of this has been understandable, but this is the first time I've ever 'presented my work' to a general audience.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    In Glasgow we have neds, and when people talk about neds they use a particular configuration of linguistic resources to invoke particular social and stylistic stereotypes of how neds look, act, and (importantly for me) talk.

    In order to find out if there was any relationship between neds (and male urban adolescents more generally) and language I did three years of ethnography in a high school in Glasgow, hanging out with teenagers from 2005 - 2007. I conducted a set of recordings every year, collecting in total about 30 hours of data which I'm transcribing at the moment.

    I've analysed year 1 of the data, looking at the productions of /a/ (as in CAT) , /I/ (as in BIT) and /th/ (as in THINK and SOMETHING) using acoustic spectography and auditory analysis.

    I had three communities (Alternative = 3 members, Sports = 3 members, Floater = 1 member) with the floater member going between the other two groups (as a mosher and Sports guy).

    When I analysed the Alt and Sports group, they clustered together in their groups for every variable, with the Alternatives being lower than the Sports. There was also more variation in the Alternatives' realisations of /th/ (for example more THINK/FINK/HINK variation).

    What happened with the Floater guy was that he ended up in both communities, being higher in some contexts and lower in other. And with /th/ he varied depending on where in the word /th/ occured (beginning or middle), and so he patterned with the other communities depending on the environment.

    After one-way ANOVAs, all the differences between the groups were significant.

    As far as violence goes, in these two communities their orientations to violence differ, using violence primarily as a peer-group enhancement method (facilitating trust etc) than as a destructive force. But in the Sports community, there is more of a recognition that violence can (and is) used in this way.

    At the moment I'm working on transcribing year 2 and year 3 of the data, and I've got a bunch of other speakers. What I'm planning to do is a general overview of their linguistic system and then extract violent narratives and look at vocalic realisations in these extracts to compare them to normal narratives. I've not figured out quite how to do that yet, but it should be interesting.

    There's not really all that much work on urban adolescent males and their language, and even less on masculinity and language, so I'm hoping my work will plug a gap somewhere.

    I'm not sure how much of this has been understandable, but this is the first time I've ever 'presented my work' to a general audience.

    Well done! It's all pretty specialist stuff, obviously, but you've managed to make it understandable and accessable. Have you done many conferences?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Meryn wrote: »
    Well done! It's all pretty specialist stuff, obviously, but you've managed to make it understandable and accessable. Have you done many conferences?
    At the risk of further hijacking this thread, I've been to a bunch. I've done a few posters presentations, and a couple of peer-reviewed talks at Edinburgh and Arizona. Not done a proper paper presentation at a conference yet (but fingers crossed I'll be doing one in January) nor have I any articles out yet. But I've only just started my 3rd year, so I'm not too fussed. I'm also going to be teaching an undergraduate 3 hour class on language and masculinity at the University of Arizona as part of my supervisor's language and gender class. Woop.
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