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Grafting: “the boyz” just doing business? Deviant entrepreneurship in street gangs

Hesketh, RF and Robinson, G (2019) Grafting: “the boyz” just doing business? Deviant entrepreneurship in street gangs. Safer Communities. ISSN 1757-8043

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Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to attempt to disseminate street gang research by Hesketh (2018) that has identified young people’s perceptions between employment and criminality in areas of Merseyside becoming blurred. In particular, disenfranchised young males are turning to involvement with drug dealing street gangs as a substitute for employment
Design/methodology/approach: The research involved the use of a hybrid design using an adapted version of Wengraf’s (2001) biographic narrative interpretive method as the means for data collection with Strauss and Corbin’s (1995) grounded theory approach as the means of analysis
Findings: Such is the demand for Class A drugs in night-time economies that street gangs in areas close to such economies are adding a dark business-like dimension for which Hesketh (2018) has termed “Deviant Entrepreneurship”. This can range from selling drugs on behalf of adult organised crime figures (known on the streets of Liverpool as “grafting”) to self-employment as sole trading deviant group enterprises having several “grafts” that recent research by Robinson, McLean and Densley (2018) has noted, has extended into the annals of Criminal Child Exploitation.
Research limitations/implications: Data were derived from a sample of young males, thus, no observations can be made about females involved in gangs
Practical implications: The research highlights the need for more gang interventions that focus on building opportunities within marginalised areas. It also suggests as Andell (2019) points out a need for a fresh approach to countering gang culture
Social implications: The paper concludes by suggesting that Merseyside is only one in many marginalised areas of the UK facing a similar problem as young people involved in street gangs attempt to realise their potential not through legitimate employment means but through dark entrepreneurial techniques learnt from older peers and adult figures
Originality/value: The findings are taken from a PhD thesis by Robert F. Hesketh University of Chester.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Hesketh, R. and Robinson, G. (2019), "Grafting: “the boyz” just doing business? Deviant entrepreneurship in street gangs", Safer Communities, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/SC-05-2019-0016
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare. Criminology
Divisions: Law
Publisher: Emerald
Date Deposited: 31 Jul 2019 09:08
Last Modified: 04 Sep 2021 09:05
DOI or ID number: 10.1108/sc-05-2019-0016
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/11124
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