Title

Targeted: Young Black Men, Schools & the Consequences of Anti-gang Policing

Date of Award

May 2016

Degree Type

Dissertation

Embargo Date

1-5-2018

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Cultural Foundations of Education

Advisor(s)

Dalia Rodriguez

Keywords

black masculinity, mass incarceration, policing, street gangs, urban education

Subject Categories

Education

Abstract

This dissertation explores how young black men labeled as gang members are socially and formally policed in a midsized city in the Northeast. The ethnographic study conducted over a three year period highlights the voices of the young black men and provides insight into their experiences with state-sponsored forms of criminalization by police and schools that perpetuate under-education, trauma, and violence through the implementation of an anti-gang program. This research project includes extensive participant observations and formal interviews with young black men labeled as gang members, as well as key institutional stakeholders, such as law enforcement officers, major politicians, and social service providers instrumental in policing and servicing young black men labeled as gang members. Overall, this project is a study of the collateral consequences of mass incarceration which highlights the voices of these young black men and illustrates how they navigate institutions once labeled as gang members. In addition, this project examines the rhetoric around gangs which contribute to the formal and social policing of the masculinity of young black men. Ultimately, this project provides insight into the network of state-sponsored policies and practices that criminalize young black men labeled as gang members.

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