Anti-nirvana: Crime, culture and instrumentalism in the age of insecurity

Steve Hall, Simon Winlow

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    The disintegration of traditional forms of community and social order is one of criminology’s core issues for the twenty-first century. As these forms are replaced by individualism, fragmentation and differentiation in a fluid, unstable culture governed by advanced capitalism’s economic command to consume and discard with increasing rapidity, everyday values and practices are undergoing radical reconfiguration. Here we offer field data from two distinct social groups that are caught up in this process of change: socially incorporated young people in low paid service work, and socially excluded criminal young men from the north east of England. If this set of data is analysed in critical rather than celebratory ways, it suggests that current economic and cultural forces, rather than liberating individuals from repressive structures and traditions, are promoting sufficient atomization, instrumentalism and insecurity in specific locales to threaten social cohesion and further increase the flow of young people into criminality.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)31-48
    JournalCrime, Media, Culture
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2005


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