Gender, drugs and street life explores the way girls and boys of white British origin access and participate in legal and illegal drugs, within the context of supply at the local level. It explores the relationship of children and young people to the local drug market from a gendered perspective, and illustrates how their drug behaviours should be understood in both localised and gendered terms.
The book draws on a two-year ethnographic study of children and young people growing up on ‘Northside’, a small housing estate located on the edge of a large Northern city in England. The book addresses the environment which these young people inhabit, and provides a critical examination of the popular image of the contemporary British housing estate by exploring the political economy of drug dealing and crime at the local level. It also undertakes a detailed exploration and discussion of the gendered nature of drug taking practices and rituals.
By re-engaging with ethnographies this book provides a rich, descriptive account of young people’s drug taking practices and behaviours within the context of supply. It also unveils the gendered meaning and context of drug taking and drug selling.
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Kate O'Brien is Lecturer in Criminology at the University of Kent. Her research interests like in youth and crime, informal economies (particularly drug markets), and women and night time economies. Recent publications include 'Inside Doorwork: Gendering the Security Gaze' in Ryan-Flood and Gill (eds) Secrecy and Silence in the Research Process (Routledge, 2009), and 'Negotiating Violence and Gender: Security and the Night Time Economy in the UK' in Gendrot and Spierenburg (eds) Collection on Historical and Contemporary Violence in Europe (Springer, 2008).
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