Research

Our approach is evidence-based. Here is just a small sample of some of the research that underpins our work.
‘Going viral’ and ‘Going country’
By Michelle L. Storrod, James A. Densley
Journal of Youth Studies, 2017
The expressive and instrumental activities of street gangs on social media. Read more.
Psychology of Violence
Growing Against Gangs and Violence: Findings From a Process and Outcome
Evaluation by Dr. James A. Densley, Joanna R. Adler, Lijun Zhu, and Mackenzie Lambine
Online First Publication, April 14, 2016.
Read more.
It's Gang Life but not as we know it. The Evolution of Gang Business:
Crime & Deliquency 2014
By Dr James A. Densley
Based on fieldwork with gangs and interviews with gang members in London, United Kingdom, this article illustrates how recreation, crime, enterprise, and extralegal governance represent sequential actualization stages in the evolutionary cycle of street gangs. Gangs evolve from adolescent peer groups and the normal features of street life in their respective neighborhoods. In response to external threats and financial commitments, they grow into drug-distribution enterprises. In some cases, gangs then acquire the necessary special resources of violence, territory, secrecy, and intelligence that enable them to successfully regulate and control the production and distribution of one or more given commodities or services unlawfully. Read more.
Gang Warfare - Life Cycle
By Allen Davies, Dr James Densley
Publication name, August 2011
In their second article on gang culture in the UK, Allen Davis and James Densley reveal the short lifespan of gang membership, from ‘babies’ to ‘elders’, and suggest ways in which the cycle may be broken. Read more.
‘We’ll show you gang’
By Dr James A. Densley
The subterranean structuration of gang life in London, date ?
This article uses data from interviews with 69 self-described members and associates of street gangs in London to explore how young people choose their actions and construct their identities from the material and cultural resources they find in their locales. It explores ‘drift’ as a potential explanation of actions of gang members and finds it wanting. It suggests that Giddens’ concept of structuration, when combined with Matza and Sykes’ notion of subterranean traditions, offers a powerful tool for the explanation of how and why some young people in socio-economically deprived urban areas seek association with gangs through the performance of violence. Read more.
Street Casino
By Dr Simon Harding
Survival in violent street gangs, date ?
Gang violence is on the increase in certain neighbourhoods. There is an urgent need for a fresh perspective that offers insight into gang structure, organisation and offending behaviour to explain this increase. Using the findings from an extensive ethnographic study of local residents, professionals and gang members in south London, and drawing on his vast experience and knowledge of the field, Simon Harding proposes a unique theoretical perspective on survival in violent street gangs. Read more.
How Gangs Work
By Dr James A Densley
An Ethnography of Youth Violence (St Antony's Series), date ?
Drawing on extensive interviews with gang members, this book provides a vivid portrayal of gang life. Topics include the profiles and motivations of gang members; the processes of gang evolution, organization, and recruitment; gang members' uses of violence, media, and technology and the role of gangs in the drugs trade and organized crime. Read more.