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Friends, status symbols and weapons: the use of dogs by youth groups and youth gangs

[journal article]

Maher, Jennifer; Pierpoint, Harriet

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Please use the following Persistent Identifier (PID) to cite this document:http://nbn-resolving.de/urn:nbn:de:0168-ssoar-292264

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Abstract Recent UK media reports and government responses evidence a rising concern over irresponsible dog ownership, particularly the use of so-called status or weapon dogs. Youth criminal and antisocial behaviour using these dogs has been widely reported in urban areas and associated with street-based youth groups, in particular, the growing phenomenon of UK youth gangs. This article reports on the findings and implications of a small-scale study, comprising interviews with 25 youths and seven animal welfare and youth practitioners, which aimed to identify the nature of animal use and abuse in youth groups and gangs. It found that over half of the youths belonged to a youth gang and the remainder a youth group, with the majority owning an animal which was most often a ‘status’ dog (e.g., bull breed/type). Analysis revealed that dogs were used mainly for socialising and companionship, protection and enhancing status. More than 20 types of animal abuse were described by youths and practitioners.
Classification Criminal Sociology, Sociology of Law; Social Problems
Free Keywords status dog; dangerous dog; animal abuse; youth groups; youth gangs
Document language English
Publication Year 2011
Page/Pages p. 405-420
Journal Crime, Law and Social Change, 55 (2011) 5
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10611-011-9294-5
Status Postprint; reviewed
Licence PEER Licence Agreement (applicable only to documents from PEER project)
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