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New meanings, new communities and new identities? former biker gang members involved in public sharing of life experiences

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This chapter analyzes the prolonged processes of identity transformation after (biker) gang involvement and how engagement in various activities and communities can constitute rituals for consolidating a new pro-social identity. For the last decade, we have followed 10 former (biker) gang members in Denmark. As part of a phenomenon-driven social practice research ethnography, we conducted qualitative in-depth interviews and ‘followed’ our ‘co-researchers’ by doing things together and communicating in and across contexts and communities and in virtual settings (such as sms, emails and messenger). This includes a continuous production of empirical background knowledge, following the former gang members and their virtual self-representations when they share life experiences across various public platforms, such as radio, television, social media and seminars.
In this chapter, we focus on three cases in order to highlight different phases of identity transformation respectively 5, 10 and 20 years after gang involvement. We explore engagements in three types of dialogical practice. The first type is formers’ engagements in critical collaborations for change; the second is presenting biographies and talks; and the third is the performing arts (theater and satire, for example). We view such dialogical practices as constitutive, developing new meanings, new identities and new communities. However, due to fears of misrepresentation and safety concerns, former biker gang members have to navigate a highly complex web of risks when engaging in these so-called dialogical practices.
Bidragets oversatte titelNy mening, nye fællesskaber og ny identitet?: Eks-bandemedlemmers dialogiske praksiserfaringer med at dele livserfaringer offentligt
TitelGangs in the era of internet and social media
RedaktørerChristopher Melde, Frank Weerman
Antal sider24
Udgivelsesår14 aug. 2020
ISBN (trykt)978-3-030-47213-9
ISBN (Elektronisk)978-3-030-47214-6
StatusUdgivet - 14 aug. 2020

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