Personal motivation, significant others , and inclusive communities or what is required to reintegrate people at the margins: Supported reintegration of former violent extremists and gang members

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Based on qualitative interviews of practitioners, former members of gangs and violent ex-tremist groups this article explores the role of significant others and inclusive communities in supported processes of reintegration. I employed ethnographic methods, a practice theoretical approach, and the cultural-historical school of psychology to identify how significant others through dialogue and situated learning can support former member of toxic environments’ by shaping their level of reflection, help them develop their social skills and facilitate the bridge building to inclusive communities. I argue, that supporting former members’ developing an alternative identity and associated sensitivities and sensibilities enables them to renegotiate an alternative social and professional position and develop social networks. This support their transition to majority society and seems to increase a sustained desistance. I identify some of the issues people leaving toxic environments are struggling with to conclude that three interconnected aspects are crucial for a successful reintegration; personal motivation, support from significant others in developing self-knowledge, social and professional skills and access to specific alternative and inclusive communities.
TidsskriftBehavioural Science of Terrorism and Political Aggression
Antal sider15
StatusUnder udarbejdelse - 2021


  • reintegration
  • exit processes
  • Significant others
  • violent extremism
  • Gangs