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How 'gangsters' become jihadists: Bourdieu, criminology and the crime-terrorism nexus

Ilan, J. ORCID: 0000-0002-4080-2898 and Sandberg, S. (2019). How 'gangsters' become jihadists: Bourdieu, criminology and the crime-terrorism nexus. European Journal of Criminology, 16(3), pp. 278-294. doi: 10.1177/1477370819828936

Abstract

A background in 'ordinary' crime, violence and drug use seems to characterize many European individuals recently involved in ISIS related jihadi-violence. With its long tradition of studying marginalized populations and street culture, criminology offers novel ways to theoretically explore these developments. In this paper, we demonstrate how Pierre Bourdieu's concepts of capital, habitus, and field allow for a nuanced analysis of how certain individuals move from street to politico-religious criminality. We show that 'investments' in street capital can be expended within the field of violent jihadism. We argue that an embodied street habitus supports continuities in attitudes and behaviours within different violent contexts, and furthermore that street social capital facilitates recruitment to violent jihadism. Finally, reflection is offered on resonances between street and jihadi fields. The paper explains how continuities in lifestyle can exist between the European city and Middle Eastern battleground.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: This paper has been accepted for publication by Sage in the European Journal of Criminiology. Ilan, J. and Sandberg, S. (2018). How 'gangsters' become jihadists: Bourdieu, criminology and the crime-terrorism nexus. European Journal of Criminology, Copyright © 2018 Sage
Departments: School of Arts & Social Sciences > Sociology
URI: http://openaccess.city.ac.uk/id/eprint/20939
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