They can't do nothin' to us today

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McDonald, Kevin (2012) They can't do nothin' to us today. Thesis Eleven, 109 (1). pp. 17-23. ISSN 1461-7455


Just as with the riots of 1981, the riots of summer 2012 will play a key role in the reshaping of British society. Most analyses frame these events as pathologies of the poor or as contemporary expressions of Mertonian anomie. Drawing on the work of Randall Collins, this article explores the riot as a form of collective action, considers the role of looting and arson within it, and the extent to which the actors involved find themselves part of multiple logics that mutually undermine each other. The analysis highlights the importance of the embodied, mobile, temporal and visual dimensions of the riot, and argues that the social sciences need to develop conceptual tools and methods to both engage with such embodied events and to be part of the social debate about their meaning.

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Item type Article
DOI 10.1177/0725513611434137
Official URL
Subjects Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > School of Communication and the Arts
Historical > FOR Classification > 1602 Criminology
Historical > FOR Classification > 1608 Sociology
Keywords arson, fire, collective action, looting, riots, urban culture, poverty, looters, gangs, mass participation
Citations in Scopus 7 - View on Scopus
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