Bandas de barrio (neighbourhood gangs) and gentrification: Racialised youth as an urban frontier against the elitisation of suburban working-class neighbourhoods in twenty-first-century Madrid

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Abstract

So-called bandas (‘gangs’) have been the object of media, police and institutional violence, and the target of the processes of moral cleansing of public space in certain working-class outskirts of Madrid. But what happens when all this is implemented in a popular suburban neighbourhood, historically the territory of anti-capitalist left-leaning movements? What meanings, uses, enmities and alliances does the concept of gentrification then help to develop, and how does this relate to the presence of street gangs? This chapter explores the role of (often racialised) ‘youth gangs’ in the processes of urban (re-)configuration in the popular neighbourhood of San Diego (Vallecas, Madrid). Based on field observation and critical discourse analysis, we analyse the role of these young bandas (as an argumentative device in the media-neighbourhood repertoire for enhancing stigma of place, and as an unwanted presence for Spanish, white, civilised middle-class residents) in becoming an urban frontier against the area’s gentrification.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationExploring Ibero-American youth cultures in the 21st century
Subtitle of host publicationCreativity, resistance and transgression in the city
EditorsRicardo Campos, Jordi Nofre
Place of PublicationCham
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Pages49-73
Number of pages25
Edition1st
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-030-83541-5
ISBN (Print)978-3-030-83540-8, 978-3-030-83543-9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Keywords

  • Racialised youth
  • Gangs
  • Punitivism
  • Suburbia
  • Gentrification

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