Negotiating Pathways to Manhood: Rejecting Gangs and Violence in Medellín’s Periphery
Gangs around the globe are paradigmatic of urban violence and predominantly made up of male youths from poorer neighbourhoods. However, even in the most violent urban contexts, the majority of young men do not join gangs. This paper uses original empirical data collected in Medellín, Colombia and a conceptual focus on masculinities to understand why some male youths negotiated a pathway to manhood without joining a gang, arguing that two factors are central: family support in developing a moral rejection of gangs during childhood, and these youths' subsequent ability to form socialisation spaces away from the street corner. These factors helped them circumvent the influence of what this article calls the "gang male role model system".
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