Street gangs in Winnipeg: inner-city youth prevention programs as sites of resistance?
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Drawing on both post-colonial literature and critical gang studies research, this study situates the advent and growth of Indigenous street gangs in the context of settler colonialism, global economic restructuring, and the turn to a New Right political rationality. While the current street gang problem is rooted in structural barriers created in the past, the turn to a New Right rationality has meant that solutions must now be individually focused, economically efficient, and created within an “at risk” framework. Interviews with workers at inner-city organizations in Winnipeg determined that youth gang prevention programs are able to act as sites of resistance to the New Right rationality by redefining what it means for youth to be considered “at risk.” In addition, short-term, program-based funding results in the inefficient use of resources, reduces the ability to create long-term, positive changes, and often does not provide the resources to effect larger structural changes.
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