Unregulated Desires: Anomie, the “Rainbow Underclass” and Second-generation Alevi Kurdish Gangs in London

Cetin, U. 2020. Unregulated Desires: Anomie, the “Rainbow Underclass” and Second-generation Alevi Kurdish Gangs in London. Kurdish Studies. 8 (1), pp. 185-208. https://doi.org/10.33182/ks.v8i1.541

TitleUnregulated Desires: Anomie, the “Rainbow Underclass” and Second-generation Alevi Kurdish Gangs in London
TypeJournal article
AuthorsCetin, U.
Abstract

This article offers a case study of the adaptation strategies of a section of second-generation young male Alevi Kurds in London and the social conditions which make some of them more prone to join gangs and to reject mainstream institutions in their search for instant material rewards. It is instructive to use Durkheim’s analysis of society’s integrative and regulative functions and particularly his concept of anomie to understand a situation where the legitimate means in the pursuit of material wealth and comfort are out of balance with the demand, calling into question the legitimacy of the institutions which provide these functions. Those who cannot compete through existing institutions are more likely to seek alternative means to achieve these ends. Durkheim identified youth as more vulnerable to such unregulated desires and I argue that his approach offers valuable insights into the anomic pressures confronting second-generation migrant young men in particular.

KeywordsAlevi Kurds; anomie; Durkheim; ethnic gangs; rainbow underclass, transnational migration; youth gangs
JournalKurdish Studies
Journal citation8 (1), pp. 185-208
ISSN2051-4883
2051-4891
Year2020
PublisherTransnational Press London
Accepted author manuscript
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.33182/ks.v8i1.541
Publication dates
Published24 May 2020

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