Scheming legality - Resisting criminalization. How Do Outlaw Groups Integrate into Society?

The conference will examine different deviant and outlaw groups and in what manner society attempts to assimilate these aberrant groups into its larger system. Registration is required.

The conference will explore the puzzle of how diverse outlaw groups (that is to say groups which are seen by the greater society as culturally and/or legally deviant and who also both see themselves in this manner and self-proclaim themselves as outsiders in one way or the other) become integrated into society.


This is often accomplished in surprising ways, be it through fashion, commodification of subcultural trends, paradoxical exploitation of law, or through businesses that cut across legal and illegal markets. The conference will examine how different deviant and outlaw groups, such as outlaw motorcycle clubs, street gangs, or other subcultural groups, reveal what it is about society that is normal, and in what manner society attempts to assimilate these aberrant groups into its larger system.

The speakers shall interrogate the ‘cultural politics of the outlaws’, i.e. the ways in which social and economic exclusion and inclusion are negotiated in socio-cultural practice and the ways in which the proliferating internal boundaries of society, often grounded in relations of inequality, are crossed and challenged by those deemed expelled, with the mechanisms used by agents of the dominant system to control them. Questions of cultural and economic appropriation of the aesthetics, economics and symbolism of the outlaw groups will be raised, as much as the ways in which outlaw groups make themselves marketable.


9:00 Registration & Coffee

9:30 Welcome – Tereza Kuldova & Martin Sanchez-Jankowski

Session 1 – 9:45 – 10:45

Chair: Tereza Kuldova, University of Oslo

Gangs and the pseudo-pacification process. How its all too easy to confuse your outlaws with your in-laws. Steve Hall, Teesside University.

Gangs, culture, and society in the United States. Martin Sanchez-Jankowski, UC Berkeley.

Session 2 – 11:00 – 12:00

Chair: Veronique Pouillard-Maliks, University of Oslo.

The ambiguity of gang ‘looks’

Differentiating between gangster style and gang appearance. Elke van Hellemont, KU Leuven.

Outlaw motorcycle clubs in between subculture and popular culture. Protecting trademarks and ‘culture’. Tereza Kuldova, University of Oslo.

Lunch Break 12:00 – 13:00

Session 3 - 13:00 – 14:00

Chair: James Quinn (Skype)

‘For some other reasons?’ Ethnographic study of an interantional outlaw motorcycle club. Jussi Perälä, University of Helsinki.

The integrated approach to contain biker crime in the meuse rhine Euregion. Hans Nelen, Maastritch University

Session 4 - 14:15 – 15:15

Chair: Simon Hallsworth, University Campus Suffolk

No resistance at the point of consumption liberal criminology, prohibition and enjoyment. Simon Winlow, Teesside University.

Practices of anonymity in London sex work. Sophie Day, Goldsmiths.

Session 5 – 15:30 – 16:30

Chair: Jussi Perälä, University of Helsinki.

Anthropology and the mafia. Female honour and blood feuds in Calabria in a historical perspective. John Dickie, University College London.

Are Camorra groups transforming into outlaw gangs? Ernesto Savona, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Milan .

Session 6 - 16:45 – 17:45

Chair: Martin Sanchez-Jankowski, UC Berkeley

Street talk and street capital. Sveinung Sandberg, University of Oslo

Street politics. Simon Hallsworth, University Campus Suffolk

17:45 – 18:00 Thanks and concluding remarks

Conference organizer: Tereza Kuldova, University of Oslo.

The conference is funded by the Peder Sather Center, University of Berkeley, California, USA, and organized by the Department of Archaeology, Conservation and History, University of Oslo, Norway

Published Mar. 18, 2016 1:29 PM - Last modified Nov. 29, 2017 11:39 AM