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Living in the shadow of death : gangs, violence and social order in urban Nicaragua, 1996–2002

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This article explores the dynamics of the youth gang (pandilla) phenomenon in contemporary urban Nicaragua, drawing on longitudinal ethnographic research conducted with a Managua pandilla in 1996–97 and in 2002. Pandillas and their violent practices are conceived as constituting a form of local social structuration in the face of broader conditions of high crime, insecurity, and socio-political breakdown. This form of ‘ street-level politics ’ changed significantly between 1997 and 2002, however, evolving from a form of collective social violence to a more individually and economically motivated type of brutality. This transformation is related to wider structural processes, which are described as coming together and precipitating a form of ‘ social death ’ in contemporary Nicaragua.

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en

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application/pdf

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http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/2472/1/RodgersLiving.pdf

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