Global flows as gendered cultural pedagogies: Learning gangsta in the 'Durty South'

Glenn C. Savage, Anna Hickey-Moody

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


This article theorizes empirical data from an ethnographic project conducted in and around the economically disadvantaged suburb of Noble Park in southeast suburban Melbourne (Victoria, Australia). Exploring the politics around gendered identities of young people involved in the research, particularly Australian-Sudanese men, the authors theorize global flows of 'gangsta culture' as gendered cultural pedagogies that are (re)produced by young men who live in the area. In highlighting the pedagogical role of gangsta culture, the authors read Appadurai's theories of globalization and the imagination in relation to theories of hegemonic masculinity, to argue global flows of gangsta culture are gendered and carry with them specific kinds of idealized masculinities in relation to which young people in the study produce themselves. The authors also argue that gangsta culture clearly is not an American phenomenon, despite commonly being associated as such. Rather, its reach is globalizing, appearing everywhere global media texts form part of local communities. Gangsta pedagogies are thus in motion and disjunctive, operating transnationally and having differentiated effects in the lives of young participants involved in the research. In line with this, gangsta masculinities are ubiquitous and constitute sites of constant contest and reconstruction, with the young men involved in this research constructing their masculinities dialogically, in relation to the perceptions of peers, family members, teachers, members of the community and in relation to the contours of local space. Whether young people choose to actively engage with gangsta culture, or are unwillingly engaged with it by virtue of the spaces they traverse, its pedagogical forces effect both problematic and productive performances of racialized, gendered and spatialized identities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)277-293
Number of pages17
JournalCritical Studies in Education
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2010
Externally publishedYes


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