© 2018

Outlaw Motorcycle Clubs and Street Gangs

Scheming Legality, Resisting Criminalization

  • Tereza Kuldova
  • Martín Sánchez-Jankowski

Part of the Palgrave Studies in Risk, Crime and Society book series (PSRCS)

About this book


This edited collection offers in-depth essays on outlaw motorcycle clubs and street gangs. Written by sociologists, anthropologists and criminologists, it asks the question of how the self-proclaimed ‘outlaws’ integrate into society. While these groups may cultivate a deviant image, these original studies show that we should not let ourselves be deceived by appearances. These ‘outlaws’ are, paradoxically, well integrated into mainstream society. The essays read the relationship of these groups to the media, law enforcement and society through the lens of their strategies of ‘scheming legality’ and ‘resisting criminalization’. These reveal most strikingly how the knowledge of social codes, norms and mechanisms is put to use by these groups.
This groundbreaking volume provides answers to previously understudied questions through well-researched case studies drawn from across Europe and United States. With wide-reaching implications for communities around the world, this exciting collection of essays will be of great interest to academics and governmental institutions as well as students and general readers of anthropology, sociology and criminology.


organised crime deviance deviant studies crime and society reintegration crime in the US gang fashion Outlaw Biker Clubs exclusion Resisting Criminalization Street Gangster Performance Identity Politics Brotherhood Group Dynamics mainstream society anti-social behavior gang ethnography gangsta rap Hells Angels Motorcycle Club

Editors and affiliations

  • Tereza Kuldova
    • 1
  • Martín Sánchez-Jankowski
    • 2
  1. 1.University of OsloBlindernNorway
  2. 2.University of CaliforniaBerkeley, CAUSA

About the editors

Tereza Kuldova is a social anthropologist and Researcher at the University of Oslo, Norway.  She is the editor-in-chief of the Journal of Extreme Anthropology.
Martín Sánchez-Jankowski directs the Institute for the Study of Societal Issues and the Center for Urban Ethnography at the UC Berkeley, USA.

Bibliographic information


“‘Easy Riders?’ or ‘Born to be Wild?’ Or perhaps none of these clichés, according to this new book Outlaw Motorcycle Clubs and Street Gangs edited by Tereza Kuldova and Martín Sánchez-Jankowski. In this vibrant and varied collection, world experts use their theoretical skill as well academic savvy to produce distinct essays which unsettle standardized narratives. A must read for students and academics across social sciences.” (Daniel Briggs, Universidad Europea of Madrid, Spain; author of Dead-end Lives, Policy Press, 2017)

“In this superb collection, Kuldova and Sanchez-Jankowski have recruited a number of researchers whose finely detailed empirical work and sophisticated theoretical work help the criminological research field to rethink the assumptions on which rest the core concepts of ‘deviance’ and ‘integration’. Essential reading for all those who wish to move the social sciences forward.” (Steve Hall, Emeritus Professor of Criminology, Teesside University, UK)

“A rich analysis of contemporary organized crime that will be of interest to the wide popular and scholarly audience.” (Kristin Bergtora Sandvik, University of Oslo, Norway)