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Homeboys Between Hard Covers

Homeboys Between Hard Covers

Scholarly Approaches to the Study of Gang Memoirs

(p.43) Chapter Two Homeboys Between Hard Covers
The Culture and Politics of Contemporary Street Gang Memoirs
Josephine Metcalf
University Press of Mississippi

This chapter examines how gang memoirs are formed in the media and interpreted by their audiences. It highlights the three theoretical frameworks that were used to examine the formation of gang memoirs: the autobiography theory; the cultural study of race; and media and reader response. Autobiographical structure is prevalent in street gang memoirs, often inserting personal experiences into the narrative, and even writing the memoirs in a first person perspective. The politics of identity is also seen in the memoirs, as histories of black oppression have helped shape the street gang narrative. It also notes that the stereotyping of Mexican American and Black American culture has also influenced how the street gang memoirs are perceived by the media and its audiences.

Keywords:   memoirs, street gang, autobiography theory, identity, stereotyping, media, audience

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