Wild pigs and outlaws: The kindred worlds of policing and outlaw bikers

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What are the similarities and differences between police officers and gang members? From a largely cultural and thoroughly critical perspective it is logical to develop a comparative analytical design that focuses on outlaw motorcycle clubs and police motorcycle fraternal organizations. Outlaw motorcycle clubs arose following the Second World War, and across the past 50 years have been targeted by law enforcement for their increasingly sophisticated involvement in violent criminal activity. They are characterized by hierarchical command structures, initiation rites and socialization processes, oaths of loyalty, codes of silence, a uniform mode of dress, and outwardly symbolic accoutrements of rank and achievement. Police organizations and cultures are not much different in these aspects of signification; comparative analysis based on naturalistic inquiry may hold the key to greater understanding of both subcultures.

Original Citation

Librett M. (2008). Wild pigs and outlaws: The kindred worlds of policing and outlaw bikers. Crime, Media, Culture, 4(2), 257-269. https://doi.org/10.1177/1741659008092331