Confluences of Street Culture and Jihadism: The spatial, bodily and narrative dimensions of radicalization
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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OriginalversjonTerrorism and Political Violence. 2022, . https://doi.org/10.1080/09546553.2022.2042269
Research on the new crime-terror nexus has focused on examining the confluences of criminal and jihadist milieus. This article contributes to this research, using insights from criminological theory and analyzing data from interviews with Muslim men who have been exposed to jihadism and have a background in street life and crime. We propose that the connection between street crime and jihadism can be seen in three decisive points of confluence: places, bodies, and narratives. We show how specific places (e.g. prisons) enable the encounter between particular bodies (e.g. violently competent bodies) and the engagement or disengagement with certain extremist narratives (e.g. stories of redemption through violence). The crime-terror literature emphasizes that these points of confluence are sources of radicalization. We expand upon this by arguing that they may also serve as venues for resisting or rejecting politico-religious extremism. The study demonstrates that radicalization is only one possible outcome of the confluences between street culture and jihadism.