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Street capitalBlack cannabis dealers in a white welfare state$
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Sveinung Sandberg

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9781847421203

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781847421203.001.0001

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(p.1) one Introduction
Street capital

Sveinung Sandberg

Willy Pedersen

Policy Press

This chapter describes the street drug market known as ‘The River’ area, where the neighbourhood is an ethnically and socially mixed urban area. It notes that the river Akerselva divides Oslo – the capital of Norway – into its eastern, working-class parts and the more prosperous west. The chapter presents the basic argument that the young men at The River develop a competence that the authors coin ‘street capital’ which is similar to Bourdieu's (1984) ‘cultural capital’; but that this competence, and its associated skills and dispositions, are limited to a violent street culture. It discusses street culture in a Scandinavian welfare state. The chapter also briefly discusses the cannabis trade and economy, which is structured in a different way from the ‘hard’ drug economies. It emphasises that this study is based on ethnographic fieldwork at The River, the most important part of which was qualitative interviews with the drug dealers.

Keywords:   street drug market, The River, Akerselva, Oslo, Norway, street capital, Scandinavian welfare state, cannabis trade, ethnographic fieldwork, qualitative interviews

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