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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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Between the street and the welfare state

Between the street and the welfare state

(p.141) Eight Between the street and the welfare state
Street capital

Sveinung Sandberg

Willy Pedersen

Policy Press

This chapter observes that The River dealers used the oppression discourse mostly in dealing with the welfare system. It is a discourse that privileges structural problems, such as difficulties getting a job, an education, and finding accommodation. The chapter notes that marginalisation and discrimination are typically highlighted. It explains that emphasising sameness can be seen as a strategy for winning sympathy and support by playing down what separates the young men from members of mainstream society. The chapter notes that it is a strategy which marginalised groups often use in meetings with the public agencies. It further observes that many of The River dealers felt excluded from mainstream society. Discrimination and racism were constant companions, even when they were selling cannabis. The chapter explains that because they were ‘foreigners’, they felt branded as ‘criminals’ from the outset. In this way, allegiance to a gangster discourse became a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Keywords:   oppression discourse, welfare system, marginalisation, discrimination, mainstream society, The River dealers, selling cannabis, foreigners, criminals, gangster discourse

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