skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 113298 Find in a Library
Title: Crime in the Caribbean: Robbers, Hustlers and Warriors
Journal: International Journal of the Sociology of Law  Volume:16  Issue:3  Dated:(August 1988)  Pages:315-338
Author(s): C Mahabir
Date Published: 1988
Page Count: 24
Type: Historical Overview
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article examines post-war crime, particularly urban gangs, in Jamaica and Trinidad-Tobago within the broader social and economic context.
Abstract: It is argued that the conditions of dependency that have characterized Caribbean societies since they were created to serve European industrialization produced the urban criminal. Trapped in the slums, both the steel band 'warriors' and the 'rude boys' attempted to defy economic, psychic, social, and political barriers. The crime and delinquency of these groups can best be understood in terms of conflict theory. While fighting the economic constraints of everyday survival, they also were making an existential statement about society. The development of these groups derived from confrontation with the authorities, a redefinition of the illegal activity among the lumpenproletariat, and an awareness of oppression and exploitation. These factors seem to have produced a special type of proletarian class of antiauthoritarian warriors, hustlers, and scufflers. It was a class that chose to reject exclusion and exploitation by challenging and breaking established law. Thus, they found the means to express their autonomy within the domains of crime and delinquency; power was attained by means of their self-defined warfare. This warfare was not only for territorial sovereignty, but also for the expression of pride and the will to survive within the constraints imposed on them by their social class. 8 notes and 29 references.
Main Term(s): Juvenile gang behavior patterns
Index Term(s): Conflict theory; Jamaica; Social conditions; West Indies
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.