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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 147669 Find in a Library
Title: BEING BAD IS GOOD: EXPLORATIONS OF THE BODGIE GANG CULTURE IN SOUTH EAST AUSTRALIA, 1948-1956
Journal: Gang Journal  Volume:1  Issue:1  Dated:(1992)  Pages:31-56
Author(s): J Bessant; R Watts
Date Published: 1992
Page Count: 26
Type: Historical Overview
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article traces the history and dynamics of the emergence and evolution of the "bodgie" gang in southeast Australia from 1948 through 1956.
Abstract: Prior to the evolution of the "bodgie" and "widgie" phenomena, Australia's working class suburbs had many teenage gangs. They apparently evolved from the "larrikin stoushes" of Sydney and Melbourne in the 1870's and 1880's. The emergence of the "bodgie" lifestyle in the 1950's was based in a dress departure from the customary drab Australian style. Bodgie dress consisted of expensive and tough-looking American clothing styles. The styles selected were designed to project toughness. Bodgie clothes included leather jackets with padded shoulders, black shirts with a white T-shirt showing from underneath the collar, and black pegged 14-inch pants. Shoes had 1-inch crepe soles. Distinctive hair styles were also worn by bodgies. The conscious choice of dress was intended to communicate to others that bodgies were rebellious and distinctively tough. They felt obliged to confirm this image by responding aggressively to any psychological or physical intrusions on their space and identity. Bodgies responded violently to the arrival of post-war immigrants occasioned by the first immigration agreements between Australia, Italy, and Greece. In their own way, youths who adhered to the bodgie lifestyle were seeking to inspire respect, exercise authority, and compel fear from others so as to bolster their sense of importance and self-esteem, particularly in the absence of more traditional means. 89 notes
Main Term(s): Juvenile/Youth Gangs
Index Term(s): Australia; Foreign juvenile delinquency; Juvenile delinquency factors; Peer influences on behavior
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=147669

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