Resilient Fabians? Anti-social behaviour and community safety work in Wales

Adam Edwards and Gordon Hughes

in ASBO nation

Published by Policy Press

Published in print June 2008 | ISBN: 9781847420282
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447301493 | DOI:
Resilient Fabians? Anti-social behaviour and community safety work in Wales

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This chapter summarises findings from research into the work of community safety managers in Wales, entailing responses to anti-social behaviour (ASB) in each of the 22 community safety partnerships in the country. The data are used to question prevailing assumptions about the problematisation of this signal issue in popular concerns about crime and disorder. The chapter challenges two diametrically opposed but equally ‘smooth’ narratives: that governing ASB is either a morally righteous, enlightened and commonsensical campaign against a feral minority, or else that it represents a moral panic manufactured to support an increasingly punitive and intolerant state. The chapter considers the complex and hybrid narratives of disorder which underpin the problem-solving work undertaken by community safety practitioners. The resilient Fabianism of community safety managers' accounts of their own work disturbs narratives of social control in critical social science, which are in danger of believing the hype of the very political projects they seek to challenge.

Keywords: Wales; anti-social behaviour; Fabianism; community safety managers; social control; social science; community safety partnerships; crime; disorder; community safety

Chapter.  5815 words. 

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