Between the street and the welfare state

Sveinung Sandberg and Willy Pedersen

in Street capital

Published by Policy Press

Published in print April 2011 | ISBN: 9781847421203
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447303602 | DOI:
Between the street and the welfare state

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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

Chapter.  9842 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Race and Ethnicity

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