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Hegemoniale Deutungsmuster und ernste Spiele. Zur Konstruktion von Männlichkeit und Gewalt am Beispiel einer Gang in Osttimor

Ruth Streicher

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Of Traditional Protectors and Modern Men – Engendering a Youth Gang in East Timor. „Youth gangs“ have emerged as the main actors being held responsible for the bulk of the violence which occurred during the East Timor crisis of 2006. In this explorative article I contest homogenising accounts of gang violence in Dili by offering an empirically based and theoretically grounded gender analysis of one of these „youth gangs“. On the theoretical level, I argue that since Bourdieu’s notion of habitus helps to integrate different theoretical gender perspectives that emphasise either agency or structure, it is useful for conceptualising the interlinkages between the construction of masculinities and the practice of violence. In applying this theoretical approach, I analyse empirical data collected from interviews with members of civil society and members of one youth gang in Dili. By critically discussing my first tentative results, I come to suggest avenues for future research which would help to deepen gendered analysis of gang violence in East Timor.