The recent disturbances and looting which took place alongside some of the popular, and mainly peaceful, Black Lives Matter demonstrations of 2020, take us back to some important sociological discussions about ‘riots’, what they mean and media stigma of local neighbourhoods.
Recent research by Julius Ester (2020) focuses on interviews with local young people about the 2011 riots in Tottenham. It shows how local youngsters see themselves and their area as labelled — stigmatised — by media coverage and how the wider context for those disturbances is excluded from most media accounts. In this case, the context was a local environment shaped by austerity measures and cuts that led to few job opportunities for young people, beyond precarious contracts and unreasonably low wages.
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