‘On the frontline’: gangs, teachers, and the ethics of care

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Knife crime in the UK is on the increase, prompting an emphasis in education policy on the role of secondary schools in addressing gang violence. Very little is known, however, about how teachers in secondary schools experience this new role. This article helps to fill this gap in the literature by foregrounding teachers’ perspectives on gang violence in an East London secondary school. It analyses their teaching practices through an ‘ethics of care’ lens, understanding ‘care’ as an inherently relational practice based on mutuality and trust. The article shows how these qualities are being subverted by individualised approaches to care in education, which reproduce rather than challenge the violent care offered by gangs. It argues that the political dimensions of care must be reclaimed if efforts by schools to address gang violence are to be effective.
Original languageEnglish
JournalBritish Journal of Sociology of Education
Early online date12 May 2024
Publication statusEarly online date - 12 May 2024
Externally publishedYes


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