Brotherton grew up in the East End of London, England where he worked in various blue-collar jobs while organizing labor and youth. He came to the United States in the early 1980's on an exchange fellowship with the University of California and later worked toward his Ph.D. degree at the University of California, Santa Barbara while teaching public high school in the Mission district of San Francisco. Dr. Brotherton gained his doctorate in Sociology in 1992 and began work on street gang subcultures for his post-doctoral fellowship at U.C. Berkeley in the same year. In 1994, Dr. Brotherton came to John Jay College of Criminal Justice, New York, where he continued his research on youth resistance and marginalization, co-founding the Street Organization Project with Luis Barrios in 1997. He has received numerous grants from both private and public agencies and has published widely in journals, books, newspapers and magazines. In 1998 and 2001, he co-organized the first academic/practitioner/community conferences on street youth to be held in New York since the 1960’s and is actively preparing for a third conference on Globalization and Street Youth to be held in Brazil. During 2002-3, Dr. Brotherton was a Visiting Professor of Law and Sociology at the Autonomous University of Santo Domingo (Dominican Republic) and co-organized the first Caribbean conference on deportees from the United States in 2003 with a follow-up conference at John Jay College in 2004 (“Criminal Justice and Deportation: The Invisible Crisis”). Currently Dr. Brotherton is conducting field research on the social processes of deportation from the United States to be contained in a new book entitled: “Back to the Homeland: Expulsion, Stigma and Resistance Among Dominican Deportees.”
Youth Street Gangs: A critical appraisal
(New Directions in Critical Criminology)
This new and highly contentious book on street gangs moves away from the pathologization of the gang that has been seen in the last several decades. Drawing on a wealth of highly acclaimed original research, it explores the socially layered practices of street gangs from New York and Puerto Rico to Europe, the Caribbean, and South America.
Published April 2015
Banished to the Homeland: Dominican Deportees and Their Stories of Exile
The 1996 U.S. Immigration Reform and Responsibility Act has led to the forcible deportation of more than thirty thousand Dominicans from the United States, with little protest or even notice from the public. Deportees suffer greatly when they are torn from their American families and social networks, and they may be unwelcome in their former homeland. Following thousands of Dominican deportees over a seven-year period, Brotherton and Barrios capture their experience and conclude that a simultaneous process of cultural inclusion and socioeconomic exclusion best explains the trajectory of emigration, settlement, and rejection. Combining sociological and criminological reasoning, the authors isolate the forces that motivate immigrants to leave their homeland and then commit crimes in the United States. They relate the modern deportee's journey to broader theoretical studies of transnationalism, assimilation, and social control.
Published November 2011
Columbia University Press, 2011
Globalizing the Streets: Cross-Cultural Perspectives on Youth, Social Control, and Empowerment
Not since the cultural and economic rebellions of the 1960s have the activities of resistance among lower- and working- class youth caused such anxiety in the international community. Adopting the vantage point of those whose struggle for dignity, social solidarity, self-respect, and survival takes place in the criminalized, or marginalized, spaces in which they live, the contributors to this volume examine the struggle for identity and interdependence of these youth; their clashes with law enforcement and criminal codes; their fight for social, political, and cultural capital; and their efforts to achieve recognition and empowerment. These essays contextualize and humanize the seemingly senseless actions of these youths, who make visible the class contradictions, social exclusion, and rituals of psychological humiliation that permeate their everyday lives. Michael Flynn is associate director of the Center on Terrorism at John Jay College and associate professor of psychology at York College, CUNY.
Published June 2008
Columbia University Press, 2008
Keeping Out the Other: A Critical Introduction to Immigration Enforcement Today
America's reputation for open immigration has always been accompanied by a desire to remove or discourage the migration of undesirables." But recent restrictions placed on immigrants, along with an increase in detentions and deportations, point to a more worrying trend. Immigration enforcement has become the fastest growing sector for spending over the past two decades, dwarfing the money spent on helping immigrants adjust to their new lives. Instead of finding effective ways of integrating newcomers into American society, the United States is focusing on making the process of citizenship more difficult, provoking major protests and unrest.
Published April 2008
Columbia University Press, 2008
Encyclopedia of Gangs
This encyclopedia seeks to illuminate the world of gangs, including gang formations, routine gang activities, aberrations, and current developments. One hundred essay entries related to gangs in the U.S. and worldwide provide a diffuse overview of the gang phenomenon. Each entry defines and explains the term, provides an historical overview, and explains its significance today. The entries assert that gangs are part of the fabric of American society, not only in our communities but also our schools and other social institutions and that an understanding the world of gangs is necessary to understand American society. Entries include: Bikers, Bloods, Cholas, Crips, gang mythology, gang warfare, graffiti, Hell's Angels, Hong Kong Triads, Latin Kings, law enforcement, occultic gangs, mafia, media, prison gangs, rites, Skinheads, Streetgang Terrorism Omnibus Prevention Act, tattoos, trafficking, Wanna-bes, West Side Story, Witness Protection programs, and youth gangs.
Published November 2007
Greenwood Press, 2007
The Almighty Latin King and Queen Nation: Street Politics and the Transformation of a New York City Gang
This book chronicles the self-transformation of the New York City gang, Almighty Latin Kings and Queen Nation, one of the most feared U.S. gangs, into a social movement acting on behalf of the dispossessed, renouncing violence and the underground economy, and requiring school attendance for membership. Based on inside information-new and never-before-published material by and about the gang, and interviews with 100 gang members-Brotherton and Barrios craft a unique portrait of the lives of these gang members and a ground-breaking study of their evolution.
Published March 2004
Columbia University Press, 2004
Gangs and Society
Gangs and Society brings together the work of academics, activists, and community leaders to examine the many functions and faces of gangs today, covering the spread of gangs from New York to Texas to the West Coast. Fifteen timely essays represent an eclectic range of topics, such as the spirituality of gangs, the place of women in gang culture, and the effect on gangs of a variety of educational programs and services for at-risk youth. The final chapter, featuring a photographic essay by award-winning journalist Donna DeCesare, examines the gang-photography phenomenon. Gangs and Society is edited by Louis Kontos, associate professor of sociology at Long Island University, C. W. Post Campus; David C. Brotherton; and Luis Barrios.
Published May 2003
Columbia University Press, 2003