7 Social capital in anarchist movements Those who build walls are their own prisoners. I’m going to go fulfill my proper function in the social organism. I’m going to go unbuild walls. (Ursula K. Le Guin, The Dispossessed) Social capital and Bourdieu “Anarchists of the world … unite!” This tongue-in-cheek joke reflects the commonly held belief that anarchists do not work well with others. Most people assume that anarchists are extreme individualists, unwilling to compromise, or collaborate in groups (i.e., every person is “an island,” completely independent of

in Black flags and social movements
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Conclusion Instead of portraying a triumphal imperial metropolis or a battered but heroic city under fire, this book has examined the vernacular London, showing aspects of life as it was lived and as it was taken from the early 1930s to the early 1950s. Murder Capital has focused on suspicious deaths – murders in the family or murders by strangers, infanticides and women’s deaths from illegal abortions – as moments of crisis affected by the social fabric of the city and transformed by the damage and dislocation of the Second World War. The intimate details of

in Murder Capital

6 Suspicious deaths in post-war London, 1945–53 Introduction London emerged in the post-war world as a city of decimated neighbourhoods, rubble and bombed-out houses, and as the lair of petty criminals profiting from the continued scarcity of goods and rationing. Deserters still haunted the capital, and many families were struggling with post-war reunions and the lingering effects of separation.1 The rate of indictable crime rose from a wartime low of 91,200 in 1943 to a 1945 total of 128,954 crimes, of which only 25% were cleared up.2 Most of these were property

in Murder Capital

evidence. The cases of infanticide found in the Metropolitan Register of Deaths by Violence offer glimpses of the women who killed their infants and babies, and shift our understanding of infanticide as a crime primarily committed by single desperate women acting alone, to one also committed by women in relationships, and with help from others. Bell Murder Capital.indd 140 8/5/2014 1:52:18 PM Infanticide in London, 1933–53  141 Infanticide and the law The killing of infants was, from the earliest English laws, associated with illegitimacy. The first laws against

in Murder Capital
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Introduction London: murder capital Since the seventeenth century, the city of London has evoked images of crime and disorder in the popular imagination.1 Murder Capital will examine a twentieth-century London, one both real and imagined, as the site for the commission, investigation and popular perceptions of suspicious deaths, or unexpected deaths whose circumstances required further investigation. Suspicious deaths reveal moments of personal and communal crisis in which individual impulses and social pressures converged in a moment of irrevocable violence

in Murder Capital

Home Office, ushering in a new era in crime investigation in the capital. London crime in the early twentieth century London in the 1930s was still marked by the traumatic effects of the First World War of 1914–18. The First World War foreshadowed the material and imaginative transformations in London which would Bell Murder Capital.indd 27 8/5/2014 1:52:13 PM 28  Murder Capital follow the Second World War.2 Over 124,000 Londoners were killed in combat, corresponding to 10% of men in their twenties and thirties.3 The German air attacks on London between May 1915

in Murder Capital

during the war. The highest number of deaths by violence in the Metropolitan Police Register occurred in 1945, with sixty-six recorded suspicious deaths. The increase in deaths by violence was echoed in figures for all forms of criminal violence, including the near-doubling of numbers of felonious and malicious woundings from 1939 to 1945.1 Bell Murder Capital.indd 86 8/5/2014 1:52:16 PM Suspicious deaths and strangers in wartime London, 1939–45  87 The increase in casual and professional violence during the war was cause for public concern, more so than domestic

in Murder Capital

survival coloured attitudes towards wartime suspicious deaths. Londoners expressed their ambivalent attitudes in their personal writings, as they discussed murder trials with a combination of apathy and anxiety. Commentators either downplayed single murders in the face of wartime mass deaths or worried that the atmosphere of violence was encouraging people to kill. Strict censorship of the press and personal correspondence Bell Murder Capital.indd 59 8/5/2014 1:52:15 PM 60  Murder Capital limited the expression of these fears to personal diaries, archived or published

in Murder Capital
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Polisse and Entre les murs

4 Capital centres: Polisse and Entre les murs W e begin in north-eastern Paris, in the districts of Belleville and Gambetta. In these multicultural quartiers, the films Polisse and Entre les murs explore interactions between different cultural groups as they play out in public institutions. In both the police procedural Polisse and the schoolroom drama Entre les murs, multilingualism is a feature of everyday life within the city, and language difference is essential to (re)negotiating social hierarchies between historically dominant and dominated cultural

in Decentring France

4 Constructing and using Black cultural capital I was at the curator’s tour for the Tate Modern exhibition, Soul of a Nation. The exhibition was twelve rooms large, documenting the role that Black artists played in the United States’s Black Power movement. The audience included Black and white professionals, a couple of Black families spanning three generations, and tourists from overseas who happened upon the event when they were visiting London. We were in the ninth room, and the room’s theme was ‘Black Heroes’ – this featured portraits of US Black icons

in Black middle class Britannia