Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Committee Member

Barbara Brents

Second Committee Member

Simon Gottschalk

Number of Pages



This study examines the historical development of the racist skinhead subculture in Los Angeles. The skinhead subculture is a highly diverse network of gangs that has experienced significant changes over the last twenty-five years. I use an in-depth case study approach that relies upon extensive observation of and interviews with current and former skinheads to explain how and why L.A. skinhead gangs have changed over time. I argue that the Los Angeles skinhead subculture has moved through three phases of organizational emphasis which I characterize respectively as social, political, and economic oriented gangs. My aim is to analyze how skinheads have absorbed differing and almost contradictory elements since emerging in Los Angeles. In doing so, I show the plasticity and flexibility of skinhead gangs as they adapt and respond to wider social changes and thus challenge previous scholarship that view gang subcultures as relatively static, unchanging phenomena.


Angels; California; City; California; Development; Gangs; Historical Los Angeles; Los Angeles; Rage; Skinhead; Subculture; White Supremacy

Controlled Subject

Social structure; Criminology; Ethnology--Study and teaching

File Format


File Size

5099.52 KB

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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