Middle eastern appearances: "Ethnic gangs", moral panic and media framing

Scott Poynting, Greg Noble

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)


This article details a moral panic in 1998-2000 about "ethnic gangs" in Sydney's south-western suburbs and analyses its ideological construction of the links between ethnicity, youth and crime. It documents the racisms of labelling and targeting of immigrant young people which misread, oversimplify and misrepresent complex and classrelated social realities as racial, and the common-sense1 sharing of these understandings, representations and practices by "mainstream" media, police and vocal representatives in state, local and "ethnic" politics. The data used in this analysis are largely comprised of English-language media extracts, press, radio, television - both commercial and government-funded; and national, state and local in circulation, supplemented by interview material, from an ethnographic pilot study, with Lebanese-Australian youth, Lebanese immigrant parents, ethnic community workers, community leaders and police.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)67-90
Number of pages24
JournalAustralian and New Zealand Journal of Criminology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 01 Jan 2001


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