European Journal of Crime, Criminal Law and Criminal Justice vol:20 pages:165-180
This paper presents the findings of the content analysis of 170 weblogs related to the Brussels-based Black African gangs. This article aims to contribute to the gang literature as it claims that gang myths are considered key for gangs’ consolidation and existence. The paper shows that mythmaking activities increasingly take place online, offering gang members new ways of communicating gang-ness. By using Goffman’s theory (1959) of “Impression Management” as an analytic theoretical framework and by conducting a qualitative as well as a quantitative content analysis of these blogs, this article aims to unravel the dynamics of their mythmaking process and illustrate how weblogs, as well as the virtual environment contribute to mythmaking activities. In doing so, the article wants to show how imaginative and fictive elements are purposively used by blog authors to guide our interpretation to a desired outcome, in this case: a gangster self.