"It's the Way you Wear Them!" The Contradictions of Controlling Gang Members’ Dress - This paper examines how politically charged meanings of dress are articulated and contested by staff and gang members. While school dress codes are often justified as a safety measure, the ways staff exercise authority by chastising students who violate the code may alienate students from school. Moreover, students’ ways of dressing are intractable to school control, first, in how they subtly use dress to manipulate the boundaries between such dichotomies as gang/non-gang, safe/dangerous, and overt/covert; and secondly, in the ways students embody dress. Hence, following McNeil (1988), I argue that schools and students are better served by a concentration on pedagogy, rather than control.
Keywords dress code, gangs, social boundaries, school)" />