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Outlaw Motorcycle Clubs and Street GangsOutlaw Bikers Between Identity Politics and Civil Rights

Outlaw Motorcycle Clubs and Street Gangs: Outlaw Bikers Between Identity Politics and Civil Rights [Today, club logos and important insignia of international outlaw motorcycle clubs are trademarked, following the early example of the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club that first patented their ‘death head’ logo in 1972. Club logos, worn exclusively by full-patched members, are considered sacred and protected as such, both legally and extra-legally. The symbolically central, albeit economically marginal, legal actions against infringers point us toward the uncanny overlaps between a ‘counterculture’ and a ‘brand,’ a phenomenon common in Western culture at large. Departing from this overlap between the ‘sacred culture’ and the ‘brand’ and moving toward the outlaw bikers’ fight for civil rights, the chapter analyzes these attempts at scheming legality and resisting criminalization, reading them through the lens of the tension between identity politics and politics of universalism, showing that even the outlaw bikers shoot themselves in the foot if they try to capitalize on the currently popular rhetoric of identity and recognition.] http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png

Outlaw Motorcycle Clubs and Street GangsOutlaw Bikers Between Identity Politics and Civil Rights

Editors: Kuldova, Tereza; Sánchez-Jankowski, Martín

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References (46)

Publisher
Springer International Publishing
Copyright
© The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2018
ISBN
978-3-319-76119-0
Pages
175 –203
DOI
10.1007/978-3-319-76120-6_8
Publisher site
See Chapter on Publisher Site

Abstract

[Today, club logos and important insignia of international outlaw motorcycle clubs are trademarked, following the early example of the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club that first patented their ‘death head’ logo in 1972. Club logos, worn exclusively by full-patched members, are considered sacred and protected as such, both legally and extra-legally. The symbolically central, albeit economically marginal, legal actions against infringers point us toward the uncanny overlaps between a ‘counterculture’ and a ‘brand,’ a phenomenon common in Western culture at large. Departing from this overlap between the ‘sacred culture’ and the ‘brand’ and moving toward the outlaw bikers’ fight for civil rights, the chapter analyzes these attempts at scheming legality and resisting criminalization, reading them through the lens of the tension between identity politics and politics of universalism, showing that even the outlaw bikers shoot themselves in the foot if they try to capitalize on the currently popular rhetoric of identity and recognition.]

Published: Apr 26, 2018

Keywords: Outlaw Biker; Outlaw Motorcycle Clubs (OMCs); Hells Angels; Death's Head; Motorcycle Club

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