Routledge Handbook of Graffiti and Street Art: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Routledge Handbook of Graffiti and Street Art

1st Edition

Edited by Jeffrey Ian Ross


520 pages | 81 B/W Illus.

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Hardback: 9781138792937
pub: 2016-03-08
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The Routledge Handbook of Graffiti and Street Art integrates and reviews current scholarship in the field of graffiti and street art. Thirty-seven original contributions are organized around four sections:

  • History, Types, and Writers/Artists of Graffiti and Street Art;
  • Theoretical Explanations of Graffiti and Street Art/Causes of Graffiti and Street Art;
  • Regional/Municipal Variations/Differences of Graffiti and Street Art; and,
  • Effects of Graffiti and Street Art.

Chapters are written by experts from different countries throughout the world and their expertise spans the fields of American Studies, Art Theory, Criminology, Criminal justice, Ethnography, Photography, Political Science, Psychology, Sociology, and Visual Communication.

The Handbook will be of interest to researchers, instructors, advanced students, libraries, and art gallery and museum curators. 

This book is also accessible to practitioners and policy makers in the fields of criminal justice, law enforcement, art history, museum studies, tourism studies, and urban studies as well as members of the news media. The Handbook  includes 70 images, a glossary, a chronology, and the electronic edition will be widely hyperlinked. 


Considering graffiti is both the world's most visible crime and a global subcultural phenomenon, it's strange that mainstream criminology has spent the last four decades steadfastly ignoring the subject. Finally, this seems to be changing. With the arrival of the Routledge Handbook on Graffiti and Street Art, criminology now has the sophisticated and comprehensive benchmark collection the subject deserves. Get yourself a copy and tag the inside cover today!' - Professor Keith Hayward, Faculty of Law, University of Copenhagen, Denmark

Jeffrey Ian Ross’s Routledge Handbook on Graffiti and Street Art is a comprehensive well rounded treatment of graffiti and street art with contributions by the most recognized international scholars of the field. The edited collection provides analyses that are theoretically and empirically grounded, going beyond simply over-romanticizing the subject matter that typically sees graffiti and street art as simple acts of vandalism and/or resistance. The Handbook looks at graffiti/street art as manifestations of the broader social structure, as well as the subcultural processes and micro-level interactions among graffiti/street art practitioners, and the wider community in which they operate. This volume is a must read for scholars, students, and community and state policy makers. - Dawn Rothe, Professor of Sociology and Criminiology, Old Dominion University, USA

While completing a major book project in 2012 on street art, I found that the majority of academic texts and articles on graffiti addressed issues of controlling or curving the practice of graffiti in the public square. This is an issue that editor Jeffrey Ian Ross often takes note of throughout the text…The social control trajectory is complimented and expanded by the contributors in this volume and it’s the real strength of its organization. Expanding this field into a handbook is a large task, one that Ross tackled with enthusiasm and a sincere desire to push the field beyond its comfortable borders - G. James Daichendt, College of Arts and Humanities, Point Loma Nazarene, Law and Politics Book Review

The Routledge Handbook of Graffiti and Street Art offers a rich geographical spread, not only including the dominant graffiti and street art Meccas (the United States and the United Kingdom), but also case studies from Brazil, Egypt, Portugal, Canada, and Australia, alongside excellent visual representations. - Myrto Tsilimpounidi, Ph.D. Marie Curie Fellow Institute of Sociology Slovak Academy of Sciences International Social Science Review, Volume 93 | Issue 1

It would prove useful to undergraduate and graduate students, as well as researchers, experts and faculty. With the broad scope of disciplinary perspectives utilized throughout the work, this will fit in with a large body of disciplines and industries. The depth and quality of the research and the fact that it deftly fills a gap in graffiti and street art-related research should make this a desirable and useful purchase for academic libraries. - Michael DeNotto, Humanities Librarian,Reference Reviews, Volume 32 · Number 1 · 2018 ·

The Routledge Handbook of Graffiti and Street Art is a one of a kind collection of scholarly chapters devoted to the study of a complex, urban phenomenon. Graffiti and street art are as old as civilization and communication itself, but it was not until the last several decades that research began to tackle this phenomenon. This Handbook provides an accessible tool that will likely be a staple in the study of graffiti and street art for years to come whether that be in the classroom or for one’s own research interests. - Andrew C. Gray, University of Delaware, USA, Journal of Qualitative Criminal Justice and Criminology, Volume 6 Number 1 Spring 2018

Table of Contents

Introduction: Sorting it all out, Jeffrey Ian Ross Part I: History, Types, and Writers/Artists of Graffiti and Street Art 1. Ancient Graffiti, J. A. Baird and Claire Taylor 2. Trains, Railroad Workers and Illegal Riders: The subcultural world of hobo graffiti, John F. Lennon 3. A History of Freight Train Graffiti in North America, Robert Donald Weide 4. Deconstructing Gang Graffiti, Susan A. Phillips 5. Prison Inmate Graffiti, Jacqueline Z. Wilson 6. Ways of Being Seen: Gender and/in writing on the wall, Jessica N. Pabón 7. Research and Theory on Latrinalia, Adam Trahan 8. Yarn Bombing - The softer side of street art, Minna Haveri 9. Straight from the Underground: New York City's legal graffiti writing culture, Ronald Kramer 10. American Indian Graffiti, Favian Martin Part II: Theoretical Explanations of Graffiti and Street Art/Causes of Graffiti and Street Art 11. Graffiti and Street Art as Ornament, Rafael Schacter 12. Graffiti, Street Art and the Divergent Synthesis of Place Valorisation in Contemporary Urbanism, Andrea Mubi Brighenti 13. Graffiti Art & the City: From piece-making to place-making, Graeme Evans 14. Something for the Boys? Exploring the changing gender dynamics of the graffiti subculture, Nancy Macdonald 15. The Psychology Behind Graffiti Involvement, Myra F. Taylor, Julie Ann Pooley, and Georgia Carragher 16. Graffiti and the Subculture Career, Gregory J. Snyder Part III: Regional/Municipal Variations/Differences of Graffiti and Street Art 17. From the City Walls to "Clean Trains": Graffiti in New York City, 1969-1990, Joe A. Austin 18. Boost or Blight? Graffiti Writing and Street Art in the "new" New Orleans, Doreen Piano 19. Pop Culture and Politics: Graffiti and Street Art in Montreal, Anna Waclawek 20. The Battle for Public Space along the Mapocho River, Santiago Chile, 1964-2014, Rodney Palmer 21. London Calling: Contemporary Graffiti/Street Art in the UK’s Capital, Jeffrey Ian Ross 22. Graffiti and Street Art in Paris, David Fieni 23. From Marx to Merkel: Political Muralism and Street Art in Lisbon, Ricardo Campos 24. The Field of Graffiti and Street Art in Post January 2011 Egypt, Mona Abaza 25. Wall Talk: Palestinian graffiti, Julie Peteet 26. Graffiti/Street Art in Tokyo and Surrounding Districts, Hidetsugu Yamakoshi and Yasumasa Sekine 27. Claiming Spaces for Urban Art Images in Beijing and Shanghai, Minna Valjakka 28. Contesting Transcultural Trends: Emerging self-identities and urban art images in Hong Kong, Minna Valjakka Part IV: Effects of Graffiti and Street Art 29. How Major Urban Centers in the United States Respond to Graffiti/Street Art, Jeffrey Ian Ross 30. New York City’s Moral Panic over Graffiti: Normalizing neoliberal penality and paving the way for growth machines, Ronald Kramer 31. Stealing from the Public: The value of street art taken from the street, Peter Bengtsen 32. How American Movies Depict Graffiti and Street Art, Jeffrey Ian Ross 33. Challenging the Defense of Graffiti, in Defense of Graffiti, Stefano Bloch 34. Does Copyright Law Protect Graffiti and Street Art?, Dan Schwender 35. Graffiti, Street Art and the Evolution of the Art Market, Maia Morgan Wells

About the Series

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / General