1st Edition

The Outlaw Biker Legacy of Violence

By Thomas Barker Copyright 2018
    118 Pages 3 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    118 Pages 3 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Outlaw bikers represent a very small percentage of motorcycle riders who join motorcycle clubs, but they receive disproportionate attention due to their mystique, unconventional behavior, and violence. Although the outlaw biker phenomenon started in the United States, it has since spread throughout the world. The involvement of Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs (OMGs) in organized crime at the local, regional, national, and transnational levels fosters violence that puts innocent persons at risk for death or injury and leads to the demonization of “bikers” and the overcriminalization of motorcycle enthusiasts and club members. The Outlaw Biker Legacy of Violence, written by internationally known expert Thomas Barker, addresses the legacy of violence in the outlaw biker culture and tackles the implications of the violence that progressed as outlaw biker clubs evolved into adult criminal gangs engaged in crimes for profit over long periods of time and across borders.

    Beginning with a history of outlaw bikers and the construction of the “folk devil” of the biker, the book outlines the distinctions between conventional motorcycle clubs, Outlaw Motorcycle Clubs, and Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs, and then traces the expansion of these groups across the globe. This book will be relevant to those interested in the examination or investigation of biker gangs in particular or organized criminal groups in general. It is essential reading for criminal justice students and others studying social groups, gangs, and organizations, or the sociology of deviance, and is also relevant for law enforcement professionals dealing with these organizations

    Chapter 1: The Legacy of Violence

    Chapter 2: Bikers as Folk Devils

    Chapter 3: Motorcycle Clubs, Outlaw Motorcycle Clubs (OMCs), and Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs (OMGs)

    Chapter4: Spreading Biker Violence: Transnational Expansion of Outlaw Motorcycle Clubs/Gangs

    Chapter 5: The Culture of Violence in the Outlaw Biker Community

    Chapter 6: "Bad Men" in the Outlaw Biker Community

    Chapter 7: Violent Public Events and Biker Wars: Events That Trigger Moral Panic

    Chapter 8: The Waco Debacle: Response to a Moral Panic


    Thomas Barker, Ph.D., an international expert on Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs, is Emeritus Professor of Criminal Justice of Eastern Kentucky University. A former police officer, police academy instructor, professor at four universities, and Dean of the College of Criminal Justice at Jacksonville State University, Barker has been conducting research and writing on biker gangs for more than 15 years. He is past president of the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences as well as of the Southern Criminal Justice Association, which annually issues the Tom Barker Award for Undergraduate Student Service in his name. He is the author or coauthor of 17 books and numerous articles, and frequently speaks to groups and in documentaries on organized crime. The Mob Museum, a popular attraction located in Las Vegas, Nevada, presented an Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs exhibit featuring an original video including interviews with Barker.