Few issues attract greater concern and censure than those that surround youth 'gangs'. Paradoxically, youth researchers have conventionally been reluctant to even use the term 'gang' but, more recently, such reluctance has receded. Indeed, it is increasingly claimed that - in particular urban 'territories' - youth gangs are commonplace, some young people are deeply immersed in violence and the carrying and use of weapons (particularly knives and firearms) is routine.Comprizing a series of essays from leading national and international researchers, this book subjects such claims to rigorous critical scrutiny. It provides a challenging and authoritative account of complex questions pertaining to urban youth identities, crime and social order.This book:locates the question of 'gangs' in both historical and contemporary contextsengages a spectrum of theoretical perspectives and analytical positionspresents and analyses cutting-edge empirical researchaddresses a range of previously neglected questions, including those pertaining to girls, young women and 'gangs'. Youth in Crisis? provides a vital resource for researchers, educators, policy-makers and practitioners with an interest in key questions facing criminology, sociology and social policy.