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First acknowledged in Melbourne in 1870, larrikins outraged respectable bourgeois society with their behaviour, clothing and language. Their activities generated intense and sustained social commentary and the term was quickly adopted across the continent.

The discourse stimulated was far from exclusive to Australia, and Jasper’s research follows the flows of information and people that took coverage of larrikins across the world. The project examines the connections between places and communities, the influence of the traditionally conceived colonial ‘periphery’ on the imperial ‘core’, and how larrikins figured in transoceanic discussions of street gangs, education, modernity and empire.

This work-in-progress presentation will provide an overview of the project, including progress made thus far and next steps, and a brief case study on London larrikins – the name given to juvenile gang members in the metropole before the term ‘hooligan’ became established in the English language in the late 1890s.

About Jasper

Jasper Heeks is a PhD candidate in the Department of History at King’s College London. His research interests include youth cultures, urban life and cross-cultural exchanges. Jasper has co-authored a chapter with Dr Simon Sleight on ‘Urbanisation: Youth Gangs and Street Cultures’ in the forthcoming Oxford Handbook on the History of Youth Culture.

At this event

Jasper  Heeks

PhD candidate