“Boys Just Want to have Guns” – Machismo, masculinity and gun desire among Australian ‘wannabe’ gangsters

Professor Andrew Goldsmith will deliver this public lecture reports on some of the findings of the first qualitative study in Australia of crime guns.


Based on the first qualitative study in Australia of crime guns, this public lecture with explore some of the findings. The study consisted of lengthy interviews with 75 convicted criminals from two Australian States – New South Wales and South Australia. All the interviewees were in prison in relation to serious crimes involving firearm use. These included cases of serial killing, murder, serious injury, drug trafficking and armed robbery. The interviews explored in some depth the meaning of gun acquisition and display as well as of use. The perceptions of male peers, the sense of danger, cultural influences, gun preferences, and the role of women, were among the factors covered. The foreground, situational aspects of their gun-related crimes received particular attention in the interviews. A key focus will be on the attraction and entry phases to criminal gun life.  The presentation will offer reflections on the data that deal with links to established organised crime groups, and how these relationships were significant in terms of drawing young men into criminal life and particularly the carriage and use of guns. Some observations on conducting research on gun crime will also be offered.

About the speaker

Professor Andrew Goldsmith is Director of the Centre for Crime Policy and Research, Flinders University.  Having trained originally as a lawyer, Professor Goldsmith spent nearly three years in legal practice before undertaking postgraduate studies in the United Kingdom and Canada in the fields of law, criminology and social theory.  His research interests span transnational policing, counter-terrorism, organized crime, restorative justice and young offenders.

Location details

Miall Lecture Theatre
2.34, Baines Wing
University of Leeds

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