How Outlaws Win Friends and Influence People - Out Now!


Tereza Kuldova

(NY: Palgrave Macmillan, 2019)

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Outlaw motorcycle clubs have grown, spread and matured. Popular culture glamorizes them; law enforcement agencies fight them and the media vilify them. Meanwhile, the outlaw bikers exploit the current cultural and economic climate to attract new members. How Outlaws Win Friends and Influence People argues that the growth of these anti-establishment groups under neoliberalism is not coincidental, but inevitable. The book asks a critical question for our times: why do people today, in increasing numbers, support, admire and aspire to be outlaws? What needs and desires do the clubs satisfy? How do they win support and influence? Answering this is crucial if we are to successfully fight the social harms caused by these groups, as well as the harms that underlie their proliferation. Unless we understand the cultural dynamic at play here, our fight against these organizations will always take the form of a battle against the mythological Hydra: when one head is cut off, two more grow.

“Tereza Kuldova is a rebel with a cause - her new book is a razor-sharp critique of stereotypical conceptions of the ‘outlaw biker’ and provides refreshing insights into their subjective life-worlds” - Daniel Briggs, author of the award-winning Dead-End Lives.

“For many, the current political tumult indicates a renewed struggle for popular sovereignty against the post-political technocrats who administer neoliberalism's unforgiving market logic. For the excellent anthropologist Tereza Kuldova, the condottieri of this struggle ride Harley Davidsons at full throttle to outrun the forces of incorporation. A must-read for anyone who wants to understand today’s volatile interface of culture and politics” - Steve Hall, Professor Emeritus of Criminology, Teesside Centre for Realist Criminology, UK.

“How Outlaws Win Friends and Influence People provides an important contribution to our general knowledge of motorcycle clubs and the sociology of deviance more generally. It is original, creative, and well researched” - Martín Sánchez-Jankowski, Professor of Sociology and Director of the Institute for the Study of Societal Issues, University of California, Berkeley, US.