This dissertation employs network analysis in the study of crime. This methodological approach is the common factor in the three studies included in the dissertation. The overall objective is to see what the network analytical approach has to offer to the study of different aspects of crime. The data employed in the analyses comprise offences registered by the Stockholm police that have also been tied to a suspect. In the study of supporter violence, this data is supplemented with information on offences for which persons have been convicted.

The first study focuses on supporters whom the police regard as particularly prone to violence. The criminal networks of these supporters are studied for the years 1994-1997. The supporters are also compared with their known co-offenders. The study shows that a large proportion of the crimes committed by the supporter group are violent offences. For the most part, the supporters’ are involved in loose-knit criminal networks and in general their co-offenders are more criminally active than they are themselves. Certain of the supporters appear to constitute links between the supporter group and more serious criminals active in the Stockholm area.

The second study examines the ethnic composition of networks of youths suspected of violent offences during 1995, as well as the persons against whom these young people commit their offences. The study shows that the registered violent crime committed by youths in Stockholm is characterised by ethnic heterogeneity. The conclusion is that whom these youths commit crimes with and against respectively is primarily decided by factors other than the youths’ ethnic background.

The third study focuses on gender factors relating to networks of youths suspected of violent offences during the course of 1995. The study compares the structure of the registered violent offending of girls and boys respectively. The study is based on the theoretical assumption that acts of violence may constitute an opportunity to construct gender. The study shows that apart from previously established differences in the levels of violent activity presented by girls and boys respectively, the structure of their violent offending is strikingly similar. A further conclusion is that the violent crime of girls and boys is characterised by sexual homogeneity. This is seen as indicating that gender construction by means of violent crime primarily takes place between boys and other boys and between girls and other girls. The assertion of superiority that violence involves is thus most often directed at persons of the same sex, girls primarily attempt to assert superiority over other girls, and boys over other boys.

The dissertation also contends that as a method, network analysis has made several important contributions to the study of the research questions. In all three pieces of research, network analysis has made possible important insights into the phenomena under study, which would not have been identified had alternative methodological approaches been employed.

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