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Yarn Bombing: a Craft of Subversion?

Alyce McGovern, from the University of New South Wales, made a contribution to the 2012 Annual Conference of the European Society of Criminology, in the category “Traditional and New Forms of Crime and Deviance,” under the title “Yarn Bombing: a Craft of Subversion?”. Here is the abstract: Yarn bombing is a form of graffiti or street art that has been growing in popularity and prevalence over recent years. As an activity, the legality of yarn bombing is ambiguous. Whilst there is evidence to suggest that yarn bombing qualifies as an illegal form of graffiti, there are no known arrests for participating in the act. What is interesting, however, is the meaning attributed to the activity. Examining the phenomenon through the lens of cultural criminology, which is interested in cultural constructions of deviance, the act of yarn bombing demonstrates the contrasting feelings and motivations that underlie individuals’ involvement in the activity; those who participate in yarn bombing often discuss the pleasure gained from the activity alongside the subversive nature of the craft. Drawing on empirical research with yarn bombers, this paper will explore the phenomenon of yarn bombing and the way in which this new form of graffiti not only challenges our understandings of crime, but also reveals something about the complex interplay between creativity and illegality.


See Also

Further Reading

  • “Yarn Bombing: a Craft of Subversion?”, by Alyce McGovern (Proceedings)

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  • Article Name: Subversion
  • Author: Willow Wright
  • Description: Yarn Bombing: a Craft of Subversion? Alyce McGovern, from the University of New South Wales, made a contribution to the [...]

This entry was last updated: July 27, 2020


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