Toward Understanding the Street Code of Silence that Exists among Prolific Graffiti Offenders
Taylor & Francis Inc.
Faculty of Health, Engineering and Science
School of Psychology and Social Science / Lifespan Resilience Research Group
Graffiti crews vary in size from small (2-5 members) to very large (50-100+ members). This study uses a mixed-method research design (i.e., descriptive statistics, grounded theory, and ethnography) to explore 21 small-crew members' adherence to the graffiti subculture's "no snitch" maxim. The study's findings are encapsulated in its core theory: Members of small graffiti crews bond together under the graffiti subculture's "no snitch" maxim, as adherence to this code of silence provides them with the protective/emotional support resources that are otherwise deficient in their everyday lives. The implications of their adherence to the street code of silence are discussed.