Rioting: The Socio and Economic Effects, with Special Focus on the 2011 London Riots

Fergal Stapleton English, Antonio Roca, Phillip I Fan Lu & Karim F. Shelbaya

Studenteropgave: Semesterprojekt


The aim of this project was to investigate the social conditions present with relation to the geographical location where a majority of the rioters originated. Over the years, the British society has faced many cuts in education and other sectors within society which has been shown to have various effects on specific local communities within the country. The study of the 2011 London Riots provides an insight of the chaos which spread thoughout the course the six days, August 6th to 11th. This project will examine the conditions to blame for the inequality and disparity present within the 20% most deprived neighbourhoods. Through the use of Ted Gurr’s theory Relative Deprivation and a supporting theory, which goes by the name of, Social Contagion we will analyse several factors which many writers have claimed are in fact the main reasons for the outbreak in violence. We use many sources in order to present a fair depiction of the events that occurred, however, regardless of the reputation each writer has we have scrupulously gone over their writing making sure if we are aware of any biases that the writer may possess. While ending this paper we decided not to give a solid conclusion, rather remark on all the themes, which we included, and the roles that they played in the buildup to the rioting. We finish with an answer to how we think we answered the research question which is presented here; ‘‘To what extent do the social conditions within the geographical areas, from which many of the rioters originate, contribute to their unlawful behaviour during the August 2011 London riots?’ Through our analytical work we came up with several themes, which many researchers had come up with beforehand. Using their own data and arguments, as well as our own intuition and researching skills we came to a conclusion that in fact there was far greater issue than the majority of the politicians let on. They portrayed the rioters as criminals, a ‘feral underclass’ (Clarke, 2011 as quoted in Newburn 2012: 331) and worse. We have explained, through demonstration and application of theory, that within specific geographical areas – in our case Haringey but more generally speaking, the 20% most deprived areas of England (using the NSNR’s study) – levels of unemployment are higher, education is not prioritized, the youth are not taken care of, parent-wise and from a governmental standpoint. A combination of these issues resulted in the brutish acts of criminality that were witnessed across England in August 2011. For the government to prevent this from happening again they should listen to the voices of researchers like, Tim Newburn, John Benyon and others. We are content in how we have answered our question, our only regret is that there was not more time to further our findings and solidify our responses.’

UddannelserBasis - International Samfundsvidenskabelig Bacheloruddannelse, (Bachelor uddannelse) Basis
Udgivelsesdato14 jan. 2015
VejledereNiklas Alexander Chimirri


  • Social
  • London
  • 2011
  • Riot
  • Geographical
  • Tottenham