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Advertised Defiance: How New York City Graffiti went from “Getting Up” to “Getting Over”

Mitman, Tyson (2015) Advertised Defiance: How New York City Graffiti went from “Getting Up” to “Getting Over”. In: Lovata, Troy R. and Olton, Elizabeth, (eds.) Understanding Graffiti. Multidisciplinary Studies from Prehistory to the Present . Left Coast Press, pp. 195-206

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Abstract

On July 1st, 1971 The New York Times ran a story titled “Taki 183 Spawns Pen Pals.” It discusses early graffiti writer Taki 183 and the graffiti movement in New York City. The article portrays graffiti as something of a harmless youthful novelty, but by the end of the 1980s New York City would come to treat graffiti as one of the worst quality of life offences plaguing the city. In ten years the city government positioned graffiti and graffiti writers as representing an ugly and pervasive criminal phenomenon.
This chapter examines how New York City politically redefined graffiti as a type of visual assault against the citizens of the city, how the city physically changed due to this reinterpretation of the graffiti phenomenon, and how the police began to more aggressively deal with graffiti writers. It also looks out how this redefinition changed the way graffiti writers thought about what they were doing, and how graffiti writers reconstructed their subjective identities in relation to this new definition.

Item Type: Book Section
Status: Published
Subjects: E History America > E11 America (General)
E History America > E151 United States (General)
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GN Anthropology
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GV Recreation Leisure
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
J Political Science > JK Political institutions (United States)
School/Department: School of Psychological & Social Sciences
URI: http://ray.yorksj.ac.uk/id/eprint/2505

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