Camouflaged Collectives: Managing Stigma and Identity at Gun Events
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Gun violence persists in the United States, claiming lives and escalating healthcare costs. This article seeks to contribute to social justice work on the "gun problem" by studying gun collectives. To understand gun culture and to identify gun violence reduction strategies, we study places where gun owners organize - legal ( and sometimes illegal) settings that facilitate dialogue about gun issues. Based on participant observation and collaborative event ethnography at gun shows and a private shooting party, this analysis presents findings about the practices gun collective members use to manage stigma. We conclude that when participants in gun events attempt to subvert core stigma through everyday stigma management practices, they effectively facilitate the unfettered exchange of potentially dangerous goods, promote the invisibility of oppressive structures, and normalize violence.
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