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Dr Anthony Gunter

Profile summary

Professional biography

I am currently Programme Lead for the Childhood and Youth Studies area. Prior to joining the Open University in March 2020, I was Principal Lecturer in Criminology and Criminal Justice at the University of East London. Before  embarking on my  career in academia – which incidentally began at the OU  in the early 2000s when I was first employed as an Associate Lecturer in the School of Health and Social Welfare –  I  worked for over 14 years in South  and East London, firstly  as a detached community and youth worker before taking on Project and  Area Manager roles. Consequently, my professional background incorporates the development, management and delivery of programmes and provision in the areas: of early years, 5-11-year-old after school services, alternative education, adult education, detached youth work and centre-based youth projects.

Research interests

My research interests and expertise are in the areas of: Black youth and ‘Road Culture’; youth cultures and transitions; serious youth violence and gangs; race/ethnicity, crime and justice; policing multi-ethnic urban neighbourhoods; ethnography. During the past two decades I have carried out a number of ethnographic research studies examining and exploring contemporary urban youth subculture(s) and alternative youth transitions. More recently, my work has focused on serious youth violence with regard to: (i) current policy, policing and preventative practice aimed at tackling ‘street gangs’ and; (ii) youth led and community-based/ driven solutions and interventions.


Teaching interests

Youth Cultures and Transitions; Global Perspectives on Childhood and Youth; Race/Ethnicity and Contemporary Youth Identities; Working with Children and Young People; Youth and Social Policy; Researching with Children and Young People.

Impact and engagement

I have disseminated my research findings to a wide and varied audience via: authored books, policy papers, evaluation reports;presented and spoke at conferences, seminars and community events; television, radio and newspaper interviews. 

Externally funded projects

Neighbourhood Violence Reduction Evaluation
RoleStart dateEnd dateFunding source
Co-investigator01 Nov 202130 Jun 2022The Council of the London Borough of Waltham Forest

This project draws upon the substantial experience of evaluators and researchers from across The Open University’s School for Education, Childhood, Youth and Sport. The evaluation will be delivered through the Contemporary Youth Culture and Transitions research group by practitioners with substantial experience in the design and delivery of evaluation and research that gives particular focus to everyday community and local perspectives.


‘Keeping it real’: the experiences of black youth beyond criminal (in)justice statistics (2015-09-21)
Gunter, Anthony
Criminal Justice Matters, 101(1) (pp. 14-17)

Grafting, going to college and working on road: youth transitions and cultures in an East London neighbourhood (2009)
Gunter, Anthony and Watt, Paul
Journal of Youth Studies, 12(5) (pp. 515-529)

Growing up bad: Black youth, ‘road’ culture and badness in an East London neighbourhood (2008-12)
Gunter, Anthony
Crime, Media, Culture: An International Journal, 4(3) (pp. 349-366)

The Trouble with Black (Male) Youth (2003)
Gunter, Anthony
Criminal Justice Matters, 54(1) (pp. 22-23)

Race, Gangs and Youth Violence: Policy, Prevention and Policing (2017-02-15)
Gunter, Anthony
ISBN : 978-1447322870 | Publisher : Policy Press | Published : Bristol, UK

Growing Up Bad?: Black Youth, 'road' Culture and Badness in an East London Neighbourhood (2010-02-04)
Gunter, Anthony
ISBN : 9781872767031 | Publisher : Tufnell Press | Published : London, UK

Youth Transitions and Legacies in an East London Olympic Host Borough (2017-08-09)
Gunter, Anthony
In: Cohen, Phil and Watt, Paul eds. London 2012 and the Post-Olympics City: A Hollow Legacy? (pp. 287-309)
ISBN : 978-1-137-48947-0 | Publisher : Palgrave Macmillan | Published : London, UK

From bad to worse? Marginalised youth and ‘Road life’ (mis)representations and realities (2016-06-17)
Gunter, Anthony
In: Blackman, Shane and Kempson, Michelle eds. The Subcultural Imagination: Theory, Research and Reflexivity in Youth Cultures. Youth, Young Adulthood and Society (pp. 46-62)
ISBN : 9781315730684 / 9781138484931 | Publisher : Routledge | Published : London, UK

What’s a Gang and What’s Race Got to Do With It? (2011-11)
Joseph, Ian and Gunter, Anthony
Runnymede Trust