Outlaw bikers represent a very small percentage of motorcycle riders who join motorcycle clubs, but they receive disproportionate attention due to their mystique, unconventional behavior, and violence. Although the outlaw biker phenomenon started in the United States, it has since spread throughout the world. The involvement of Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs (OMGs) in organized crime at the local, regional, national, and transnational levels fosters violence that puts innocent persons at risk for death or injury and leads to the demonization of “bikers” and the overcriminalization of motorcycle enthusiasts and club members. The Outlaw Biker Legacy of Violence, written by internationally known expert Thomas Barker, addresses the legacy of violence in the outlaw biker culture and tackles the implications of the violence that progressed as outlaw biker clubs evolved into adult criminal gangs engaged in crimes for profit over long periods of time and across borders.
Beginning with a history of outlaw bikers and the construction of the “folk devil” of the biker, the book outlines the distinctions between conventional motorcycle clubs, Outlaw Motorcycle Clubs, and Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs, and then traces the expansion of these groups across the globe. This book will be relevant to those interested in the examination or investigation of biker gangs in particular or organized criminal groups in general. It is essential reading for criminal justice students and others studying social groups, gangs, and organizations, or the sociology of deviance, and is also relevant for law enforcement professionals dealing with these organizations