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portrait of Dr Jonathan Ilan

Dr Jonathan Ilan

Senior Lecturer in Criminology

School of Arts and Social Sciences, Department of Sociology

Contact Information


Visit Jonathan Ilan

D603, Rhind Building

Postal Address

City, University of London
Northampton Square
United Kingdom



Dr Jonathan Ilan joined the Department of Sociology as a Senior Lecturer in Criminology in 2016. He competed an LLB at Trinity College Dublin (2002) and a PhD in Social Sciences and Legal Studies at the Dublin Institute of Technology (2007). He was a project post-doctoral researcher at the School of Law, University College Dublin (2008-9). The vibrant culture in UK academia convinced him to move across the Irish Sea joining the University of Kent first as a Lecturer (2009-15) then Senior Lecturer (2015-16) in criminology. Now based in one of the world's most exciting cities he is certain he is in the right place to explore his research interests in the class-cultural dynamics of crime, control, cohesion and consumerism.

Dr Ilan has a strong interest in ethnographic research methods, providing advanced training internationally. He also keenly follows and contributes to debates in Cultural Criminology. He is a member of the editorial board of the British Journal of Criminology.


Dr Ilan's research interests include street culture; exclusion; ethnography; youth crime, justice and policing; street crime; youth culture; 'urban' music; urban sociology and cultural criminology. His project is to better understand how definitions of the legitimate and illegitimate are mediated through cultural norms. He explores urban ‘street’ cultures, traditional and late-modern working-class cultures, as well as mainstream cultures of control, governance and consumption. The bulk of his research has taken place in city streets, where these cultures most frequently interact and meld; although he is increasingly interested in how they manifest and interact online.

He is currently working on projects exploring the political significance of subcultural practice and the criminalisation of street leisure (in particular black music in London).

His book 'Understanding Street Culture: Poverty, Crime, Youth and Cool' available with Palgrave MacMillan explores the dichotomous fear-fascination relationship that included sections of the population seem to have with the urban poor, as well as the logics that inform both the crimes and forms of expressivity associated with the marginalised.

PhD Supervision

Dr Ilan would be interested in supervising PhDs in any of his specialist areas and welcomes informal inquiries from potential doctoral students.



  1. Ilan, J. (2015). Understanding Street Culture Poverty, Crime, Youth and Cool. London: Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 978-1-137-02860-0.

Chapters (4)

  1. Ilan, J. (2018). Crossing the Line: Ethnographic Fieldwork on Crime and Justice. Case Studies in Legal Research Methodologies Reflections on Theory and Practice ISBN 978-1-911611-11-0.
  2. Hayward, K.J. and Ilan, J. (2017). Cultural Criminology. In Brisman, A., Carrabine, E. and South, N. (Eds.), The Routledge Companion to Criminological Theory and Concepts Abington: Routledge. ISBN 978-1-138-81900-9.
  3. Ferrell, J. and Ilan, J. (2013). Crime, Culture and Everyday Life. In Hale, C., Hayward, K.J., Wahidin, A. and Wincup, E. (Eds.), Criminology Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-969129-6.
  4. Hayward, K. and Ilan, J. (2012). Deviant subcultures. Routledge Handbook of Deviant Behavior (pp. 233–239). ISBN 978-0-415-48274-5.

Internet publications (2)

  1. Ilan, J. and Snyder, G.J. (2016). Graffiti. Oxford University Press.
  2. Ilan, J. Street Cultures. Oxford University Press.

Journal articles (14)

  1. Ilan, J. (2020). Digital Street Culture Decoded: Why criminalizing drill music is Street Illiterate and Counterproductive. British Journal of Criminology, 60(4), pp. 994–1013. doi:10.1093/bjc/azz086.
  2. Sunde, H.M., Ilan, J. and Sandberg, S. (2020). A cultural criminology of “new” jihad: Insights from propaganda magazines. Crime, Media, Culture. doi:10.1177/1741659020915509.
  3. Ilan, J. and Sandberg, S. (2019). How ‘gangsters’ become jihadists: Bourdieu, criminology and the crime–terrorism nexus. European Journal of Criminology, 16(3), pp. 278–294. doi:10.1177/1477370819828936.
  4. Ilan, J. (2019). Cultural Criminology: The Time is Now. Critical Criminology. doi:10.1007/s10612-019-09430-2.
  5. Ilan, J. (2018). Scumbags! An ethnography of the interactions between street-based youth and police officers. Policing and Society, 28(6), pp. 684–696. doi:10.1080/10439463.2016.1257617.
  6. Dimou, E. and Ilan, J. (2018). Taking pleasure seriously: the political significance of subcultural practice. Journal of Youth Studies, 21(1), pp. 1–18. doi:10.1080/13676261.2017.1340635.
  7. Ilan, J. (2014). Commodifying compliance? UK urban music and the new mediascape. Tijdschrift over Cultuur & Criminaliteit, 4(1), pp. 67–79. doi:10.5553/tcc/221195072013003003006.
  8. Ilan, J. (2013). Street social capital in the liquid city. Ethnography, 14(1), pp. 3–24. doi:10.1177/1466138112440983.
  9. Halliday, S., Ilan, J. and Scott, C. (2012). Street-Level Tort Law: The Bureaucratic Justice of Liability Decision-Making. Modern Law Review, 75(3), pp. 347–367. doi:10.1111/j.1468-2230.2012.00904.x.
  10. Ilan, J. (2012). 'The industry's the new road': Crime, commodification and street cultural tropes in UK urban music. Crime, Media, Culture, 8(1), pp. 39–55. doi:10.1177/1741659011433367.
  11. Halliday, S., Ilan, J. and Scott, C. (2011). The public management of liability risks. Oxford Journal of Legal Studies, 31(3), pp. 527–550. doi:10.1093/ojls/gqr009.
  12. Ilan, J. (2011). Reclaiming respectability? The class-cultural dynamics of crime, community and governance in inner-city Dublin. Urban Studies, 48(6), pp. 1137–1155. doi:10.1177/0042098010374511.
  13. Ilan, J. (2011). The commodification of compensation? personal injuries claims in an age of consumption. Social and Legal Studies, 20(1), pp. 39–55. doi:10.1177/0964663910379490.
  14. Ilan, J. (2010). 'If you don't let us in, we'll get arrested': Class-cultural dynamics in the provision of, and resistance to, youth justice work. Youth Justice, 10(1), pp. 25–39. doi:10.1177/1473225409356760.


  1. Greer, C., Rosbrook-Thompson, J., Armstrong, G., Ilan, J., McLaughlin, E., Myers, C. … Taylor, E. (2019). Enhancing the work of the Islington Integrated Gangs Team: A pilot study on the response to serious youth violence in Islington. London, UK: Centre for City Criminology, City, University of London. London: Centre of City Criminology, City, University of London.

Other (6)

  1. Ilan, J. (2017). Book review: Alistair Fraser, Urban Legends: Gang Identity in the Post-Industrial City.
  2. Ilan, J. (2016). Courting Kids: Inside an Experimental Youth Court. By Carla Barret (New York University Press, 2013, 220pp. £16.99)Discretionary Justice: Looking Inside a Juvenile Drug Court. By Leslie Paik (Rutgers University Press, 2011, 272pp. £21.50).
  4. Ilan, J. (2015). Unwanted: Muslim Immigrants, Dignity and Drug Dealing. By Sandra Bucerius (Oxford University Press, 2014, 272pp. £ 22.99).
  5. ILAN, J. (2015). Mitchell Duneier , Philip Kasinitz and Alexandra Murphy (eds.) (2014), The Urban Ethnography Reader. New York, NY: Oxford University Press. £29.99, pp. 992, pbk.
  6. Ilan, J. (2010). Book Review: Criminal Identities and Consumer Culture: Crime, Exclusion and the New Culture of Narcissism Steve Hall, Simon Winlow and Craig Ancrum, 2008 Collumpton: Willan 264 pp. £55.00 hardback; £19.50 paperback ISBN 978 1 84392 256 8 hardback; 978 1 843922 55 1 paperback.



Key Issues in Criminology; Criminal Behaviour; Criminology; Qualitative Research Analysis


Analysing Crime