From punk kids to public enemy number one

Pete Simi, Lowell Smith, Ann M.S. Reeser

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Scopus citations


Using an in-depth case study, we examine the origins and development of the Southern California-based racist skinhead gang known as Public Enemy Number One (PENI). Unlike many racist skinheads who view themselves as part of a political movement, members of PENI view themselves as part of a racist street gang with relatively little interest in traditional forms of political activism. Instead and contrary to the focus of most scholarly research on racist groups, PENI is involved in profit-oriented criminal activity such as the distribution of methamphetamine, identity theft, and counterfeiting. We examine how members of PENI attempt to balance a white supremacist and street gang identity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)753-774
Number of pages22
JournalDeviant Behavior
Issue number8
StatePublished - Nov 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Law

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    Simi, P., Smith, L., & Reeser, A. M. S. (2008). From punk kids to public enemy number one. Deviant Behavior, 29(8), 753-774.