Following a series of violent attacks in Canada and the departure of young Montrealers to Syria, the city administration of Montréal and the provincial government of Québec developed different initiatives to prevent violent radicalization. It followed the trend of several other Western States in an era of ‘War on terror’, defined by a shift toward this notion of radicalization in dominant discourses on security and surveillance. However, this tendency contributes to the framing of certain types of individuals and social groups and their transgressive discourses, behaviours or practices, most predominantly amongst urban racialized youth. Furthermore, the situation in Montréal is uncommon due to the particular concentration of the moral panic in a specific place as the hotbed of radicalization: Collège de Maisonneuve, a reputable post-secondary school. This article presents an ethnography of this particular college focusing on the perspectives of racialized students. This approach allows us to grasp the impacts in their daily and embodied experiences – stigmatization, invisible forms of violence and the struggle for a place – but also to explore processes of securitization at play in the contemporary city.
Keywords: Youth, Transgression, Radicalization, Violence, Place struggle