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Code of the Street: Decency, Violence, and the Moral Life of the Inner City

Anderson, Elijah

Editore: W. W. Norton & Company, 1999
ISBN 10: 0393040232 / ISBN 13: 9780393040234
Usato / Quantità: 1
Da Nearfine Books (Brooklyn, NY, U.S.A.)
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Titolo: Code of the Street: Decency, Violence, and ...

Casa editrice: W. W. Norton & Company

Data di pubblicazione: 1999

Condizione libro: very good


Gently used. Expect delivery in 2-3 weeks. Codice inventario libreria 9780393040234-3

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Riassunto: Inner-city black America is often defined by random, senseless street violence. In fact, although violence is a salient feature, its use is far from random; it is regulated through an informal but well-known code of the street. How you dress, how you talk, whether you make eye-contact, your understanding of the pecking order - such crucial details can have life-or-death consequences and young people are particularly at risk. In this anatomy of the inner-city psyche, the author shows how the code is a response to the lack of well-paid jobs; to the stigma of race; to rampant drug use; to alienation and to lack of hope. The police exercise no control, and the individual's safety and sense of worth are defined by how much respect he can command in public; this deference is based physical and psycholgical control and on an implied threat of violence. The most powerful force counteracting the code is the strong, loving decent family. Unfortunately, the culture of the street thrives and often defeats decency because it controls public space so that individuals with better aspirations are often entangled in the code.

Recensione: As sociologist Elijah Anderson shows in the detailed and devastating Code of the Street, the senseless crime in the inner city represents a complex, though ultimately self-defeating, set of social mores. These mores, called "codes," stress a hyperinflated sense of manhood through verbal boasts, drug selling, sexual prowess, and--ultimately--violence and death. "At the heart of the code is the issue of respect," Anderson writes, "loosely defined as being treated 'right' or being granted one's 'props' (or proper due) or the deference one deserves." Anderson reveals a world where unemployment is rampant, teenage pregnancy is common, and social and educational achievement is viewed as "acting white." Although Anderson states that racism is a major factor for this condition, he notes that this type of behavior is further exacerbated by modern economic and political forces, and that it has existed as far back as ancient Rome.

As an African American himself, Anderson moves through the middle- and lower-class Philadelphia neighborhoods with ease, interviewing a variety of subjects, all of whom deal daily with consequences of urban decay--from the high-achieving young woman who had to reject her poorer relatives to better herself, to the former delinquent who tries to go straight after returning from prison. For Anderson, these are the true heroes of Code of the Street: people who overcome the temptations of the streets to help create a better space for the next generation. --Eugene Holley Jr.

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