Code of the street analysis

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code of the street analysis

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

Inner-city black America is often stereotyped as a place of random violence, but in fact, violence in the inner city is regulated through an informal but well-known code of the street. This unwritten set of rules—based largely on an individuals ability to command respect—is a powerful and pervasive form of etiquette, governing the way in which people learn to negotiate public spaces. Elijah Andersons incisive book delineates the code and examines it as a response to the lack of jobs that pay a living wage, to the stigma of race, to rampant drug use, to alienation and lack of hope.
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Published 15.09.2019

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Of all the problems besetting the poor inner-city black community, none is more pressing than that of interpersonal violence and aggression. It wreaks havoc daily with the lives of community residents and increasingly spills over into downtown and residential middle-class areas. Muggings, burglaries, carjackings, and drug-related shootings, all of which may leave their victims or innocent bystanders dead, are now common enough to concern all urban and many suburban residents.
Elijah Anderson

The Code of the Streets

His urban research in Philadelphia during that time produced this article and a following book, Code of the Street. This article may be the best analysis of urban violence available. It describes the unwritten laws of streets in disadvantaged urban neighborhoods—the mores, or norms, of those whose lives and destinies are played out on urban streets. Of all the problems besetting the poor inner-city black community, none is more pressing than that of interpersonal violence and aggression. It wreaks havoc daily with the lives of community residents and increasingly spills over into downtown and residential middle-class areas.

Additionally, neighborhood street culture moderates individual-level street code values on violence in neighborhoods where the street culture is widespread. In particular, the effect of street code values on violence is enhanced in neighborhoods where the street culture is endorsed widely. Scholars have devoted renewed interest to the effects of neighborhood context on problem behaviors Sampson and Lauritsen, ; Sampson, Morenoff, and Gannon-Rowley, Research in this area has shown that neighborhood context influences a variety of outcomes, including victimization Rountree, Land, and Miethe, , delinquency Bursik and Grasmick, ; Simcha-Fagan and Schwartz, ; Simons et al. This line of research has generated an extensive body of literature underscoring the significant impact that neighborhood structural context has on an array of outcomes Bursik and Grasmick, ; Sampson, Morenoff, and Gannon-Rowley, Despite this sizable body of literature underscoring the importance of neighborhood context, research investigating the effect of neighborhood street culture on violence in disadvantaged neighborhoods has been understudied.

Unsparing and important. An informative, clearheaded and sobering book. Inner-city black America is often stereotyped as a place of random violence; in fact, violence in the inner city is regulated through an informal but well-known code of the street. How you dress, talk, and behave can have life-or-death consequences, with young people particularly at risk. The most powerful force counteracting this code and its reign of terror is the strong, loving, decent family, and we meet many heroic figures in the course of this narrative. Unfortunately, the culture of the street thrives and often defeats decency because it controls public spaces, so that individuals with higher, better aspirations are often entangled in the code and its self-destructive behaviors. Writing in the tradition of Jane Jacobs and William Julius Wilson, the author delineates the true workings of city streets.

The book, “Code of The Street”, by Yale Professor Elijah Anderson puts in light the various issues that are common in the city t.
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3 thoughts on “Code of the Street: Decency, Violence, and the Moral Life of the Inner City by Elijah Anderson

  1. This article may be the best analysis of urban violence available. the street culture has evolved what may be called a code of the streets, which amounts to a .

  2. We have discussed gang formation, policing, gendered interactions with gang life and the code of the street.

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