Code of the Street Response Paper

2223 Words9 Pages
Code of the Street In the ethnographic book, Code of the Street, Elijah Anderson, a professor of sociology at Yale University, makes some interesting and insightful assessments amid his in-depth examination of the many pertinent issues surrounding the economical, educational and social factors that exist in the urban community. These developmental conditions affect its social organization, shape the urban culture and heavily contribute to the aggression and youth violence that is so prevalent today. Some of the major problems that plague the impoverished inner city black community are that of the persistent poverty as well as the widespread violence that the young inflict on one another. Professor Anderson attempts to generally approach and address the question of why the quality of life is consistently compromised for so many inhabitants within urban communities. The book discusses that in addition to the alienation that the people who are struggling financially and reside in poor inner city neighborhoods feel from mainstream America, there is still yet another division within this confine, that is of the “decent” family in opposition to the “street” family. Decent families attempt to follow the rules of mainstream America, working hard and sending their children private schools even when tuition may cause a financial strain, while street families are generally uneducated, do not have many moral principles, and believe that gaining respect on the street is a top priority and in having this belief, they fully accept the street code. In some of the most drug and crime infested areas of the city, the residents have little to no faith or respect for the authority of the police or the judicial system and as such have adopted their own ideas and rules for how to handle challenges. “This is because the street culture has evolved a “code of the street” which amounts
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