Gang Leader for a Day

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Gang Leader For a Day In Sudhir Venkatesh’s Gang Leader For a Day, he is introduced to the world of a “gangster”. A Student at the University of Chicago, Venkatesh is doing a research on how it feels to be poor, male, and African American. He soon discovers that the people of the Robert Taylor Homes, one of the most disadvantaged and crime filled housing projects in the nation, think he is a member of a rival gang and do not want to associate with him. He then has to ditch the clipboard and live side by side with a gang. On his ten-year adventure he saw many things that cannot be unseen. He became close with the leader and even led the gang for a short period. His sociological views opened my eyes and in a way connected to my life. Venkatesh got deep into the life of a gang member. He saw the ups and the downs, the positives and the negatives of being in a gang. The life styles presented in the gang differ greatly from that of mine. My hometown of Lake Villa, Illinois is a middle-class community where crime is rare. The most common crime committed is driving slightly over the speed limit. This contrasts the struggles that residents of the Robert Taylor Homes or as referred to in the book as RTH had to deal with. The lack of resources that were available to RTH residents was one of the main struggles. Police are afraid to patrol the streets because they consider their area dangerous as a result of the gang. However with the amount of violence that happens in the area it is a wonder why the police are afraid of them. One of the more fascinating facts in this book is the culture of the RTH scares away the emergency response teams. I have never walked the streets of my hometown and have the fear of being robbed or attacked but unfortunately I cannot say the same for the residents of RTH. Gangs are not as bad as stereotypes make them out to be. In the media they are

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