The Code Of The Street

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“The Code of the Streets” In Elijah Anderson’s “The Code of the Streets” he introduces the idea that violence, aggression, stealing, and other socially deviant behaviors are not perceived as infractions of rules, but rather conforming to a different standard, a different set of rules. (Anderson, p. 154) Anderson does an adequate job of setting forth his ideas, along with providing sufficient evidence to support them. However, it is Anderson’s detailed description of “decent” and “street” families that were most insightful. (Anderson, p. 154-157) He takes on the touchy subject of inner-city family life, which is often overlooked, and describes in vivid detail the stark differences that poor black families, coexisting within the same inner-city community, are faced with culturally. (Anderson, p.154-157) He misinterprets street families, however, when he proclaims that these mothers do love their children. (Anderson, p. 157) By calling it love, Anderson belittles the physical, and emotional abuse these children are exposed to, at the hands of the parental figures in their lives. Street code or not, no child should face abuse, and to call it love declares it “okay”. The contrasts between street families, and decent families are not always easily observed. As Anderson points out, most street families appear on the surface to be decent families. (Anderson, p. 157) The appearance of having “calm, respectful children” is often what the mother wants most, more than happy children. (Anderson, p. 157) Her desire for such a family is often so strong that she is “quick to beat her children…if they defy her law.” (Anderson, p. 157) Anderson concludes that this abusive behavior is often perceived as acceptable behavior within the inner-citinner city the disapproval from the wider society as a whole. (Anderson, p. 157) When Anderson proclaims that these street moms, who

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