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Gang Leader For A Day
Social imagination, “individual problems are to social problems, what is happening outside of one’s personal control. This relationship between individual experiences and public issues is the sociological imagination” (Our Social World Pg9). The book that we read “Gang Leader for a Day” by Sudhir Vankatesh clearly illustrates the sociological imagination. In the early part of the book we see Vankatesh trying to give surveys to a gang to try to understand how they feel about their lives in poverty. The rest of society sees Gang Members as a problem because of the drug trafficking and other illegal activities. When Vankatesh continues to interact with the gang we start to see things from the outside looking in. These gang members are doing what they have to do get by because society never gave them the same opportunities that the other people had to better themselves and get out of the projects. People of Robert Taylor seem to me like a subculture within the society of Chicago. The rest of society have almost forced them to differentiate themselves by creating this subculture which society sees them as a problem because of effects like drug distribution, prostitution, and other illegal activities. Society is also at fault because they never gave these people enough help to better themselves in a way where they could avoid, and hopefully leave the projects/poverty. When Ms. Bailey’s rant she states “ people in poverty have to spend whatever money they earn to feed their families while delaying their children schooling, because they can’t afford it.”(Vankatesh 148) During this she also talks about how the police will never come to help, although they have most of the crime and need them a lot more than the wealthier area of Chicago. In this area the police seem like heroes and they seem to thrive there too. One time in the book “Gang Leader for a Day” the police arrived in the projects just to steal from the Black Kings. With the...
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