The Code of the Street

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1. Jamaal L. Shields
2. Reading #11: “The Code of the Street” by Elijah Anderson 3. The argument Elijah Anderson is trying to make is that the behavior of the children today is greatly influenced by the street culture. In this street culture, he describes it as being violent when they’re faced with impersonal attacks and any type of disrespect shown. 4. I think this course reading fits with two course concepts from the lectures in class and the textbook. The first concept would be ethnography. The author had reached a personal level with the disadvantaged African American communities of Philadelphia. He was able to distinguish the difference between “street” families and “decent” families. In the decent families, they teach their children how to be polite to others, how to survive their social environment and etc.; while the street families have no concern for one another and usually lead to drug use, alcoholism, partner abuse or some other form of self-destructiveness. The second concept would be social structure (more towards achieved status). The difference between inner city/lower class families and upper class families in society is evident. The families that live off of “street” codes have a harder time coping with the hand they’re dealt with than a person who comes from a stable family background. 5. I believe the most important passage in this article would be, “The code revolves around the presentation of self.” I believe this is important because the street code is just something that is influenced heavily by the continuation of a rundown society. As long as the code is around to consume the children into violence, hatred, and disrespect, it will continue to raise more generations into “street” families. The code is what one makes of it, if the adults would involve themselves more and become “daddies” in the inner-city communities, these street codes could cease to exist. 6. The reading reminds me of the TV show, “The Boondocks.” In...
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