Street Corner Society Synopsis

Topics: Street Corner Society, Sociology, The Corner Pages: 3 (1045 words) Published: April 3, 2007
I would say that the characterization of lower class neighborhoods as being disorganized is false. While from an outsider's view, things may appear hectic and chaotic, there is a finely designed structure among the groups involved in the areas. Individuals find themselves grouping together with others who have similar aspirations and desires; in Street Corner Society, this is seen as the ‘corner boys' and ‘college boys'. Corner boys grew up, not in schools, but with each other on the area street corners. Doc was the general leader of the corner boys. College boys grew up and moved on into the college life. The Norton Street Settlement House would see the college boys as having aspirations that needed cultivating; while the corner boys were seen as simple 'rednecks'.

The racketeers and those involved in politics were just a grown up version of the two groups. Tony would play Doc's role in the racketeering group known as the Cornerville S & A Club, while Mike, Dom, and Carlos would struggle with a second tier of leadership positions. In politics, candidates have to play a careful game to the corner boys because they were the meat of their campaigns. George Ravello used his contacts in individual precincts to gain the smaller groups 'leaders' and 'followers' support.

One of the books most interesting connections was between bowling and ranking among the overall social structure. The Nortons used the bowling alley as away of setting, and maintaining social standings. The members considered the team matches more important than individual matches because it showed the group that the bowler was 'strong'. This was because the bowler had to deal with any negative thoughts he thought of himself, or from the others. This was especially true when the individual had to wait over a longer period of time between frames.

So, while perhaps a good bowler on his own could have a high score, if he was considered a "follower" and bowling "over his head," the other...
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