AN ESSAY ON SOCIOLOGICAL CONCEPTS In Relation to the Book "Code of the Streets"

Essay by geo5 August 2008

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In Relation to the Book"Code of the Streets"Life on the street is never easy. It has been said that a person can either be "book smart" or "street smart". And within that saying, the "street smart" kind of person is the one who usually survives. Survival and self preservation always has something to do with a personal view of the environment. If one sees his environment as comfortable, one tends to be more relaxed and carefree. On the contrary, if one sees his environment as dangerous, one will tend to be more vigilant and aggressive.

In Elijah Anderson's essay on urban anthropology, he said that, "The inclination to violence springs from the circumstances of life among the ghetto poor--the lack of jobs that pay a living wage, the stigma of race, the fallout from rampant drug use and drug trafficking, and the resulting alienation and lack of hope for the future."

This, coming from a social scientist, proves that violence in the streets can arise from the circumstances of life. It results in social alienation and lack of hope, which then triggers a feeling of depression, loneliness and confusion. He further said, "Simply living in such an environment places young people at special risk of falling victim to aggressive behavior." We can now see that a pattern arises that with environments coddling crime, disorder and violence, people accustomed to crime, disorder and violence will also arise. They will use crime, disorder and violence to achieve their ideologies. In Anderson's book, "Code of the Streets", he described the rule of civil law in some of the most economically depressed and drug-and crime-ridden pockets of the city, as having been severely weakened, and in their stead a "code of the street" often holds sway. This "code" is actually...