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Code of the Street: Decency, Violence, and the Moral Life of the Inner City

This book can be downloaded and read in iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.


Unsparing and important. . . . An informative, clearheaded and sobering book.—Jonathan Yardley, Washington Post (1999 Critic's Choice)
Inner-city black America is often stereotyped as a place of random violence, but in fact, violence in the inner city is regulated through an informal but well-known code of the street. This unwritten set of rules—based largely on an individual's ability to command respect—is a powerful and pervasive form of etiquette, governing the way in which people learn to negotiate public spaces. Elijah Anderson's incisive book delineates the code and examines it as a response to the lack of jobs that pay a living wage, to the stigma of race, to rampant drug use, to alienation and lack of hope.

From Publishers Weekly

Aug 02, 1999 – Not content to sugarcoat problems or to stockpile blame, Anderson (Streetwise and A Place on the Corner) takes a piercing look at the complex issues surrounding respect, social etiquette and family values in the multicultural neighborhoods along Philadelphia's Germantown Avenue. A major artery of the city, the street reflects the vast social and economic difficulties confronting many of the nation's urban centers. The book soars above other, similar studies when the author takes on the so-called "code of the street" in black areas. A journalist and professor of social sciences at the University of Pennsylvania, Anderson explores the differences between the "decent" families and the "street" families that form the spine of the communities, stressing the daily pressures that shape their choices and goals. He presents candid interviews with such residents as Diane, a principled single mom with four sons, battling valiantly to keep her family out of the trap of despair; Don, an aging gypsy cab driver and churchgoer; and Maggie, a dutiful mother who falls victim to drugs. Some of the book's most compelling chapters deal with the high cost of the drug culture and violence to the inhabitants of the inner city. Alternating between straightforward narrative and interviews, and without pandering to racial stereotypes, Anderson uncovers the confrontation between hard-working families struggling against tremendous odds to preserve their dreams of a better life for their children and the code of the street--"the thug life"--that is often the worst enemy of African-American communities.
Code of the Street: Decency, Violence, and the Moral Life of the Inner City
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  • $13.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Sociology
  • Published: Sep 17, 2000
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
  • Seller: W.W. Norton & Company, Inc.
  • Print Length: 352 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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