Code of the street - Cordeiro 1 Samuel A Cordeiro Soc...

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Cordeiro 1 Samuel A. Cordeiro Soc 101-01 Prof. Ranuga May 12, 2008 Code of the Street and Adolescent Violence In the criminological studies of life in urban neighborhoods that deal with youth, the focus is typically on delinquent youth in gangs, aspirations of youth and the trauma associated with exposure to the high levels of violence in such communities. Other studies look at the ways in which poor urban areas become socially disorganized and the effect that this can have on the lives and delinquency of youth. In the tradition of this research, much scholarship emphasizes the role of informal control in the prevention of crime; yet this work tends to focus on controlling the behavior of youth. In fact, while youth are most likely to perpetuate crime, they are also most likely to be victimized by crime. Thus, it would be reasonable for criminologists to assume that youth have equal stakes in not only criminal activity, but in crime control. According to Anderson, there are two different moral codes that inner-city residents can choose to live by--"decent" or "street." The code of the street, Anderson observes, is based on "generalized contempt for the wider scheme of things and for a system that they are sure has nothing but contempt for them." "Street" youths live by a code that is primarily a quest for respect, a precious essence that can disappear at any moment. To ensure they are respected, street youth are prepared at any time to fight or kill, and will do it in any place youths congregate-- schools, movie theaters, stadiums or rap concerts. "Decent" families, by contrast, tend to be two-
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Cordeiro 2 parent households who watch their children closely. Decent children try to work hard in school
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Code of the street - Cordeiro 1 Samuel A Cordeiro Soc...

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