Sociology; The code of the streets

Sociology; The code of the streets


During this semester, we have covered many articles.  After reading “The code of the streets”, by Elijah Anderson, I realized what the inner city is really about.  Anderson’s views on the code of the streets were strictly about how to survive as far as protecting your self and providing for your self.  He breaks it down into two groups and then compares the two groups how society views us African Americans.  The two groups were “decent” and “street’ families. The decent families have an average job, take care of their family and are somewhat educated.  Many of them go to church and play a major part in their children’s schooling.


They teach their children no to get involved in violence and they are strict.  On the other hand, street families are the total opposite.  They are drug users and they are prone to violence.  Anderson shows that some of the reasons for a lot of these problems originate from their environment.  If you grow up or live around a drug-infested neighbourhood, then most likely you will result in drugs.  In the community, due to lack of jobs, and employment discrimination, a lot of people turn to violence and Anderson is trying to let mainstream know that they need to know the code of the streets.

Another article we read was William Julius Wilson’s article, “When work disappears”.  Wilson talks about how the employment woes.  Jobs are widely available, but due to race and lack of individual initiative, jobs are limited.  Jobbing is so ridiculous, that adults in many inner-city neighbourhoods are not working in a typical week.  “Joblessness triggers other neighbourhood problems that undermine the social organization, ranging from crime, gang violence, and drug trafficking to family breakups”, says Wilson.  It seems that you can’t get a job because of your race or your background.

People are so fed up with it, they move out but that causes problems for other residents.  When a lot of people move, their buildings become abandoned and then are turned into shelters for crake use.  Not only has work become and disappearance, but married-couple families have to.  “Only one-quarter of the black families whose children live with them in inner-city neighbourhoods in Chicago are husband-wife families today, compared with three-quarters of the inner city Mexican families, more than one-half of the white families and nearly one-half of the Puerto Rican Families,” stated Wilson.  What has the world come to?

The last article is Katherine S. Newman’s article, “Getting a Job in Harlem.”  She talks about how even the jobs we barely want, teenagers can’t have because adults want them.  The adults can’t get good jobs so they have to settle for less.  In Harlem, there are more adults working at fast food establishments then teenagers.  How can teenagers work if most of the jobs are being taken over by adults?  Why should the adults get such low paying jobs? It all boils down to race and working class.


In conclusion, after reading all three articles, it seems that they are similar but also differ.  They all talk about the inner city life and the harsh things they go through.  They also talk about the effects of being an African American in the world today.  Jobs are a big part of everyday life, and most African Americans can’t be a part of that.  Lack of jobs can result in being opposed to drugs and violence.  African Americans, Puerto Ricans and Dominicans will most likely have a problem being excepted in the work field.  The articles by Wilson and Newman almost talk about the same thing.  They both talk about the work field in the inner city.  It’s just that Newman’s article talks more about Harlem.

In contrast, “The Code of the Streets”, talks about street life and how people survive on the street.  “When Work Disappears”, talks about how you can’t a job being African American.  “Getting a job in Harlem”, talks about how there is a lack of jobs in the community.





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