An Essay On Sociological Concepts In Relation To The Book "Code Of The Streets"

1114 words - 4 pages

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 a set of informal rules meant to organize whatever disorganization the failure of law has caused. The so-called "Code of the Street" gives rise to individuals who are bent on self preservation and the creation of their own social community where they are invincible. With this desire to preserve themselves, they form groups form mutual help and protection, commonly called "street gangs".The concept of Synergism finds application in this case. Probably the most familiar phrase associated with synergism is "the whole is greater than the sum of its parts". A sociological definition would be "the relation of parts, seen as a whole, creates or results in something entirely new in and of itself with a life of its own". The import of this definition is that a whole is not merely an additive of its parts, but rather, is something more than an aggregate or summed up collection. A gang is not a mere group of people, but is actually a functioning whole having its own identity and existence. In other words, a synergistic whole is created by its parts when they are put together in such a way. Thus, a group of people accustomed to street life will most likely associate themselves as an integrated group. Here we find...

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