Understanding Decency in the "Code of the Street"
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The paper relates that in his book "Code of the Street", Elijah Anderson provides narratives of many individuals living in the inner-city area of Georgetown, Philadelphia, where gang activity and other violence are commonplace occurrences that the community must deal with. The paper discusses Anderson's distinction between two sets of values: "decent" values held by mainstream American and Western society, and the "street" values held by the members of this community of Georgetown, and focuses on the stories of Tyree and Betty in this work. The paper posits that Elijah Anderson's "Code of the Street" provides a more comprehensive and less superficial vision of the disparity between inner-city life and the values of mainstream America in a manner that inspires increased scholarship and activism rather than simply perpetuating racial stereotypes.
From the Paper:"Moving to the neighborhood at the age of fifteen, Tyree was attacked on his way home from the grocery store by a group of other teenagers that recognized him as an outsider. He returned to the scene of his attack to punch out one of the assailants, and ultimately ended up in an all-out brawl (Anderson 1999). His return and the escalating violence it led to did not demonstrate a propensity towards violence or even a simple desire for revenge, however--his actions were required of him by the code of the street, according to Anderson.
"This simple story explains quite clearly the vast world of difference that exists between "decent" and "street" values, and the inaccessibility and/or impracticality of the former set of values for those living in the community of Georgetown. Tyree and his grandmother did not move to Georgetown seeking to become a part of the drug dealing, gang activity, and other activities that make up much of the economy in this part of the underworld. Like most people, this family simply wanted to carve out the best possible life for themselves--to live according to "decent" values in as much as was possible. Yet if Tyree had not returned to his attackers to show that he could not be easily intimidated or dominated, life for him and possibly for his family would likely have taken a turn for the worse."
Sample of Sources Used:
- Anderson, E. (1999). Code of the street. New York: Norton.
Cite this Book Review:
Understanding Decency in the "Code of the Street" (2013, April 30) Retrieved November 29, 2020, from https://www.academon.com/book-review/understanding-decency-in-the-code-of-the-street-152912/
"Understanding Decency in the "Code of the Street"" 30 April 2013. Web. 29 November. 2020. <https://www.academon.com/book-review/understanding-decency-in-the-code-of-the-street-152912/>