In search of respect

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5 Oct 2011

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In Search of Respect – Summary Notes
Jibaros: uprooted farmers and descendants of WWII, “hillbillies”, stereotypical
image, and second generation US born Inner-City. Reinvented and redefined by
political and economic contexts
Culture of Poverty Theory: Hypermarginalization
“Urban renewal program” physical destruction of several square blocks of a
functioning working poor community.
Selling Crack: typical business organization
• Physical space unpleasant
Leroy: elevator guy who got intimidated by a white female boss and she was scared
of him.
• Philippe faced dilemma when he heard about Caesar hurting Lucas because his own
son has cerebral palsy, contradiction of anthropology’s methodological caveat of
suspending moral judgment
•Women in midst of carving greater autonomy and rights for themselves like rest of
the US. Men aren’t accepting the new role, lash out at women like ancestors in order
to keep the ‘patriarchal’ family style in tact
Eloping: big cultural institution allowing a teenage girl to resist her fathers
domination and to express her needs as an individual with rights. Constant elopement
= certain degree of bargaining power to women in rural community or plantation
PRs are antisocial sociopaths because of early childhood experiences (family abuse,
When mothers take kids to the street it represents increase in child abuse and
Women carving out a new public space for themselves, refusing to submit to old-
Street culture and underground economy provided men with an alternative forum
for redefining their sense of masculine dignity around promiscuity, conspicuous
violence and ecstatic substance abuse.
• Solutions to inner-city poverty and substance abuse framed in terms of public policy
often appear naive or hopelessly idealistic
Substance abuse is perhaps the dimension of inner-city poverty most susceptible to
short-term policy intervention.
Drugs are not the root problem, they are epiphenomenal expression of deeper,
structural dilemmas
• Drug use is culturally constructed
Attempt to answer drug issue has to alter the economic imbalance between the
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