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Lecture 6

SOC364H1 Lecture Notes - Lecture 6: United States Marshals Service, Alice Goffman, Chamillionaire

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Jooyoung Lee

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SOC364 Lecture 6 Jun 4 - On the Run & Code of the Street
Alice Goffman
Chamillionaire "Ridin' Dirty" - the police are hoping that he'll be caught slipping and catch
him riding dirty, ie. expired tag, outstanding warrants, etc.
dirty people are those who are likely to get stopped by police
clean people are those who can pass with colors
US incareceration rates over time
same rate until the 70s where it increases dramatically
Big Takeaways
on the ground, ethnography of the US prison boom
large structural rise of incarceration in everyday life; relates to Victor Rios'
the fear of arrest and confinement have seeped into everyday life
trasforming how people relate to each and various institutions
relating to their family members, how people can turn against them
hospitals, where people injured with shootings, families are scared to see officers
in the lobby scanning people
Code of the Street
an informal set of rules that governs interactions in public - especailly violence
Arises from a sense of alienation from schools, the police and other social institutions
this code of the street is replacing norms/rules that govern middle class societies
there's a sense of distrust between these worlds
Based on the performance of toughness, "nerve" and violence
code of the street demands youth to show touchness
police are an institution to trust
kids already being socialized into criminal roles
rehearsing police roles and anticipating in taking over the drug game
relates to Monster where young boys get courted in and tested through violence
What's the difference bvetween street and decent folks?
decent folks are oriented to mainstream society that streets folks are not
Anderson says that it's not just that they orient into mainstream institutions to
schools/formal employment; street folks has lost faith and this upward mobility doesn't
work for them like it does for decent folks
participation in those venus (drugs, gang violence) are not just because you like it but
there's a sense of dislocation from the mainstream society; ie. schools/police aren't
helping you
critics - it's very reductionist; it doesn't treat people as complex human beings; he draws
it as a family dynamic; street/decent families pass on certain traits to live a certain way of
even folks who leave the hood, who went through the upward mobility still have families
who are part of the street folks and they never transcend the role
Building on Anderson... Moral Categories
● Clean
people who don't have outstanding warrants or other "legal entanglements"
people who can't pass a "piss test," can't pass a police stop, or make it home
form a hearing without getting arrested
● Dirty
people who have oustanding warrants and legal entanglements
people who are not wanted by the law
Then & Now: How Policing Became more Sophisticated
1970s: 2 officers who made calls on a wanted list
● Transporters
Now: Technologies and new surveillance
Multiple Warrant Units within police department
FBI; Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms; and US Marshalls have own warrants units
Compstat and other kinds of surveillance
Compstat meeting in The Wire
season 3: how crimes are reclassified; homocides are hard to reclassified and made to
seem like crime is going down
crime statistics are often used for political purposed and not truly correct
in the ways how police collect data, police can change the categories of crimes
Running from the cops
do people get away?
24 out of 41 cases (observed) were "successful" getaways
Escaping with a little help from my friends..
"A Successful escape can be a solitary act, but oftentimes it is a collective
friends, relatives, neighbors alter each other when the police are coming
what are other ways people work together to avoid legal entanglements?
escaping which seems to be an individual act, actually brings together different parties
Goffman: how people alert one another?
The Jungle in Training Day
'flippin pigeons' - scaring off the pigeons in the air by clapping
● whistling
these are ways to alert the neighborhood that the block is 'hot', cops are here
But, capturing is also a collective act
a "net of entrapment"
NOT just the police
the threat of arrest extends into many other institutions
Victor Rios' argument - community centres now have parol officers
Goffman is building on that argument - police are not enlisting help of other to catch
young man/woman on warrant
What are some of these institutions
hospitals, school, place of employment,
Cultivating an unpredictable Routine
"concerted avoidance" vs. a secretive routine
Dipping and dodging - never being a stationary target; young people will never tell
people where they are or never sleep in the same place; lie about where they are;
becoming like a ghost
Not being seen in familiar haunts
Deceiving others and varying up whereabouts
Informing - becoming a snith
police find ways to threaten family member/lovers of young people for them to cooperate
with the police
Snitching & making up (Goffman)
Ronny's story
plea bargaining
over time, repairs relationship with Mike