In Search of respect study guide

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5 Dec 2010
In Search of Respect Reading Notes
- The author was interested in the political economy of inner-city street culture
- Wanted to impose the racial segregation and economic marginalization of latins and
blacks in such a powerful country
- Addiction and substance abuse are a part of the facts of inner-city life
- Most residents in Harlem are below the poverty line and statistically, it should be
hard for them to retrieve subsistence goods
- These residents resorted to the underground economy to generate money
- Women may babysit, bartend, or work as a seamstress
- Men may fix cars, sell numbers, or sell nicks and dimes
- Drug industry is huge
- Men and women both sold drugs instead of working normal jobs
- Many men skip the census
- It is said that even if you had a regular job, some sort of underground job was worked
by people in order to maintain subsistence
- ³LQQHU-FLW\VWUHHWFXOWXUH´- a complex and conflictual web of beliefs, symbols, modes
of interaction, values, and ideologies that have emerged in opposition to exclusion
from mainstream society
- Inner-city street culture is a set of rebellious practices that have emerged as an
oppositional style
- It is seen in pop culture
- These drug dealers, addicts, and thieves are interesting, and therefore studied by this
- Without being bias to the poorer areas of the United States, the author is attempting to
express this culture uncensored
- Most people who have been socially marginalized do not relate well with others in
- The author used participant observation to do his research in this society
- Most anthropologists in the past have shied away from doing ethnographic research
on the inner-city
- This makes this ethnography very interesting and real
Chapter 1: Violating Apartheid in the United States
- Phillipe followed and studied a large crack dealer named Ray who had a social club
and pool hall as a front to sell crack
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Learning Street Smarts
- Ray had once been arrested
- 0DQ\SHRSOHGLGQ¶WEHOLHYHWKat Phillipe was a professor, rather a drug addict or cop
The Parameters of Violence, Power, and Generosity
- Ray got mad at Phillipe over the newspaper article and then got some advice from
Primo about Ray and his attitude
- Phillipe tape-recorded the conservations with Primo and Caesar about Ray and their
childhood etc
- Being violent and having a violent attitude can help to build your street credibility
- Many people saw Ray as a friendly guy who was just capable of being wild when he
needed to be
The Barriers of Cultural Capital
- Ray wanted Phillipe to help him with establishing himself in the real, legal world
- Ray opened up many businesses, but only the social club and bar business was able to
run for a small amount of time
Confronting Race, Class, and the Police
- Phillipe had to confront the overwhelming reality of racial class-based apartheid in
- Because of his white-skin, people though that he was some sort of investigator
- Phillipe was either seen as an undercover cop or a drug addict, which bothered him
- And he, from time to time had run-ins with the police
Racism and the Culture of Terror
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- not only do police enforce apartheid anGDµFRPPRQVHQVH¶WKDWZKLWHVVKRXOGQ¶WEH
living where the blacks and latinos do, so do the people of those neighbourhoods
a prominent problem in this area
dominating effect of widespread violence on a vulnerable society
- This can cause innocent people to isolate themselves from others and also have
internal racist stereotypes
- During the day time and even in the early evenings, Spanish Harlem had a great sense
of community and everyone was friendly
- Cops take pleasure in beat downs to minorities according to Caesar
Internalizing Institutional Violence
- 717¶VZHUHVHQWLQWR(O%DUULRWRWU\DQGVWRSWhe dealing and use of drugs
- They also spoke a lot about jail rape and what happens if you end up getting arrested
Accessing the Game Room Crackhouse
- When Phillipe first met Primo and the crew they were fascinated with him
- They wanted to talk to him and be around him because he was a good person and
gave them ease in their crack dealing lives
- At first, some though that Phillipe was gay or bisexual, which he thought may have
interfered with his ability to have a close relationship with the crack dealers at first
African-American/Puerto Rican Relations on the Street
- There was a fair amount of racial tension in Spanish Harlem between blacks and
- Phillipe assured Ray and others in the hood that his research and studies on their part
of town would have benefits such as having outsiders understand their world better
and hopefully have some political benefits to all of this
- As the book progresses, Phillipe describes his relationship with the crack dealers,
specifically Primo and Caesar, to be very strong and that they have genuinely became
good friends
Chapter 2: A Street History of El Barrio
- Puerto Rico was never a viable form of political and economic development
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