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ANTA02H3 Study Guide - Final Guide: Townes Van Zandt

Course Code
Maggie Cummings
Study Guide

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ANTA READINGS Post-midterm 1
4 major dynamics altered daily life on streets of ElBarrio post-1995
1. Us economy entered most prolonged period of sustained growth in history – followed by
downturn after 9/11 – caused income inequality to skyrocket
2. Size of Mexican popul in nyc/elbarrio increased – subs job loss to competition working for
poverty wages
3. War on drugs escalated into semi-official public policies that criminalized/incarcerated the poor
and socially marginalized (ie 1-strike-and you’re-out policy, having felon in household calls for
eviction of entire family, by law)
4. Drug fashion trends shifted weed as more popular and heroin/crack less popular among Blacks
and Latinos
-Destruction of children of crack dealers = most disturbing trend
oReprest the chronic social suffering generated by elbarrio regardless pos+ econ fluctuation,
and decrease in youths hard-drug consumption
oMany are recycled at great financial&human cost, thru the prison industrial complex
Personal/political perspective: probe into the weakness inherent in richest country” by documenting how
it imposes racial segregation & econ marginalization on its many latino&black citizens
Underground economy
-Dynamics of social marginalization& alienation result in Substance Abuse in the inner city which
is both a symptom and symbol of the dynamic
-Statistically 50% of elbarrio residence (incomes include welfare & min wage work) shouldn’t be
able to afford sustenance given NYC living/rent/food prices
oVia uncensused/untaxed underground economy= 100g’s of ppl w/minimal amenities
afford to live w/basic necessities
oFemale income-generating = baby sitting, sewing, bartending at after-hours, off the books
oMen income-generating more obvious and visibleincl off-books car repairs and drug
selling – but its hard to estimate how many, how much and what $$amount
Street culture: resistance &self-destruction
-Innercity street culture: a complex and conflicted web of beliefs, symbols, modes of intrxn,
calues and ideologies thatve emerged in opposition to exclusion to mainstream society
ocomes from anguish of being poor in rich city compounded w/cultural assault faced by
elbarrio youth when they step off block
ooffers an alternative forum for autonomous personal dignity
-street culture of resistance” concentn of socially marginzd ppl into politically/ecologically
isolated inner streets causes explosive cultural creativity in defiance of racism and econ
oIts a spontaneous set of rebellious practices that emerged in the longterm as an
oppositional style
oIllegal enterprise = lifestyles of violence, subs abuse, internalized rage leading to…
oculture of resistance predicated on destroying its participants (personal degradation) and
the community even though it emerged out of personal search for respect & rejection of
-Law abiding majority lost control of public space: most live in fear or contempttry to
ignore/shut-out street culture in hopes they’ll one day leave hood
ophysical concentration + ethnically segragated poverty = violent self-destructive street
cultures to overtake public space & lives of vulnerable ppl in those marginal hoods

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ANTA READINGS Post-midterm 2
-Processes that may be felt by major sectors of populations vulnerable to experiencing rapid
structural change in context of political/ideological oppression can be seen in the extreme
responses to poverty and segregation that dealers/addicts represent
oExtraordinary to the P.Rican experience = their cultural forms have contd to expand and
reinvent themselves in 2nd/3rd generation immigrantsthemed in dignity&autonomy
oaka the oppositional mentality”forged via longterm colonial domination
ethnographic methods and negative stereotyping
Analytical framework of Cultural Production Theory (CPT) and Feminism used to restore
oagency of culture
othe autonomy of indivs
o centrality of gender and the domestic sphere
to a pol/econ understanding of the experience of persistent poverty &social marginzn in urban
-Why ethnographies shouldnt offer sympathetic readings (suppressed accounts) on the culture
oShouldn’t have fear for documenting the pornography of violence” thinking it reinforces
racist stereotypes b/c
othru cultural relativism (cultures arent good or bad they just have internal logic)
attempting to sanitize the vulnerable doesn’t do justice to how shit got fucked up and
how fucked up it is
othis sanitizing often done in US where survival of fittest & blame the victim theories of
indiv action = common sense
othis results in misreading of ethnographies on social margnzn by public thru their
conservative/unforgiving lens
-theoretical debate of structure vs agency
othe relp b/w indiv responsibility and social structural complaints
otoo much struct emphasis obscures the fact that humans are active agents in their history
& not passive victims
oto avoid struct reductions use: CPT street cultures resistance to social margnzn in the
contradictory key to its destructive force”
ie thru cultural practices of opposition, individuals SHAPE the oppression that
larger forces impose on them
Parameters of violence/power/generosity
Assertion/rumors about Rays violence = integral to running network of crackhouses effectively
-Upward mobility in underground econ req’s systematic&effective use of violence against
colleguesneighboursand to some extent, oneself
-This irrational/barbaric violence reinterpreted in logic of undergrnd.econ = longterm investment
into ones human capital development & public relations
-Must still be capable to reciprocate friendship – ie not all followers loyal out of fear/violence
Bourdieus analytical category: Cultural Capital
Capable of fathoming the intricate rules and regulations of a society
- Ie Ray lacked cultural capital to succeed in real world cos he was illiterate, didn’t understand
beurocracy, paper work, liscensing etc
Racism and Culture of Terror
Street culture violence shapes daily life in elbarrio
-Which shapes how society views ghettos disproportionately to objective danger
-Bc incidents happen very publicly visible and traumatic = ppl have sense omnipresent threat of
being a victim

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ANTA READINGS Post-midterm 3
-Taussig’s term culture of terror dynamic that conveys the domninating effect of widespread
violence on vulnerable society
oIe one effect in elbarrio of this dynamic = silencing the majority of the popul in the hood
or ppl readjust their daily routine to strategically accommodate terror (ie only shop during
day, don’t go out alone, inside after dark)
oMainstream society uses the imgs of this “culture of terror to justify unwillingness to
confront segregation, econ margnzn, and public sector breakdown
Internalizing institutional violence: Danger of police brutality - Strong undercurrent of anxiety over risk
of arrest - Risks from inmate violence in the holding pen
-U.S. invaded P.Rico in 1898 – contd after the Spanish to put military concerns over econ logic
-Since 1952 free associated commonwealth” subject to US rule but cant vote and have no reps in
-“all P.R offers is closeness to cubashorter distance to destroy communism
Jibaro: stereotypical images of rugged independent substinence farmer in straw hat w/machete, who
squats (nangotea) on the batey or packed-earth patio of his home when receiving visitors
oJibaro has emerged as symbol of P.Rican cultural integrity, and self respect in face of
foreign infl/domination
oSpanish origin means wild” thought to have descended from African slaves, who
resisted laws and social conventions of spanish-dominated society and escaped to the
hills outside of societal jurisdiction
oJibaro been reinvented &incl not only plantation labourers, but factory workers &2nd gen
innercity residents
oParallel b/w former jibaro refusing colonial-plantation labour that rejected elitist Spanish
cultural forms out of self-respect VERSUS oppositional content in street cultures
resistance to exploitation and margnzn by U.S. society
-1/3 of Prican population emigrated to u.s. aprx 1.5mil pplP.rico has the highest corporate profit
no country produces higher net incomes for the u.s.
-Econ imperatives shaping P.ricans lives = compounding ideologically by overtly racist “cultural
assault ex: all english schools in P.rico til 1949
Confronting individual responsibility on the street
-Via armchair hindsight its easy for large-scale migration to account for why elbarrio’s
oEspecially given history of econ dislocation, political domination, cultural oppression
oBut politic-econ explainations arent obvious on the streets ie no amount of historic
apology or structural victimization’ can excuse street ppls violent/self-
destructive/parasitic actions
-But these ppl attrib their marginal living conditions to their own psychological/moral failings
indiv are accountable
oPerhaps blending jibaro individualism w/puritanism of anglo-immigrant legacy
w/survival-of-fittest mentality of NYC underground economy
E.harlems immigrant maelstroms: these streets have always produced violent, substance-abusing felons
no matter what immigrant ethnic group living there at whatever time
- Italian invasion ppl treated the samethose ppl then treated P.ricans as they were once treated
and the cycle continues by P.ricans hating Mexicans &Blacks (who themselves, hate p.ricans)
Poverty &Ecological Disrepair
-Thrasher theorized “crime and social pathology emerged in expanding concentric circle from out
of core urban poverty areas
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