What is damage control?
Damage control = surgical technique used by trauma surgeons; developed as a reaction to semi-automatic weapons; focuses on
controlling bleeding and restoring blood-flow rather than on traditional repairs. I.e.) “open technique,” patient has abdomen left
open after surgery to avoid infection
How do hollow-points impact victims?
The bullet is retained in the body more often w/ hollow points than full-metal jacketed bullets.
# Of complications for these victims
I.e. chronic swelling, irritation, infections and pain
Emotionally, victims want the bullets removed. But, b/c risk of doing more harm than good, many doctors refuse to remove it.
How do gunshot injuries complicate a victim’s relationship with their employer?
Severe stigma attached to gunshot wounds.
Associated with criminality (Especially YBM) Thus, difficult for a gunshot victim to divulge that information to employer
LR effects from wounds impact victim’s ability to work
Especially individuals with retained bullets and suffer from chronic pain throughout their bodies
How do gunshot injuries become a badge of honour?
Surviving a gunshot can be seen as something to brag about
Denotes toughness, resiliency, and invulnerability
Points towards one’s street “cred”
How can we use Farmer’s “structural violence” theory to understand the plight of gunshot victims in America?
Majority of those getting shot (both fatally and otherwise) are young black men
Broader social context in which they exist come into play in their treatment
Farmer: institutionalized discrimination and concentrated poverty are two social forces that operate alongside the suffering
Lee: discrimination YBM experience by healthcare professionals and other social structures they come into contact with after their
victimization compound their suffering
Especially, when they have been in the ER on multiple occasions
Lack of adequate insurance
Same neighborhood= re-victimization
What are potential problems with social support?
Positive social support can be emotionally draining & stressful for victims
Negative interactions outweigh the positive/supporting interactions
Gunshot injuries may prevent one from working or contributing equally, puts a strain on the entire community= guilt and
psychological stress on the gunshot victim
What is the standpoint crisis?
Contreras’ offers an insider view
Scholars may critique his work for being ‘less objective’ and less insightful ethnography
Believes his underprivileged perspective may not be welcomed by elites—and tarnish his own academia image
Fears that he may offend marginal communities for portraying violence among already stigmatized groups
What is the triple representational dilemma?
He must ‘balance’:
1. Glorifying the study participants violence vs. Satisfying the expectations of the study participants
2. Placement of self interest
3. Acting as a minority scholar, or exploiting Uncle Tom by discussing the violence among minorities
What are the methodological riches and challenges of being an “insider” in a community?
Trust Cannot claim to be naïve
More open to the insider Expected to know the dos and don’ts.
What are Contreras’ critiques of Jack Katz?
Katz argues that criminals are sensually attracted to deviance, because ‘risk taking behavior is thrilling.’ In his assertion, criminals
only gain a small and temporary benefit through theft ‘sporadic income’, and other forms of deviancy, he maintains that it is the
‘feeling’ they seek to experience.
Contreras contends this claim by arguing that social context has built and created these criminals and is much more complex than
the psychological thrill.
The economic, racial, and social position is crucial to understand the outcome and the making of criminals. Contreras further asserts that Katz’ supporters generalized ‘street culture’ and focused too heavily on ‘emotional and cultural
landscape of crime’ while forgoing structural factors like poverty, social class, and economy.
How does Contreras incorporate Katz’s work in his analysis?
Explain and address ideas to understand drug robberies and the psychology behind ‘in the moment’ robbery dynamic
What are the historical and structural transformations underlying Contreras’ analysis?
‘Wonder Borough’ era—when the Bronx was a retreat for the rich of Manhattan
Posh days in the 1900’s—full of French influenced architecture, a wealthy middle class and advancing working class
Post WW2 state, which brought in poor Puerto Rican’s and newly poor blacks who moved north to avoid Jim Crow laws
o ROBERT MOSES designed landscape and architecture in the Bronx to cage in the poor, and pushed Manhattan’s slums
into the South Bronx region.
o The fall of the manufacturing economy was a huge blow to the Bronx, as many became unemployed.
o Government structures sided with the rich, and left the poor to fend for themselves.
o Blame on the newly immigrated, while not noting the impact of the white elites on the downfall of Bronx’s economy
Contreras argues that the stick-up kids actually mirror the “achievement ideology” in the US. What does he mean by this?
A.I. in US= high profit and self-interest. Capital gains and then consumption.
The Stickup kids want the “American Dream” Riches and recognition. Fast money. A society that promotes power through capital
How does Rikers Island prepare young men for stick-up robberies?
Non-violent criminals into violent criminals
A training ground for violent solutions. Survival in the jailhouse requires a display of violence
Social setting of Rikers violence determined one’s level on the prison hierarchy.
“Rikers resembled an educational institution. Men learned how to survive a prison culture that, due to overcrowding, was destined
to promote violence. Lessons learned—keeping a low profile or victimizing to avoid one’s own victimization—then transferred on to
9. “Drug epidemic aftershocks”
Crack-related crime spread from urban areas to small-town USA
Shift from urban to small towns created a ripple effect of crime and violence that had a major impact on places far away
The association with drugs and violence became widespread, often-violent images were used to scare or intimidate wrongdoers—
What is Contreras’ critique of Mayor Giuliani?
Giuliani and Bratton implemented a zero-tolerance policy targeting quality of life
Focusing on minor offenders they would successfully deter larger crimes
BUT, Contreras notes that drug-related crime, and murder rates dropped in the 1990s because of the decline of the crack market:
1. Crime was declining before Giuliani
2. Other Cities experienced the crime drop
3. Cocaine usage among young offenders was down in the 90’s
Crack epidemic did not decline because of Giuliani’s policies, but because crack lost its youth appeal= less crimes.
How did Melissa (“the girl”) assist in drug robberies?
“Her job was to seduce the dealer and lure him to an apartment. Once the crew began interrogating him, Melissa’s task was done”
What is the masculinity trap?
Girls = potential in the bedroom/alley/rooftop
Sex = demonstrating manliness to peers & manliness meant respect and status on the streets
Masculinity trap plays male’s manhood to victimize him.
Peer pressure to act sexually aggressive
What is panoptic masculinity?
Dominate women through the threat of technological surveillance
Women self-regulated for fear of that constant surveillance
Forced girls to be on the best behavior (e.g., that’s how Pablo monitored his women, through recording tapes)
What was Contreras’ most “disastrous” ethnographic moment?
When Pablo got angry when Neida mentioned Pablo’s mother while being taped for an ethnographic interview
Pablo started punching Neida on the side of her head.
1. Contrera dismissed potential consequences of interviewing Neida in front of Pablo
2. Did not interfere, nor stop interview
What are the different ways that stick-up kids rob drug dealers? General plan— Subdue the dealer through fore or threat or force
ask calmly or harshly
silence or ‘I don’t know”= torture
Surprise attack allows robbers to define and control the situation
Personal history benefits the stick up kid—Eased up to dealers slowly and smoothly to avoid unwanted noise.
Burglary backgrounds shape their general drug robbery approach i.e. mountain climbing gear
Why don’t stick-up kids kill drug dealers? “No lo maten”
A partner wants the dealer to stay alive.
Dealers create strong bonds
But business is business, money supersedes all Sign of some humanity
if dealers do not give out the information= life-threatening harm
Significance of Matza and Sykes’ “techniques of neutralization?”
Ways that wrongdoers justify their wrongdoings. - E.g., “Condemn the condemners”
How does Contreras build on Randall Collins’ micro-sociological theory of violence?
‘Forward panic’ the emotional surge after gaining the upper hand in conflict—Enables South Bronx drug robbers to be violent
Immediately before a drug robbery, the men experience tension and fear—T&F
Got the emotional upper hand by surprising dealers.
Gain situational dominance and emotional momentum
Even before the robbery, transform the tension and fear into positive emotional energy
Perceived advantage gave them an added emotional charge
Robbery group dynamics increase emotional momentum
Large groups and carrying guns, bolster their confidence through a common identity and purpose.
What are the ‘robber elite’?
What made a robber elite is his American-style overachievement within the context of structural constraints
Taking his high ambition and determination into the underground economy’s violence.
Who are the high lifers and venturers?
‘High lifers’ live a roller-coaster ride of material and drug consumption
o Spend their robbery profits in splurges or excess gratification
o Splurge involved a hyper-sexual manhood - exerted power over women, forcing them to live out his sadistic male
o Splurge amplified his male privilege
o Nation’s ideals of the material high-life—Then after their money ran out, they went back to the streets
Venturers invest robbery earnings in legal pursuits. These men had no formal business education, but had high expectations for
investments worked through acquaintances, family or friends.
o Do not flaunt their wealth
o Investing served as a security blanket and a potential exit from crime
o Problem: (Pablo’s) marginality made him vulnerable in his legal investments; lacked the education or cultural capital to
keep tavs on what other did with his money These two types are NOT mutually exclusive Difference lies in the intensity of
activities - Venturers typically had to help others, ‘high lifers’ with money as they run out
Newman et al.
What is their definition of rampage shootings?
1. Take place on a school-related public stage before an audience
2. Involves *multiple* victims - some of whom are shot simply for their symbolic significance or at random
3. Involve one or more shooter who are students or former students
Therefore, a student who comes to school looking for a particular person but does not fire at others isn’t classified as a school
Where do rampage shootings typically occur (hint: the answer isn’t “schools”)?
Occur in rural or suburban areas
Inner cities shootings = more spontaneous
Urban violence = conflict b/t individuals or groups that have ‘beef’ w/ one another and the identities of the opponents are almost
Rampage shootings = plan their attacks well in advance
Although both narratives suggest someone just ‘snapped’ - events that catalyze somebody (the “straw that broke the camel’s back”)
= the planning and choreograph nature of rampage shootings are different than what occur in inner city settings*
Why do they occur here and not in other places?
Rural communities City School is a public stage where an attention-seeking Many other stages available
shooter can create a spectacle. School plays a central role Urban violence = specific target
in the social life of adults and children in suburban and
rural settings > the school = highly symbolic
Rampage shooters = often times no specific target
What are the similarities between workplace and rampage shootings?
Adult rampage shooting that may be similar is WORKPLACE HOMICIDE
Workplace shooters are attacking not just individuals but the institution itself
Same kind of GENERALIZED fury may be present
Shooters often suffer from painful marginalization - they are the oddballs in the office
What are Newman et al. talking about here, “The shooters seem to have given as much as they got…”
The shooters weren’t just bullied; they bullied back
Number of witnesses said that each of the shooters - particularly Mitchell and Michael - were known to have provoked people and
been bullies themselves
What is information loss? What causes it?
An information problem
If a student displayed signs in elementary school - a lot of information is not shared to the middle/high school level
Information = LOST
Looking at ORGANIZATIONAL setup of the schools > loss of information
Loss of communication between relevant actors who could identify + intervene i