ANTA02 – In Search of Respect; Chapter 4
GOING LEGIT: DISRESPECT& RESISTANCE AT WORK
Problem of employment = structural
- Restructuring U.S. around service jobs resulted in unemployment, income reduction, weaker
unions, worker’s benefits eroded == cultural dislocation of service economy.
o These cultural clashes = pronounced in office-work service jobs created during expansion
o of finance & insurance sectors.
o Done via propelling inner-city youths into cultural confrontation w/upper-mid white office
culture where obedience to the norms is in direct CONTRAINDICATION to street culture’s
definition of personal dignity – especially for males socialized not to accept public
Oppositional street identity = high cultural value in factory where tough, violently
- Street youths treat return to hustling as triumph of free-will and resistance.
o Refusal to be exploited in legal labor pushes them into crack econ and substance abuse.
o Opposing mainstream via celebrating street marginality by culturally redefining crack dealing&
unemployment as badge of pride (even if ultimately self-destructive).
o None consider themselves victims – niche in underground econ shielded them from realizing
they were socially/economically useless to mainstream society.
o Personal powerlessness market forces (supply & demand) impose on vulnerable laborers during
Seen in Primo’s inc+ substance abuse b/c employment rejection plummets self-esteem.
Led to lashing out at unemployed girlfriend – inverting traditional gender roles of who
should be employed whilst retaining patriarch’s prerogative of disciplining.
Fears of being aborchornado (bum).
Pursuing Immigrant Dreams:
- Polite superstitions of their parents jibaro past = picturing happily working in a deli, legitimately
but still close to streets.
- Jibaro definitions of proper decorum & reciprocal obligations to friends/family.
o Didn’t want to go to friends moms house to do work for her because she lived alone – when
finally went, did work, didn’t want to charge money because it's for friend’s mom.
- Cultural production theory – crack dealers fail in legal world emphasize via disjuncture in cultural
styles of communication &allocation of power = around social markers.
- Political-econ understanding – point to how their parents had been channeled into margnz/d econ
o But when young they all chased the immigrant-working class dream, left school worked, but
when factories close down they’re left w/few skills/edu to allow mobility outside the marginal
factory jobs which traps their entire social network.
o Ie don’t know how to get up and get out – no one around you knows how either – during period
of jobless, all confined and unable to adapt to restructuring econ. - BOOK’S ARGUMENT!! Street-cultured youths have not passively accepted their structural victimization
– rather they immerse into underground econ and embrace street culture – seeking an alte