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ANTA02 In Search of Respect, Introduction Notes

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Genevieve Dewar

ANTA02 – In Search of Respect; Intro 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 population 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. o Represent the chronic social suffering generated by ElBarrio regardless pos+ econ fluctuation, and decrease in youths hard-drug consumption. o Many are recycled at great financial & human cost, thru the prison industrial complex. “INTRO” 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. o Via uncensused/untaxed underground economy= 100g’s of people w/minimal amenities afford to live w/basic necessities. o Female income-generating = babysitting, sewing, bartending at after-hours, off the books. o Men income-generating more obvious and visible – incl’ off-books car repairs and drug selling – but it’s hard to estimate how many, how much and what $$amount. Street culture - resistance &self-destruction: - Inner-city street culture: a complex and conflicted web of beliefs, symbols, modes of intrxn, values and ideologies that have emerged in opposition to exclusion to mainstream society. o comes from anguish of being poor in rich city compounded w/cultural assault faced by ElBarrio youth when they step off block. o offers an alternative forum for autonomous personal dignity. - “Street culture of resistance” concent’n of socially marginz’d ppl into politically/ecologically isolated inner streets causes explosive cultural creativity in defiance of racism and econ marginz’n. o Its a spontaneous set of rebellious practices that emerged in the longterm as an oppositional style. o
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