Commentary Code Of The Streets By Elijah Anderson

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Elijah Anderson’s commentary Code of the Streets describes the unwritten laws in urban neighborhoods. Anderson considers the code to be a response to the stigma of race, excessive drug use, lack of high paying jobs, and lack of hope for the future. Respect or “juice” is at the heart of the code and in this environment, an individual is defined by the respect he commands from others (Anderson 6). Anderson argues that the poor have a different system of values than the middle and upper classes. He describes families in the lower class as either “decent” or “street (Anderson 2). Decent families follow mainstream values and raise their children to have respect for themselves and others. Street families refuse mainstream values and often leave their kids to fend for themselves (Anderson 3). Children from the “decent” families usually have strict curfews and know to stay out of trouble. “Street” kids on the other hand, stay out late and looking for a fight to increase their share of respect (Anderson 6). Along with looking tough, objects also play an important role when campaigning for respect. In this case, money does not matter. Stealing some one’s possession will get you just as much respect, if not more, as buying the items yourself. Many people living within this urban society, face an uncertainty when it comes to how long they will live. Because of this, many see it as okay to take someone else life. This in…show more content…
As previously mentioned, many inner-city youths feel a lack of hope due to the stigma of race and lack of high paying jobs causing violence to break out amongst them. This causes a confirmation of the negative feelings many on the outside feel towards those in the urban communities. Furthering the “oppositional culture” of between the affluent and the poor. Anderson believes that unless this cycle is broken, violence will only escalate (Anderson
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