Summary Of Code Of The Streets By Elijah Anderson

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In Chapter 12 of Readings for Sociology, Garth Massey included and piece titled “The Code of the Streets,” written by Elijah Anderson. Anderson describes both a subculture and a counterculture found in inner-city neighborhoods in America. Anderson discusses “decent families,” and “street families,” he differentiates the two in in doing so he describes the so called “Code of the Streets.” This code is an exemplifies, norms, deviance, socialization, and the ideas of subcultures and countercultures. Anderson begins the section by explaining that there are two separate cultures in inner-city neighborhoods. The first are the “decent” this group is defined by commitment to “middle-class values,” (101). However, they are not mainstream in that they…show more content…
The most influential agent of socialization I the family. In this chapter this is shown, generally the kids in “street” families had the tendency to act similar to their parents. “The kind of home he comes from influences but does not determine the way he will ultimately turnout,” (105). The kids would be quick to hit someone else if they did not get their way, they would yell and argue in very unorderly fashions, just like they had seen their parents do or other adults they had been surrounded by. Aside from family peers are also a strong agent of socialization, especially in a system like this in which children are raised through accomplishment of natural growth, in which they are surrounded by other children in all their free time and often times children not in their age group. “Younger children witness the disputes of older children which are often resolved through cursing and abusive talk, if not aggression or out-right violence.,” (105) This socialization of children by their elders who are living by the “code of the streets,” creates a continuation of the code. Not every child that grows up learning this as a way of life will ultimately end up continuing to live by this code but enough do continue to live this way that this…show more content…
There are no universal norms, every society has its own set of values, some may overlap but none are the same, otherwise the two cultures would be the same. The “street” culture is a great example of how a culture’s have different norms. Reading this from a perspective of the mainstream it is easy to see that norms of the “street” such as of physical altercations to gain respect, theft in order to gain status “one way of campaigning for status is by taking the possessions of others,” (107) and abusive language, are not norms of mainstream

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