Primo And Caesar: Structural Oppression

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According to Bourgois, he explained that he felt structural oppression was the main cause of what affected Primo and Caesar’s life choices and opportunities. Structural oppression is when people of a society identity group are mistreated and the treatment of these people are supported by society and its institution. Throughout the book, we see several cases in which Primo and Caesar and mistreated in various ways. In the beginning, Bourgois talks about the history of Puerto Ricans and how the immigration from Puerto Rico to New York City consequently affected the growth and development of their own culture in El Barrio. In chapter 2, Bourgois described how their ancestors were subsistent farmers (farm not for profit but for general welfare) and…show more content…
sector, he was constantly being berated. His boss, a lady called Gloria, heavily discriminated against him during his entire time working there. She constantly put him down and called him illiterate. When Primo’s supervisor would be out for lunch, the phone would ring so Primo would answer it. However, she felt uncomfortable talking on the phone with Primo because of his accent.
Primo and Caesar ultimately end up choosing to deal drugs because that is the only option available to them. Bourgois argues that the high unemployment rate in East Harlem caused people to take part in producing and selling drug. In chapter 4 of In Search of Respect, it explains that reason why Primo and Caesar don’t have ‘proper’ jobs. The answer to that was simple: it was because they could not find jobs. So, in order to meet their needs, these people had to resort in underground and illegal, untaxed jobs. Drug dealing provided the necessary income for them to be able to survive.
Thus, these types of experiences would future alienate them from mainstream society and drive them into the underground economy of crack, the only place where they can go to make money, and regain a certain sense of dignity and
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