New PDF release: Gang Leader for a Day: A Rogue Sociologist Takes to the

By Sudhir Venkatesh

ISBN-10: 1594201501

ISBN-13: 9781594201509


First brought in Freakonomics, this is the total tale of Sudhir Venkatesh, the sociology grad pupil who infiltrated considered one of Chicago's such a lot infamous gangs

the tale of the younger sociologist who studied a Chicago crack-dealing gang from the interior captured the world's realization whilst it was once first defined in Freakonomics. Gang chief for a Day is the interesting complete tale of the way Sudhir Venkatesh controlled to realize front into the group, what he realized, and the way his approach revolutionized the educational establishment.

while Venkatesh walked into an deserted construction in a single of Chicago's so much infamous housing initiatives, he was once trying to find humans to take a multiple-choice survey on city poverty. A first-year grad pupil hoping to provoke his professors along with his boldness, he by no means imagined that because of the task he might befriend a gang chief named JT and spend the higher a part of a decade contained in the tasks less than JT's security, documenting what he observed there.

Over the subsequent seven years, Venkatesh received to understand the local buyers, crackheads, squatters, prostitutes, pimps, activists, law enforcement officials, organizers, and officers. From his privileged place of exceptional entry, he saw JT and the remainder of the group as they operated their crack-selling enterprise, carried out PR inside their group, and rose up or fell in the ranks of the gang's complicated organizational structure.

In Hollywood-speak, Gang chief for a Day is The Wire meets Harvard college. It's a brazen, web page turning, and essentially sincere view into the morally ambiguous, hugely complicated, frequently corrupt fight to outlive in what's tantamount to an city struggle quarter. it's also the tale of a sophisticated friendship among Sudhir and JT-two younger and impressive males a universe apart.

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Additional info for Gang Leader for a Day: A Rogue Sociologist Takes to the Streets

Example text

T. once asked me what sociologists had to say about gangs and inner-city poverty. I told him that some sociologists believed in a “culture of poverty”—that is, poor blacks didn’t work because they didn’t value employment as highly as other ethnic groups did, and they transmitted this attitude across generations. T. countered. ” His tone was more realistic than defensive. In fact, his rejoinder echoed the very criticisms that some sociologists applied to the “culture of poverty” view. T. and I often passed time together at a diner.

T. asked me these questions, but inside I was overjoyed that he was curious about my work. I had a feeling that I was talking to someone about whom most people probably knew little. I didn’t know exactly where our conversations might lead, but I sensed I was getting a unique perspective on life in a poor neighborhood. There were plenty of sociological studies on economically disenfranchised youth, but most relied on dry statistics of unemployment, crime, and family hardship. I had joined Bill Wilson’s team in hopes of getting closer to the ground.

It was clear to me at this point that the young men I’d stumbled upon in this stairwell were junior members of a broad-based gang, the Black Kings, that sold crack cocaine. The older members explained that the gang was trying to forestall demolition but that it wasn’t a pure act of charity: When this building was torn down, they would lose one of their best drug-selling locations. Once in a while, I tried to interject a research question—What kinds of jobs did the people who lived here have? —but they seemed less interested in answering me than in talking among themselves about sex, power, and money.

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Gang Leader for a Day: A Rogue Sociologist Takes to the Streets by Sudhir Venkatesh

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