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Human Targets

Author: Victor M. Rios
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 022609104X
Size: 23.12 MB
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At fifteen, Victor Rios found himself a human target—flat on his ass amid a hail of shotgun fire, desperate for money and a place on the street. Faced with the choice of escalating a drug turf war or eking out a living elsewhere, he turned to a teacher, who mentored him and helped him find a job at an auto shop. That job would alter the course of his whole life—putting him on the road to college and eventually a PhD. Now, Rios is a rising star, hailed for his work studying the lives of African American and Latino youth. In Human Targets, Rios takes us to the streets of California, where we encounter young men who find themselves in much the same situation as fifteen-year-old Victor. We follow young gang members into schools, homes, community organizations, and detention facilities, watch them interact with police, grow up to become fathers, get jobs, get rap sheets—and in some cases get killed. What is it that sets apart young people like Rios who succeed and survive from the ones who don’t? Rios makes a powerful case that the traditional good kid/bad kid, street kid/decent kid dichotomy is much too simplistic, arguing instead that authorities and institutions help create these identities—and that they can play an instrumental role in providing young people with the resources for shifting between roles. In Rios’s account, to be a poor Latino youth is to be a human target—victimized and considered an enemy by others, viewed as a threat to law enforcement and schools, and burdened by stigma, disrepute, and punishment. That has to change. This is not another sensationalistic account of gang bangers. Instead, the book is a powerful look at how authority figures succeed—and fail—at seeing the multi-faceted identities of at-risk youths, youths who succeed—and fail—at demonstrating to the system that they are ready to change their lives. In our post-Ferguson era, Human Targets is essential reading.

Human Targets

Author: Victor M. Rios
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 022609099X
Size: 32.58 MB
Format: PDF, Mobi
View: 1335
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Victor Rios has a vibrant reputation as America s leading ethnographer of Latino youth. His personal storygoing from drug pusher (selling heroin on the streets as a teenager) to a hard worker at a mechanic shop within a matter of weeksshows how he stands in the place of the Latino youths he studies. His story underscores the degree to which delinquent urban youths can become adaptable, fluid, amenable individuals, able to shift their views of the world as well as their actions. Rios rejects the old storyline that said gangs are bad and they do bad things because they are bad people. Kids on the street, he argues, can drift between different identities, indeed, they can shift seamlessly between responsible and deviant displays within a few hours time. The key to understanding gang-associated youth lies in analysis of the way authority figures (teachers and police officers) interact with young people. The kids need caring adults who offer tangible resources. Story and characters are always front-and-center in Rios s narrative: Jorge, Mark, Wilson, and others, are boys we get to know as they negotiate day-to-day life on the streets and across institutional settings. We learn a great deal about Cholo subculture, the clothing and hairstyles, and the argot that are adopted by Latino youth in response to the forces that seek to marginalize or punish them. The crisis of a perceived epidemic of police brutality in our post-Ferguson era is a product of culture in Rios s view: contested symbols, negative interactions, and day-to-day encounters that freeze youth identities as gang-associated, and that freeze authority identities as negative shapers of youth attitudes and actions are the dynamic. Fear of young males of color leads to police misreading and dehumanizing of young black and Latino men. Rios raises our awareness of how this dynamic operates by studying his subjects whole: following young gang members into their schools, their homes, their community organizations, their detention facilities, and watching them interact with police, watching them grow up to become fathers, get jobs, get rap sheets. Get killed. This book will be a landmark contribution to the social psychology of poverty and crime."

Human Targets

Author: Victor M. Rios
Publisher:
ISBN: 9780226090856
Size: 11.87 MB
Format: PDF, Mobi
View: 4574
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At fifteen, Victor Rios found himself a human target--flat on his ass amid a hail of shotgun fire, desperate for money and a place on the street. Faced with the choice of escalating a drug turf war or eking out a living elsewhere, he turned to a teacher, who mentored him and helped him find a job at an auto shop. That job would alter the course of his whole life--putting him on the road to college and eventually a PhD. Now, Rios is a rising star, hailed for his work studying the lives of African American and Latino youth. In Human Targets, Rios takes us to the streets of California, where we encounter young men who find themselves in much the same situation as fifteen-year-old Victor. We follow young gang members into schools, homes, community organizations, and detention facilities, watch them interact with police, grow up to become fathers, get jobs, get rap sheets--and in some cases get killed. What is it that sets apart young people like Rios who succeed and survive from the ones who don't? Rios makes a powerful case that the traditional good kid/bad kid, street kid/decent kid dichotomy is much too simplistic, arguing instead that authorities and institutions help create these identities--and that they can play an instrumental role in providing young people with the resources for shifting between roles. In Rios's account, to be a poor Latino youth is to be a human target--victimized and considered an enemy by others, viewed as a threat to law enforcement and schools, and burdened by stigma, disrepute, and punishment. That has to change. This is not another sensationalistic account of gang bangers. Instead, the book is a powerful look at how authority figures succeed--and fail--at seeing the multi-faceted identities of at-risk youths, youths who succeed--and fail--at demonstrating to the system that they are ready to change their lives. In our post-Ferguson era, Human Targets is essential reading.

Punished

Author: Victor M. Rios
Publisher: NYU Press
ISBN: 081477637X
Size: 46.45 MB
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The author discusses his background as a former gang member and juvenile delinquent in Oakland, California, during the 1980s and 1990s, details his efforts to study the lives of young men from his neighborhood after earning a PhD in sociology at Berkeley, and emphasizes the importance of understanding in order to develop solutions for young men who live in a culture of punishment.

A Rainbow Of Gangs

Author: Diego Vigil
Publisher: University of Texas Press
ISBN: 0292788517
Size: 59.69 MB
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With nearly 1,000 gangs and 200,000 gang members, Los Angeles holds the dubious distinction of being the youth gang capital of the United States. The process of street socialization that leads to gang membership now cuts across all ethnic groups, as evidenced by the growing numbers of gangs among recent immigrants from Asia and Latin America. This cross-cultural study of Los Angeles gangs identifies the social and economic factors that lead to gang membership and underscores their commonality across four ethnic groups—Chicano, African American, Vietnamese, and Salvadorian. James Diego Vigil begins at the community level, examining how destabilizing forces and marginalizing changes have disrupted the normal structures of parenting, schooling, and policing, thereby compelling many youths to grow up on the streets. He then turns to gang members' life stories to show how societal forces play out in individual lives. His findings provide a wealth of comparative data for scholars, policymakers, and law enforcement personnel seeking to respond to the complex problems associated with gangs.

The Neighborhood Has Its Own Rules

Author: Cid Martinez
Publisher: NYU Press
ISBN: 0814762840
Size: 55.70 MB
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South Los Angeles is often seen as ground zero for inter-racial conflict and violence in the United States. Since the 1940s, South LA has been predominantly a low-income African American neighborhood, and yet since the early 1990s Latino immigrants—mostly from Mexico and many undocumented—have moved in record numbers to the area. Given that more than a quarter million people live in South LA and that poverty rates exceed 30 percent, inter-racial conflict and violence surprises no one. The real question is: why hasn't there been more? Through vivid stories and interviews, The Neighborhood Has Its Own Rules provides an answer to this question. Based on in-depth ethnographic field work collected when the author, Cid Martinez, lived and worked in schools in South Central, this study reveals the day-to-day ways in which vibrant social institutions in South LA— its churches, its local politicians, and even its gangs—have reduced conflict and kept violence to a level that is manageable for its residents. Martinez argues that inter-racial conflict has not been managed through any coalition between different groups, but rather that these institutions have allowed established African Americans and newcomer Latinos to co-exist through avoidance—an under-appreciated strategy for managing conflict that plays a crucial role in America's low-income communities. Ultimately, this book proposes a different understanding of how neighborhood institutions are able to mitigate conflict and violence through several community dimensions of informal social controls.

Homeroom Security

Author: Aaron Kupchik
Publisher: NYU Press
ISBN: 0814748201
Size: 72.50 MB
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Kupchik shows that security policies lead schools to prioritize the rules instead of students, so that students' real problems--often the very reasons for their misbehavior--get ignored.

Gang Life In Two Cities

Author: Robert Duran
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 0231158661
Size: 26.47 MB
Format: PDF
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Refusing to cast gangs in solely criminal terms, Robert J. Durán, a former gang member turned scholar, recasts such groups as an adaptation to the racial oppression of colonization in the American Southwest. Developing a paradigm rooted in ethnographic research and almost two decades of direct experience with gangs, Durán completes the first-ever study to follow so many marginalized groups so intensely for so long, revealing their core characteristics, behavior, and activities within two unlikely American cities. Durán spent five years in Denver, Colorado, and Ogden, Utah, conducting 145 interviews with gang members, law enforcement officers, prosecutors, and other relevant individuals. From his research, he constructs a comparative outline of the emergence and criminalization of Latino youth groups, the ideals and worlds they create, and the reasons for their persistence. He also underscores the failures of violent gang suppression tactics, which have only further entrenched these groups within the barrio. Encouraging cultural activists and current and former gang members to pursue grassroots empowerment, Durán proposes new solutions to racial oppression that challenge and truly alter the conditions of gang life.

Venice

Author: Andrew Deener
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 0226140024
Size: 47.15 MB
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Nestled between Santa Monica and Marina del Rey, Venice is a Los Angeles community filled with apparent contradictions. There, people of various races and classes live side by side, a population of astounding diversity bound together by geographic proximity. From street to street, and from block to block, million dollar homes stand near housing projects and homeless encampments; and upscale boutiques are just a short walk from the (in)famous Venice Beach where artists and carnival performers practice their crafts opposite cafés and ragtag tourist shops. In Venice: A Contested Bohemia in Los Angeles, Andrew Deener invites the reader on an ethnographic tour of this legendary California beach community and the people who live there. In writing this book, the ethnographer became an insider; Deener lived as a resident of Venice for close to six years. Here, he brings a scholarly eye to bear on the effects of gentrification, homelessness, segregation, and immigration on this community. Through stories from five different parts of Venice—Oakwood, Rose Avenue, the Boardwalk, the Canals, and Abbot Kinney Boulevard— Deener identifies why Venice maintained its diversity for so long and the social and political factors that threaten it. Drenched in the details of Venice’s transformation, the themes and explanations will resonate far beyond this one city. Deener reveals that Venice is not a single locale, but a collection of neighborhoods, each with its own identity and conflicts—and he provides a cultural map infinitely more useful than one that merely shows streets and intersections. Deener's Venice appears on these pages fully fleshed out and populated with a stunning array of people. Though the character of any neighborhood is transient, Deener's work is indelible and this book will be studied for years to come by scholars across the social sciences.

Working For Respect

Author: Adam Reich
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 023154782X
Size: 38.53 MB
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Walmart is the largest employer in the world. It encompasses nearly 1 percent of the entire American workforce—young adults, parents, formerly incarcerated people, retirees. Walmart also presents one possible future of work—Walmartism—in which the arbitrary authority of managers mixes with a hyperrationalized, centrally controlled bureaucracy in ways that curtail workers’ ability to control their working conditions and their lives. In Working for Respect, Adam Reich and Peter Bearman examine how workers make sense of their jobs at places like Walmart in order to consider the nature of contemporary low-wage work, as well as the obstacles and opportunities such workplaces present as sites of struggle for social and economic justice. They describe the life experiences that lead workers to Walmart and analyze the dynamics of the shop floor. As a part of the project, Reich and Bearman matched student activists with a nascent association of current and former Walmart associates: the Organization United for Respect at Walmart (OUR Walmart). They follow the efforts of this new partnership, considering the formation of collective identity and the relationship between social ties and social change. They show why traditional unions have been unable to organize service-sector workers in places like Walmart and offer provocative suggestions for new strategies and directions. Drawing on a wide array of methods, including participant-observation, oral history, big data, and the analysis of social networks, Working for Respect is a sophisticated reconsideration of the modern workplace that makes important contributions to debates on labor and inequality and the centrality of the experience of work in a fair economy.