StudentShare solutions
Triangle menu

Code of the Street - Essay Example

Not dowloaded yet

Extract of sample
Code of the Street

As a result, mainstream institutions such as the law, are experienced and interpreted through a different lens. This essay will critically analyse and reflect upon Anderson's code for the purposes of determining both its validity and viability.
The code of the street is defined as "a set of prescriptions and proscriptions, or informal rules of behavior organized around a desperate search for respect that governs public social relations, especially violence" (Anderson, 1999: 9). Within the code people operate under a "threat of vengeance" which acts as a shield to violent encounters (Anderson, 1999: 10). The code is "a set of informal rules governing interpersonal public behavior, particularly violence" in inner-city neighborhoods (Anderson, 1999: 33). It is residents' form of "law" or their "street justice" (Anderson, 1999: 10). The code thus is an alternative system to the middle-class norm. While it may be difficult for outsiders to evaluate the validity of the state due to lack of lived experience with street life, one can safely assert that Anderson's analysis rings true insofar as it appears to stem from the very nature of social systems' rules and regulations. Any social setting is governed by a set of rules which must be strictly followed should one wish to negotiate his/her way through the system in question and interact with members therein. The street, according to Anderson, is no different.
Proceeding from the above stated, it is necessary to point out that in any social setting, self-esteem is important, as is its preservation. The street is no different. In inner-city communities, respect is key to one's self-concept and as such, the code prescribes "the proper way to respond if challenged" (Anderson, 1999: 33). On the street, one's reputation is highly valued and important to his self-identity. To maintain reputation, there is a constant "threat of violence" against those who may attempt to trample another's standing in the community (Anderson, 1999: 15). Anderson argues that the code regulates violence on the street as it offers approved justifications for those desiring to aggress against another. Whether or not you engage in violence, you are aware of the penalty if there is a rule violation (Anderson, 1999). The code thus is one's defense on the street. The code "provides a framework for negotiating respect" and is a "practical" mechanism for surviving on the street (Anderson, 1999: 134). Respect is a powerful commodity on the streets of inner-city America and is "a form of social capital " Anderson (1999: 66) Respect is premised on "being treated right" and given deference (Anderson, 1999: 33). Respect is external and must be demonstrated and seen. On the street, young Black males must constantly prove themselves often using physical violence. Once you have established yourself, respect acts like shield of protection. To maintain respect, one must have a hardened image and appear unbreakable. While life off the street emphasises respect and self-esteem, it does not prescribe violence as a means of attaining and later preserving it. In other words, societal culture and street culture have different perceptions of the meaning of respect and its determinants, despite their both outlining and highlighting its importance.
Just as is the case with society in general, street society is not homogenous but comprised of different groups, cultures and ...Show more

Summary

The code of the street is a theoretical framework developed by Elijah Anderson to describe life in the inner-city. In the mid-1990's Anderson engaged in an ethnographic study of two Philadelphia neighborhoods. One was predominately poor and Black and the other was a multi-racial, middle-to-upper class community…
Author : julietnicolas
Code of the Street essay example
Read Text Preview
Save Your Time for More Important Things
Let us write or edit the essay on your topic
"Code of the Street"
with a personal 20% discount.
Grab the best paper

Related Essays

The Morality of the Wall Street
The understanding of morality, as well as the struggle to define what is right or wrong in a given situation, is one that defines the code of ethics in business. The code of ethics which is followed is the defining factor of actions taken by those who are associated with a business.
11 pages (2750 words) Essay
Chinese-English code-switching in Fashion Magazines
This essay discovers the Fashion Magazines' Chinese-English Code-Switching. The four specified motivators in context include, but are not limited to, euphemism, bilingual punning, specificity, and principle of economy and these factors show how English is an important aspect of pushing messages in media outlets.
10 pages (2500 words) Essay
Building Code
A public way is taken to refer to an alley, street or any parcel of land leading to a street. The CSBC and other building codes view and define the means of egress as a system composed of individual elements that facilitate its identification and inspection of building inspectors and officials The system consists of the exit access, exit and exit discharge.
1 pages (250 words) Essay
Analisis of the Code of the Street
Andersons observations of the consistent violent behavior of young people living in the ghetto prompted him to undertake this research. The research was an attempt to describe the "public social organization" of ghetto life (Anderson, 1999: 9).
3 pages (750 words) Essay
Occupation Wall Street
The main issues that the protests centered on are corruption, unemployment, greed, undue influence that corporations have on the government and other manifestations of social inequality. Occupy Wall Street took place in New York City, Wall Street.
3 pages (750 words) Essay
Journal 6
Cultural/Subcultural theories of crime believe that criminal behavior depicted by people is the outcome of parental teaching that some illegal activities are for the benefit of an individual. According to the Cultural/Subcultural theories, groups of people can be
2 pages (500 words) Essay
Inner City Violence Article Critique
(Kennedy, Another work that offers a slightly different perspective on the same issue is Nikki Jones’ article ‘Working ‘the Code’: On Girls, Gender and Inner-City Violence’. The article sheds light on the much overlooked
4 pages (1000 words) Essay
Wall Street by Oliver Stone
There are guidelines and principles that govern the code of conduct in any organization, and Wall Street is no exception. The financial activities carried out need to have particular guidelines in order to protect shareholders from any fraudulent and
5 pages (1250 words) Essay
Dont have a topic
In those speculations, individual temperament is the thing illustrated in connection to wrongdoing. Different hypotheses expect that wrongdoing is brought on by biotic things, mental
8 pages (2000 words) Essay
Visual space in street art and graffiti
Street art and graffiti are often tied with each other and are just the few of arts’ popular forms. The popularity of the two may have influenced a lot for the growth of arts in visual culture. With such, this paper is made to present and analyze the growth of the two and how both directed the concept of occupying visual space.
4 pages (1000 words) Essay
Get a custom paper written
by a pro under your requirements!
Win a special DISCOUNT!
Put in your e-mail and click the button with your lucky finger
Your email
YOUR PRIZE:
Apply my DISCOUNT
Comments (0)
Rate this paper:
Thank you! Your comment has been sent and will be posted after moderation