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Review and Analysis of In Search of Respect by Philippe Bourgois - Book Report/Review Example

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Review and Analysis of In Search of Respect by Philippe Bourgois

Pummeling through, rocketing, or gently floating, we are all, in essence doing our best? Phillipe Bourgois hones the pen in a versatile way, masterfully painting up a ruptured society in his book through his personal experiences. Germans, Dutch, Irish, Italians, and others, they all make up New York's “Stone Soup” legacy. The diversity that is Americans holds up the infrastructure of our country. But the deliberate circumstance of the history of downtown Harlem’s moral and physical degradation where In Search of Respect develops provokes a question much deeper than 'what happened?' The city became a stickler for racial apartheid in such a way as to make the lines between its peoples so bold that a man's pride no longer denotes healthy self-esteem, but becomes truly, terribly shocking. People will strive to struggle among themselves. Shakespeare said, "All the world's a stage" (2.7. 138). The people of East Harlem played out their role. The role had a stimulating power about it. "Emaciated junkies, crackheads, and intravenous coke freaks” (Bourgois 20) on the streets, disrespecting the main man for reasons that seek a lie, everything, all of it is for a lie. It began on the street corner nicknamed 'La Farmacia,' an entrance of combing through the streetlights for a land of cheap drugs and temporary haven. Students that try to follow the code of the streets, in the form of gang power with their decent member composed counterpart stragglers, then inevitably the poor mothers that become so discouraged by the government's rationing-out welfare system that they fall into a cyclical bondage formed by taxes and depression, of all types, even the mothers who were decent and have become indecent fall into the trap. They're living a lie, an ethereal one, perhaps, in which they float blissfully through some sordid maze, a transit passage of unprecedented beauty, but it is still a cloud. Clouds that do not last. The respect all street martyrs feed off of from their peers elevates them in ways that these clouds supported by drugs portray themselves. The violent street code opens up any and all avenues of love, support, and security which street members, a tight-knit group or gang provides, simply through respect. Of Phillipe's friend's wife Candy, who worked on the pharmaceutical corner of drug Heaven, who shot her husband, after the sociology professor expressed his concern over Candy’s gender- Ray: “ ‘Candy knows how to get her respect. Can’t you see? Didn’t you hear what she did to her husband?’ ” (Bourgois 229). The end and be all. The book's protagonist Ray brought Phillipe with him wherever he went to work around the government's loopholes in search of legitimate work, which he sadly could never establish, in spite of his expert status in bootleg. He became “dissed” though when Phillipe unwittingly offered an article to him, which the head honcho Puerto Rican could not read due to his sorrowful English skills. Candy, the woman married to Phillip's friend Felix, shot her husband due to what was in Puerto Rico considered an inter-relations custom in which the men fathering multiple children from different mothers create useful ends in the area of businesses. The relationship between where the men of the city landed, their occupations, their statuses as segregated victims members, the very structure of ...Show more
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Summary

Brooke Fox Academia-Research 15 August 2011 Lie Seeking: Analysis of Bourgois’s In Search of Respect What are these people seeking? What ends do our friends seek, when they are involved with crime? A plethora of images, bringing peace together, the right to play with words, the care and comfort of a loved one, those individual smells and senses that make one’s own history special, does that belong to everyone?…
Review and Analysis of In Search of Respect by Philippe Bourgois
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