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kamilah

kamilah

Currently reading

Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead
Brené Brown
Marxist Literary Theory: A Reader
Terry Eagleton, Drew Milne

A World of Gangs: Armed Young Men and Gangsta Culture (Globalization and Community)

A World of Gangs: Armed Young Men and Gangsta Culture - John M. Hagedorn, Mike Davis Overall, I found the underlying analysis comparing street gangs to other armed youth groups -- militias, child soldiers, terrorists, violent sports fans -- to be a novel and powerful way of rethinking violent cities across the globe. Plus, the histories of the Hamburg Athletic Association (a prime instigator of the 1919 race riots and whose most famous member is Richard J. Daley) and the Conservative Vice Lords should be required reading for anyone interested in Chicago's racial politics. The book fails, ironically for one written by a Chicago-based sociologist, when it talks about how the destruction of public housing changed gang life throughout the city. How one can attempt such a discussion without one mention of the Gautreaux case is stunning. But, it helps him grind his axe against a mostly white, affluent power structure and conveniently ignore community organizing when it suits him, bringing me to my next complaint. His project to humanize the people who belong to gangs is vital, and yet, when it comes to issues like gentrification, he can't seem to find a similar sort of compassion for initial "pioneers" in poor, minority neighborhoods, who, in my uninformed opinion, may have greater social status, but not necessarily higher economic status. Where are they supposed to go if they're priced out of more expensive neighborhoods whose cultures more resemble their own? In this book, they are not individual actors, but rather are a faceless current of--and recipient of--capital flows into underserved areas.