Youth Resistance and Social Control

The book of Elijah Anderson and Jack Katz are really mind opening. Somehow, we are faced with everyday crimes committed against innocent individuals, and we wonder of the reasons of these cold blooded murderers to commit such crimes. In these books “Code of the Street” and “Seduction of Crime,” we can find answers to the many questions as to the motives of these lawless youngsters doing things that harm people. In this paper, we can at least, get some points to be able to understand their actions.

Although there are two contrasting motivation that motivate them to do their things, yet, it is quite clear, they committed crimes under noble motives, at least own concepts. Although decent families and individuals whether living in the inner cities or in an upper class communities, consider their wrong doing as criminal offense. Based on the report made by James Howell, the most problematic areas in which the gangs are active in different places including rural and urban areas. But the extreme gang activities usually found in cities and suburban areas with a population of approximately 50,000 and more.

This is threatening because, many teens are recruited and involved in crimes both men and female, blacks and whites, and poor and rich. In one way or another, these books could offer valuable suggestions on how we can bring changes in these places, as what Martin Wooster had said about the book Code of the Street, “anyone who wants to make inner cities more decent places to live should read Elijah Anderson’s Code of the Street. ” Anderson’s Account of Youth Violence (Code of the Street)

According to Courtney Williams in his review of Elijah Anderson’s ‘Code of the Street,’ this book describes in detail the many issues that are prevalent with in the inner city today. These issues included “morality and teenage pregnancy, the campaign for respect and the absence for economic opportunity” (Williams). These short yet profound descriptions rightly fit to Anderson’s straightforward observation of what life is in the inner cities as well as the testimonies of what Anderson calls “decent families” living within inner city communities.

Although recognized that there are decent families in these communities, yet, they are facing extremely difficult situation because of the value orientation dominating inner city communities. Code of the Street according to Anderson is “based on generalized contempt for the wider scheme of things and for a system that they are sure has nothing but contempt for them. ”  He pointed out that street youths live by a code that is primarily a quest for respect, a precious essence that can disappear at any moment” (Anderson).

Anderson further stressed that these youths are prepared at any time to fight or kill, and will do it any place they congregate. In his study of the behavior of these youths living the principles of the street, he found different expressions under which these youths could be identified. At the extreme, he said, “street oriented group are those who make up the criminal elements” (Anderson).

He noted that these groups were among the most desperate and most alienated people of the inner city. He identified their behavior to view “people and situation, are best approached both as objects of exploitation and as challenges possibly having a trick to them… Their outlook is cynical and trust of others is severely lacking. ”  Anderson further observed that “they tend to approach all persons and situations as part of life’s obstacles, as things to subdue or to get over.

”  Because of these, they pose serious danger on everyone who happened to cross their path. These according to Anderson are a result of a mind set that view life often features “an intense competition for scarce social goods. ”  Everyone feels deprived and willing to commit for them regardless of how they would accomplished it. Usually these are violence committed against innocent or as Anderson calls it “decent individual, or even against their own peers.