Essay about Alice Goffman 's Observation Of The Increase

766 Words Sep 18th, 2015 4 Pages
The introduction of this research paper discusses Alice Goffman’s observation of the increase in policing and supervision in poor Black neighborhoods. In this paper, Goffman explains what this increase has meant for wanted African American males and the inhabitants of poor communities. Since, according to Goffman, such studies done in poor minority neighborhoods were written before the expansion of the criminal justice system, she worked with a group of poor African American males for six years to get an “extended ethnographic look” at life in “the policed and surveilled ghetto” (Goffman). Goffman built her research not only on six years of fieldwork, but on prior works that pertain to the urban poor and broader concepts of power in the modern era, i.e. Foucault of 1979 (Goffman). The findings of her research show that the young men act unpredictably, avoiding certain places and relations due to a “suspicious perception” they’ve developed from their experience(s) with the legal system, as well as due to fear of capture because of their illegal or semi legal status given by these institutions/groups (Goffman). As mentioned earlier, Goffman underwent six years of fieldwork with a group of 15 young men who grew up around 6th Street (which, according to the survey she conducted of 217 households, is comprised of five blocks having a 93% Black population) (Goffman). Her research began in 2002 when she first moved into an apartment in the neighborhood and from January 2002 to…

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