Analysis Of Jay Macleod's 'Ain T No Makin It'

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Ain’t No Makin It, a mind-altering book that dives into the livelihoods of “The Hallway Hangers” and “The brothers”. Two groups of boys that live in the run down housing estate of Clarendon Heights. Jay MacLeod divulges into the occupational ambitions of the boys by submerging himself into their lives on three distinct occasions. The boys dwell on their future desires and achievements over the span of 25 years displaying that there is no thin line between success and poverty. This book cleverly enlightens the world of the harsh reality of poverty and race. Through MacLeod’s third and final edition, Sociologists can finally illustrate how class structure and social disproportion duplicate through generations.

“The Hallway Hangers”
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8 years later and some of the boys had families to provide for. The “Hallway Hangers” wish they could have made effort whilst the brothers came to terms with the fact that ambitions and intelligence are not the only components to success. 25 years later MacLeod returned to Clarendon Heights and although some of the boys had finally reached a working class status, he realised that social inequality was more entrenched in the United States than he’d thought. (p.407)

MacLeod in Ain’t No Makin It set out to discover why the youths of Clarendon Heights had pitiful expectations for their futures. MacLeod worked with the boys in the local community prior to his commencement of his research. The impression he got from the boys is what initiated the idea for his hypothesis. The view that the reader gets is that throughout the years MacLeod becomes somewhat attached. He shows them a real interest, one they may not have experienced
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Although the use of a dialogue is present, the writer has included theoretical perspectives from sociology theorists such as Samuel Bowles and Herbert Gintis. The language and tone therefore can be quite complex. Although the writing can be perceived as difficult, MacLeod attempts to give examples by referring back to the boys to help aid the complicated vocabulary.

In order to fully understand MacLeod’s approach to the research he carried out, Street Corner Society a book by William Foote Whyte can also be considered as a comparison. Whyte was a student at Harvard who also carried out qualitative research on a neighbourhood, which he called 'Cornerville '. MacLeod explained in Appendix 1, his trials and tribulations of gaining entry to a community similar to Whyte.

MacLeod failed to take into consideration the aspirations and expectations of young women in the same situation. Instead he concentrated solely on the role of race and class. I would recommend this book to anyone who wishes to understand. Furthermore this book challenges the myth that education creates a level playing field for all regardless of race or

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