Analysis Of Phillipe Bourgois's In Search Of Respect

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SHAPING THE INDIVIDUAL

In his book In Search of Respect: Selling Crack in El Barrio, Phillipe Bourgois presents to us several characters which will help him observe life in East Harlem and to proceed with his study. The characters which will be brought forward in this essay, are Ray, Caesar, and Primo. Bourgeois lived for several years among Puerto Ricans in East Harlem in order to render his research accurate. By bonding with the individuals he meets through his research, they open up to him whereby allowing us to learn more about their ways of living and about what drives them and what causes them to act the ways in which they act. Through his work, Bourgeois attempts to illustrate life among Puerto Ricans and the ways in which their lives are affected both positively and negatively by certain structural forces such as law, education, poverty, race and social status. He also brings forward that other cultural dynamics shape individuals’ life and they are violence which, has been coined as a ‘culture of terror’, language and other cultural marking such as hair and clothing styles. These structural forces and the cultural dynamics are, to some extent linked.

In every society, education plays an important role in shaping an individual. Our level of education determines where we stand in society. For example, if a person achieves in becoming a scientist and having a degree, his position is heightened, and more respect is to be given to that person. On the other

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