Code Of The Street : Decency, Violence, And The Moral Life Of Inner City

2007 Words 9 Pages
In his book “Code of the Street: Decency, Violence, and the Moral Life of the Inner City,” Elijah Anderson explores the idea that people turn to the drug trade because they are excluded from the mainstream economy. The shift from manufacturing to technology and globalization have both taken many jobs from working class Americans, and the low economic status, stereotypes, and lack of education keep them from other jobs. All people need some amount of security to survive; those who cannot achieve this safety by legal methods repeatedly turn to the underground economy. Because people in the inner city struggle to work in the mainstream economy, they turn to jobs in the underground economy. HBO’s The Wire also depicts the drug trade of inner city Baltimore and the effect it has on the city and its inhabitants. Therefore, Anderson’s “Code of the Streets” and The Wire analyze and display the inescapable, endless cycle of the drug trade in American cities, particularly in the fourth season’s school subplot.
The desperation of poverty and the need to survive directly lead to the drug trade and other illegal activities. As transformation from manufacturing to technology occurs, Anderson notes that “cottage industries of drugs, prostitution, welfare scams, and other rackets are there to pick up the economic slack” (Anderson 111). Just as those originally trapped by poverty could not escape, people who want to escape participation in this underground economy cannot for various…

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