Gang Leader for a Day Essay

1782 Words Feb 22nd, 2013 8 Pages
In the book, Gang Leader for a Day, a rogue sociologist passionately dives into the lives of one of Chicago’s toughest housing projects in an attempt to develop an insight as to how the urban impoverished lived. Throughout the text it becomes clear that a conflict paradigm is being reflected. A conflict society is based on social inequality, in which some individuals benefit and thrive more than others, which tends to lead to conflict and thus change. This is evident both in the housing projects where a gang known as the “Black Kings” take over and also in the surrounding neighborhoods where the more elite citizens, including persons from the authors university, shy away from associating with the nearby poor black nearby public, thus …show more content…
The political economy of outlaw capitalism evident in the text is another flawed institution creating poverty (37). As touched upon earlier, if the government allows certain communities to run these underground social systems where only one group benefits, then the community will obviously continue to be poorly balanced. The majority of the community will be fighting for a means of income while the various gangs benefit from the only wealth available. Another political flaw is that members of the community were told how to vote. It appeared that the gangs had a misconstrued depiction of how to go about political reform. Their idea of responsible voting was to gather in meetings and choose the alderman who would best keep the police away from their drug economy, “there was no discussion of platform, no list of vital issues” (77). The lack of knowledge of real political issues was ultimately detrimental to the community as a whole, as the cycle of outlaw capitalism would just continue to rule Robert Taylor. As mentioned before, Robert Taylor was heavily run by gangs, leading to various social factors such as marginalization, alienation, disempowerment, and social Darwinism to overtake the community. Robert Taylor residents were marginalized by the gangs within their community and also as a whole by the

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