Why Girls Fight Chapter Summary

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Growing up in Melrose Park or Lee in Philadelphia can be difficult for the female youth population, especially considering the areas are underprivileged and make up the minority. Deeply rooted into many neighborhoods are certain ‘codes’ that exist which are structures of belief to the people who reside there. The ‘codes’ are considered symbolic to low income neighborhoods, and in some ways promote violence. Young women living in these areas tend to become more violent in comparison to other females in surrounding affluent areas. The organization of violence in young women is different compared to young men. When a young woman grows up within the inner city of Philadelphia, they must be content with external forces in order to fit in with the social organization of life and violence. In the book, Why Girls Fight: Female Youth Violence in the Inner City by Cindy D. Ness insightfully talks about the street fights within low income areas between young girls. When young women are in a situation where violence could break out, they are given the choice to step up or back off. Violence for these young women living in the inner city area is considered normal and a necessary way to gain respect. Violence sometimes can be used as self-defense in many situations, …show more content…
5) writes: “female youth violence possesses a sophisticated organization and discourse of its own that is rooted in the social fabric of a neighborhood, its ‘codes,’ and its structures of belief” meaning young women are usually one persona when they are in the neighborhood as opposed to a different persona when outside the neighborhood. In an interview, Shayleen states how she could hit or fight another girl just for being looked at the wrong way. All these girls do not want to look vulnerable, and potential be viewed as weak. The girls who are weak in Melrose Park and Lee tend to get rolled on by larger groups. The majority of girls are living in constant fear, but they will never admit to being

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