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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 148973 Find in a Library
Title: Street Corner Society: The Social Structure of an Italian Slum, Third Edition
Author(s): W F Whyte
Date Published: 1981
Page Count: 406
Sponsoring Agency: Harvard University
Cambridge, MA 02138
University of Chicago
Chicago, IL 60637
University of Chicago Press
Chicago, IL 60637
Publication Number: ISBN 0-226-89543-2
Sale Source: University of Chicago Press
1427 East 60th Street
Chicago, IL 60637
United States of America
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Based on participant observation, this sociological study of "Cornerville" (Boston's North End), an Italian slum community, focuses on social structure, social mobility, and the patterns of racketeering and political corruption.
Abstract: The study, which was initiated in the latter part of the 1930's, continued into the 1980's, as the author maintained contact with the community, along with the individuals and families he first met in the 1930's. This third edition has been revised and expanded as a result of information obtained in 1980. The "little guys" are examined in Part I, especially how they organize the activities of their own groups. This is followed by an analysis of the "big shots" in the social structure. The social structure of the rackets and political organizations are analyzed in Part II. These analyses focus on particular individuals who operate within these structures. Issues considered are what makes a man a "big shot" and by what means he is able to dominate the "little guys." To address these issues, the author profiles Tony Cataldo, a prominent racketeer who is concerned, among other things, with controlling the "corner boys." Also profiled is George Ravello, Cornerville's State senator, as he organizes his political campaign to gain the support of the "corner boys." The analysis reveals that the heads of political and racket organizations in Cornerville cooperate with one another. The study examines the nature of this cooperation and how it is established. The analysis explains people's loyalties and the significance of political and racket activities. Appended discussion of methodology, the impact of the study on one of the community residents, 36 references, and a subject index
Main Term(s): Gangs
Index Term(s): Corruption of public officials; Criminology; Juvenile gang behavior patterns; Organized crime; Social classes; Social conditions; Social organization; Urban area studies
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