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NCJ Number: 148974 Find in a Library
Title: Ain't No Makin' It: Leveled Aspirations in a Low-Income Neighborhood
Author(s): J MacLeod
Date Published: 1987
Page Count: 215
Sponsoring Agency: Westview Press, Inc
Boulder, CO 80301
Publication Number: ISBN 0-8133-7163-5
Sale Source: Westview Press, Inc
Marketing Director
5500 Central Avenue
Boulder, CO 80301
United States of America
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Based on participant observation, this study examines the ideological and material constraints faced by working- class youths in a large northeastern city.
Abstract: The author draws upon his experience while living and working in Clarendon Heights, where he gained the trust of its two male teenage peer groups: the Hallway Hangers and the Brothers. He describes their friendships and families, their work, and their school experiences, so as to understand the forces that either shape their occupational aspirations or leave them with no aspirations at all. There is a striking contrast between the two neighborhood gangs. The low ambitions of the Hangers reflect a cynicism about their opportunities and ensure that they will remain at the bottom of the social structure. The Brothers, however, take the achievement ideology to heart. This difference is particularly surprising because the Brothers, who aspire to middle-class respectability, is composed mostly of African- American members, and the Hangers are predominantly white. In comparing the two groups, the study shows why lower class juveniles usually end up in low-income jobs. The findings demonstrate how class inequality is sustained from generation to generation. After examining the main currents of thought in social reproduction theory, the author concludes that the theory fails to accommodate the subjective perceptions and aspirations that motivate particular lower class youths to aspire to a better life than most adults in their community. Chapter notes, an 81-item bibliography, and a subject index
Main Term(s): Juvenile/Youth Gangs
Index Term(s): Adolescent attitudes; Attitudes toward education; Juvenile delinquency factors; Juvenile delinquency theory; Juvenile gang behavior patterns
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