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Verulam IB Social & Cultural Anthropology

Study guide to Bourgois' In Search of Respect..., Chapter 2:

Key terms and concepts:

jibara(o); batey, respeto, "historical apology;" "structural victimization",


"structure" vs. "agency",
Hell Gate, "vinnie-land", A Rose in Spanish Harlem, "urban renewal;", "slum
clearance", speakeasy; crackhouse; "shooting gallery", Mafia, mafioso, mafiosi;
Genovese "family", numbers-running
underground economy, crack

Study questions:

1) How does Bourgois relate the status of Puerto Rico vis à vis the United States
to the experience of Puerto Ricans in New York?

2) What is the impact of the "macrostructural dislocations" B. details (p. 52) on


the lives of Puerto Ricans in El Barrio?

3) Explain the rationale for the "cultural assault" B. claims Puerto Rico has been
subjected to (p. 52).

4) Discuss how B. applies the concepts of "structure" and "agency" to interpreting


the sense of individual responsibility manifested by the manifested by the crack
dealers he knew (p. 54).

5) B. claims that "the streets of East Harlem have always produced violent
substance-abusing felons no matter what immigrant group happened to be living
there at the time" (p. 55). Explain—is this an "ecological" explanation, then?

6) Why do you think ethnic diversity in East Harlem was once thought to be a
negative factor (p. 56)?

7) How, in Bourgois' view, was "economic and racial segregation" related to urban
renewal in East Harlem (p. 65)?

8) What is the significance of B.'s inability to obtain a library card for his young
friend in the Barrio (p. 68)?
9) Explain the relationship between East Harlem's underground economy and
organized crime, as seen by Bourgois (p. 70).