Resistance And Self Destruction Under USApartheid, By Philippe Bourgois

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In the ethnography “Understanding Inner-City Poverty: Resistance and Self Destruction under U.S Apartheid,” Philippe Bourgois, in East Harlem New York, researches the misunderstanding of inner-city poverty with an intersectional approach because of the way he incorporates the culture of resistance, race, class, and gender. Bourgois early on states that he utilizes the participant observation method, which is the standard method used by cultural anthropologists that require the researcher to live within a community to study daily activities, he primarily uses this process because he believes it to be more of an effective method than surveys, where lasting relationships cannot be formed, therefore, researchers are unable to ask personal questions…show more content…
He also notices that they showcase their hypermasculinity with a sense of entitlement and a sort of badge to instill fear in people and to show people that they are qualified for the job. He also discovers explanations that link why they take on such risky careers that could lead to self destruction. One reason why is that when they are working typical 9-5 jobs, they face racism, classism, and humility. Some then quit these jobs and join the underground economy and wear their resistance against the marginalization that society imposes on them like a badge of honor. Another reason why is because of the offshoring of jobs for cheaper labour that lead to a decreases variety of jobs for this community and more. Another thing he uncovers is that when these men, who have traditional views like their grandfathers had, cannot economically provide for their family, their masculinity plummets and they tend to lash out on family…show more content…
I like how the ethnographer acknowledged the tunnel vision concept and tries hard to not do that, but I do not believe that one can completely let go of their previous beliefs about a certain place/people or entirely understand what everything holistically means, unless they have been raised there themselves. Although I do understand that if an ethnographer where to study a place that they were raised in or similar to a place they were raised in, there could be a conflict of interest and other biases that are foreign to myself. Also, he states that they were a little uncomfortable with him being white because of the fear of him being a cop, he then states that later they become comfortable with him over time. I disagree with him here because he has the privilege of not being aware of his privilege, however, these people of color are hyper aware of it, therefore they may have tried harder to appear different and even though they may have appeared to be comfortable around him, I do not believe it will ever be the same as when they are amongst other Puerto

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