This book is about how inner city people live and try and survive by living with the code of the streets. Get back out there and whup his ass.
At the same time, however, a competing view maintains that true nerve consists in backing down, walking away from a fight, and going on with one's business. Shows of deference by others can be highly soothing, contributing to a sense of security, comfort, self-confidence, and self-respect.Thus she may be quick to beat her children, especially if they defy her law, not because she hates them but because this is the way she knows to control them. It can be another person's sense of honor, snatched away with a derogatory remark. In dealing with this contempt and rejection, some youngsters will consciously invest themselves and their considerable mental resources in what amounts to an oppositional culture to preserve themselves and their self-respect. This view emerges from the decent philosophy that life is precious, and it is an important part of the socialization process common in decent homes. This code of the street phenomenon is not a latest trend but goes beyond the historical dates of the beginning of civilizations and societies. What assumptions do they make while taking decisions? Not to be afraid to die is by implication to have few compunctions about taking another's life. At the same time, many less alienated young blacks have assumed a street-oriented demeanor as a way of expressing their blackness while really embracing a much more moderate way of life; they, too, want a nonviolent setting in which to live and raise a family. According to Anderson, the apparent problem in inner-city communities is that they are controlled by violence and the unspoken street codes. Many feel that it is acceptable to risk dying over the principle of respect. Children from decent homes tend to be more carefully supervised and are thus likely to have curfews and to be taught how to stay out of trouble. In the most desperate circumstances people frequently have a limited understanding of priorities and consequences, and so frustrations mount over bills, food, and, at times, drink, cigarettes, and drugs.
The presentation of oneself as rough and tough is very often quite acceptable until one is tested. They do many things to get respect like fighting, jumping someone, or even shooting someone. But since such a show of nerve is a forceful expression of disrespect toward the person on the receiving end, the victim may be greatly offended and seek to retaliate with equal or greater force.
This is because the street culture has evolved what may be called a code of the streets, which amounts to a set of informal rules governing interpersonal public behavior, including violence. Not only are their financial resources extremely limited, but what little they have may easily be misused.
In outlining these intricate issues, the book gives the detail account of the sociological perspective of the interpersonal public behavior and also the changing roles they play in the inner city. And if one is not a real man, one is somehow diminished as a person, and there are certain valued things one simply does not deserve.
The street fight was a trend among the ancient Romans and among the world of the Shogun warriors or among the Americans at Old South. But now what is different is the easy access to guns, and their disintegration from the values. Tension builds as a child comes to realize that he must choose an orientation.
One way of campaigning for status is by taking the possessions of others.