The deep prose of this book “The Disappearance of Work” and its accuracy in reflecting the lives of subjects has made its author become the acclaimed godfather of the truly less advantaged in life. The book articulately investigates the effects that unemployment resulting from the loss of blue collar jobs in the United States had on families, individuals and the neighbourhoods in the inner cities. This proposition has been based on the evidence that the author marshalled from the stories and surveys that he and his team of experts conducted on hundreds of men and women living in those ghettos. It is this evidence that the book has dismantled the stereotype opinions that are held by persons regarding the residents of those ghettos, as people who lack intense drive and aspiration to succeed in life.
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The disappearance of work in ghettos began with the decline in wages of low-skilled workers in these inner cities. These meant people could not advance economically. It is also during this time that job promotions dwindled and the low-skilled workers stagnated in the dead-end jobs with very low income, despite the ever-increasing cost of living. It is evident that the margins of unemployed of prime-age men were on the rise with a record high of 6% in 1994 (Wilson, 59). However, it is evident that these men were either poorly educated, they had dropout of school or belonged to the minority groups. As noted by Wilson (54), joblessness lowered the confidence of eligible workman. Therefore, it instigated the plummeting of hardcore felons that were crafted by the less educated black men in the ghettos, the emergence of drug addicts, alcoholics and breaking up of families. These vices led to stereotyping of poor black people by the middle and higher social strata. Employers began disregarding these blacks as viable employees. The ghettos had poor infrastructure.
However, these problems can be solved. The book has a number of recommendations that are meant to turn around this social disorganisation consequently turning the American people back into working conditions in the short and long run. The first solution should be the composition of the twenty-first century WPA work program that would keep the jobless Americans up-to-date on the available job opportunities at all time. Secondly, the government should improve on the schooling infrastructure in these ghettos to ensure that the residents have access to quality education. It should also improve the transport systems in these ghettos. Lastly, the employers should change their perception of these poor black as cultural subjects of poverty without aspiration. This is because they yearn, desire and quest for the successful lives (Wilson, 256).
Code of the Streets
This book is a popular and widely referenced source of information on the relationship that exists between the culture and behaviour. It is evident that author sees the behaviour in the streets of city inners as a culture that he refers to as a “code”. He notes that people living in inner cities are faced with tough life circumstances, such as unemployment, stereotyping, racial stigmatization, drug addiction, alienation and lack of hope. These vagaries have made youth of these ghettos prone to commit the specialised crimes or exhibiting defiant behaviour to any formal structure; for instance, school, government and family (Anderson, 15).
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This has resulted in the surfacing of two parallel cultures that mentor the ghettos residents. First is the decent family driven culture that attributes its fundamentalism from a deeply religious background. This culture articulates for decent values that are inculcated in the minds of family members. The second culture forms the bases of this essay. It is the code of the streets. Its practice is rampant in the low-end inner streets that are characterised by high unemployment levels, drug use and violence. This culture negates all values and practices of the mainstream society. It is based on the street value of respect (Anderson, 107). It depicts respect it gain by proving demeanour as a tough person who is not afraid of physical confrontation. Respect once gained should never be lost. It should be defended at all costs. This culture has perpetuated vices in these societies.
The Wire is a televised drama series whose plot was composed to look at the different facets of Baltimore society. It’s authors aimed at bringing out the illegal drug trade that was thriving in the city, its government, government policies and bureaucracy, the school system, news printing service media and the seaport. Its plot and casting has effectively portrayed the urban life in a realistic way for its viewers, so as to shed light on all these facets of the society (HBO, 16).
Season four of this series focused mainly on the school system, mayoral elections in Baltimore and the drug trafficking gang gaining of territory in the western sphere of Baltimore. Season four is characterised by the phantom killing that was taking place as the drug dealers sort to gain and control territories, police departments aim to uncover those killings and research study to identify the city’s future potential criminals (HBO, 19).
It is evident in the plot that Baltimore was facing major crime problems. These crimes were emanating from the social problems that the city was facing. They include: drug trafficking, homeless children and lack of education. For instance, Bubbles’ character in the drama takes in a homeless child and encourages him to attend school, but the child declines. This proves that the Baltimore crimes could have been triggered by the overall street culture that arises due to unemployment.