Analysis Of Philippe Bourgois's 'In Search Of Respect'

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Philippe Bourgois conducts his research study in a book called “In Search of Respect” and witnesses the many obstacles the people faced when growing up in East Harlem. He focuses on two Puerto Ricans of a drug selling gang who was lead by their boss Ray. They are Primo who manages the Game Room, which is a crackhouse den and Caesar who is one of his lookouts. There was a lot of poverty and East Harlem and Bourgois decided to move their for his research. Throughout the book, he discusses the obstacles that Primo and Caesar had to face of getting a legit job and how the obstacles lead to them becoming drug dealers.

Structural oppression affects Primos and Caesar’s life choices in numerous ways, which lead them to sell drugs. One of the
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Caesar and Primo faced many issues when they tried to find a job in the FIRE section. Primo was not allowed to answer the phone because of his accent. They both were humiliated and had to face discrimination. The people would have negative perspectives towards the publishing firm because the manager knows that the clients would be discouraged if they heard his accent. He had sexist views and didn’t do what he was suppose to do, when he worked for a female publisher. To their coworkers, Primo and Caesar had offended them using sexually aggressive behavior. In addition, he expected to get paid overtime when he delivered pizza to his boss’s house, but was given pizza instead of money. Primo was also called illiterate because he had to an inventory. Instead he threw away many valuable tools and his boss called him illiterate, which Primo had to search up in a dictionary. Primo was offended and knew that Ray would never call him this because they were on similar social levels. Caesar tried to get a job in the construction workface, but was put own because of his physical traits and had to do dangerous jobs such joining the demolition group and working with the high rise windows. The other white construction workers had safer projects, which was unfair for the other workers. Caesar had to deal with people racist remarks against him and he couldn’t say anything or else he would get fired. There was no union to protect jobs, so workers

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