The Growth of Conflict in Peter Callero's The Myth of Individualism

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Conflict is something that exists in the everyday lives of all humans throughout the world. It can be shaped by the thoughts that are shared and also challenged by others. Conflict is like a tree. Once the idea is planted into someone's thoughts, it sprouts and begins to grow. As the idea continues to grow and spreads its branches, others who agree with the idea grow around it and the conflict builds and builds until it is like an overwhelming forest. Once conflict is formed and created, it can grow until it affects the lives of everyone is the surrounding area and can lead to extreme cases. This is the case when Callero shows how conflict can be created and begin violence, how Venkatesh shows the spread of conflict so the violence affects…show more content…
One example of conflict that he encountered while he was conducting his studies was that he had to choose sides between gangs from the very beginning in order to ensure his protection (Venkatesh 102). The leader of the Black Kings, J.T., makes it very clear to Venkatesh, who had started to hang out with a man from another gang territory named Autry, that Venkatesh could only truly work with one gang in order to be safe from the other gangs (Venkatesh 102). He quotes both J.T. and Autry discussing where Venkatesh stands depending on what territory he is in, "'Whoa, my brother. Like I said, he's with me.' 'And what if he comes by my building? Is he with you then?' [...] 'Then he's with you! [...]'" (102). This shows the beginning of conflict between rival gangs, even if both men are friends in a way. Venkatesh had to choose side right away for his own safety and this prevented him from doing much work with Autry. Venkatesh studies how the gangs in Chicago can strongly influence their neighborhoods and how the conflict between the gangs can result in violence and even death. This exists through gang wars where drive-by shootings and fights breakout between members of the gangs. Venkatesh was present during a mediation between two gang leaders to resolve the conflict going on that had resulted in a shooting (Venkatesh 106-110). The conflict had been caused between two younger members of the different gangs who went to the same high school and were

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