Below are 8 essays. Please choose 2 to respond. Your responses should be Numbere
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Below are 8 essays. Please choose 2 to respond. Your responses should be
Numbered, so that they may be differentiated. This seems to cause
significant confusion for students; however it is a very simple request. See below
If a student chose to answer questions 1 and 8 they would organize their
paper as follows:
1. Write response to question one.
2.) Write response to question eight.
Please choose 2 of the following essay questions below. Each response should be between 1 and 2 pages in length for a minimum paper length of 2 to 4 pages, with a maximum paper length of 4 pages NOT including the title and reference pages. Pages should be paginated (numbered) via the insert page number function in Word.
Font size should be no larger than 12 and double spaced.
Throughout Gang Leader for a Day, Venkatesh makes comparisons
between the Black Kings’ drug trafficking with more conventional forms
of American business. Do you agree or disagree with these comparisons? Why?
J.T. argued the activities of the Black Kings provided more benefits than
harm to the community. Do you agree or disagree with J.T.? Are there ways
in which the community would be worse off if the BKs were to stop operating
in the projects?
How did Venkatesh gain the confidence of J.T. and the other people he
meets at Robert Taylor? Did he ever completely earn their trust? Why are
issues of trust so difficult in this book?
Venkatesh’s views the Chicago police and other social institutions of
power are less than glowing terms. Do you think the city’s institutions
helped to create and maintain the conditions that allow gangs to flourish?
Why or why not?
Why did Venkatesh’s efforts to educate the young women and children of
the project fail? Why was it so difficult in general to help the people he met
in the projects?
How did a strong woman like Ms. Bailey exert influence over the housing
project? How does the exercise of female power in this book differ from
the demonstrations of male power?
When you read Gang Leader for a Day, did you question the ethics of
Venkatesh’s research? Was Venkatesh, as exploitative and manipulative
in his own way as J.T. was in his?
Did reading Gang Leader for a Day help you identify more or less
with the problems of America’s urban poor? Why or why not?