Below are 8 questions. Please choose 4 to respond. Your responses should be NUMBERED!!! So that they may be differentiated.
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- Write response to question three.
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- Write response to question eight.
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Throughout Gang Leader for a day Venkatesh makes comparisons between the Black Kings’ drug trafficking with more conventional forms of American business
1. 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?
2. 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?
3. 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?
4. 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?
5. 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?
6. 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?
7. 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?
8. Did reading Gang Leader for a Day make help you identify more or less with the problems of America’s urban poor? Why or why not?