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Race in the Hood

Conflict and Violence among Urban Youth

1997
Author:

Howard Pinderhughes

Race in the Hood

A compelling study of the origins of racial conflict and violence in America.

Race in the Hood draws a picture of young people who grew up in similar class circumstances, facing remarkably similar problems and issues, with one significant difference in their lives-their race or ethnicity. Pinderhughes argues that the key to success in developing racial tolerance lies in the transformation of racialized grassroots ideologies through community and school-based multicultural education. A sophisticated and nuanced study of race relations in New York City, Race in the Hood points to areas of concern and directions for change in all of our communities.

In this pacesetting book Pinderhughes shows how those seldom heard in public debates, urban youth, think and act about race. Telling it like it is, these youth reveal the trials of life along the racial rifts splintering urban communities. Focusing on interracial conflict, Pinderhughes demonstrates that youth learn racial identities and ideologies in local communities. Solutions for conflict will have to be found, not in egalitarian platitudes of national leaders, but in new educational and economic programs centered in communities.

Joe R. Feagin, Professor of Sociology, University of Florida, author of White Racism: The Basics

“We’ll just be hanging out, partying. And somebody will say, ‘Hey, let’s go on a mission.’ That’s when you go looking for people who don’t belong in the neighborhood, and you beat ’em up. Sometimes we go out lookin’ for blacks to jump. Sometimes we look for anybody who ain’t supposed to be there.” —Sal, Avenue T Boys

Why are racial conflict and violence among the most enduring problems in American society? Why do some youths express racism violently while others develop tolerance and respect for those who are different? What can we as a society do to foster open-mindedness among children and teenagers?

Seeking answers to these questions, Howard Pinderhughes spent two years talking to and studying three groups of New York City adolescents: the predominantly Italian American Avenue T Boys from the Bensonhurst section of Brooklyn; a group of African American teenagers from Schomberg Plaza in East Harlem; and a group of Albanian American youth from Pelham Park in the Bronx. Through the voices of these young people, Pinderhughes examines how racial attitudes and identities develop in communities and are then expressed as either tolerance, resulting in territorial cooperation, or hatred, resulting in racial conflict.

Race in the Hood draws a picture of young people who grew up in similar class circumstances, facing remarkably similar problems and issues, with one significant difference in their lives-their race or ethnicity. Pinderhughes argues that the key to success in developing racial tolerance lies in the transformation of racialized grassroots ideologies through community and school-based multicultural education.

A sophisticated and nuanced study of race relations in New York City, Race in the Hood points to areas of concern and directions for change in all of our communities.

Race in the Hood

Howard Pinderhughes is assistant professor in the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences at the University of California, San Francisco.

Race in the Hood

In this pacesetting book Pinderhughes shows how those seldom heard in public debates, urban youth, think and act about race. Telling it like it is, these youth reveal the trials of life along the racial rifts splintering urban communities. Focusing on interracial conflict, Pinderhughes demonstrates that youth learn racial identities and ideologies in local communities. Solutions for conflict will have to be found, not in egalitarian platitudes of national leaders, but in new educational and economic programs centered in communities.

Joe R. Feagin, Professor of Sociology, University of Florida, author of White Racism: The Basics

Should be read by all who hope to end the violence that divides our youth.

MultiCultural Review

Through surveys, focus groups, and observations in three New York City neighborhoods, Pinderhughes addresses the urgent problem of increasing racial violence among young people in this focused and well-reasoned study. The author views racial conflict as a complex process in which a perception of economic competition, community ideology, and racial identity interact to produce either tolerance or hatred. The study provides a rare look into the incipient social analysis of adolescents and a convincing outline of possible interventions centered on peer support.

Library Journal

Pinderhughes’s important book attempts to explain the increase in ethnic and racial conflict and violence among youth in many neighborhoods across the U.S. Pinderhughes asserts that ethnic and racial conflict can be reduced by addressing economic and structural inequality, by creating alternative, ethnically and racially inclusive ideologies, and by rejecting oppositional ethnic and racial identities.

Choice

This book examines factors that produce ethnic and racial conflict and violence among youth in New York. Drawing on a survey questionnaire and on focus group interviews, he locates ethnic hostilities and racisms within a complex environment shaped by factors operating at several levels. While fully recognizing the importance of economic and other structural forces, he also reveals the central role that communities and peer groups may play in the production and reproduction of ethnic allegiances, and in racist hostilities.

Canadian Journal of Urban Research

This work should be read by those interested in urban sociology, crime, race and ethnic relations, and violence. Few contemporary authors give us a flavorful account of adolescents and race/ethnic conflict as it is played out in the real world. Pinderhughes does, and he should be applauded.

Contemporary Sociology