The Code of the Street





The Code of the Street

The normal incidences that take place on the streets, in a modern society have set in a hopeless and violent culture that steal many young people to devil-instigated behaviors and circumstances such as drugs, car jacking, as well as other criminal-related activities. This culture has made majority of youths, especially teenagers become lazy and drop out of school in order to get involved in these short-cuts in life, thereby losing their lives at tender age. The technical behavior that are common along the streets as explains Anderson (2007) primarily aims at creating fear among individuals through prowess showing. The societal notion of respect goes hand in hand with integrity and honor. However, street language is normally instigated by interpersonal violence and aggressions.

According to Anderson (2007), aggression and interpersonal violence is one of the main problems of the poor sections of the street community. Seeking daily survival, wretchedness and havoc among the street residence has previously increased due to muggings, carjacking, drug related issues and many other forms of criminal activities. Unfortunately, these activities leave the victims or witnesses for dead, especially in the urban and the suburban areas. All these sums to the worsening of the living conditions of the poor street residents characterized by low wages, lack of employment, race stigmatization, and drug abuse culture.

Street culture evolution to the ‘code of the street’ as described by Lisa (2013) has created some aggressions among young people that have amounted to a set of informal regulations governing interpersonal, public conduct and behavior, such as violence. The components of these rules regulate the use of violence in a proper way thereby inclining aggressions towards some approved way of the street oriented behaviors. Based on the common understanding, making it big and street success encompasses all components of hustling, making the successful ones very respected. Making sense of the code, the code is normally defensive, which is practically operational in public. In this case, therefore, even though those who are not used to the code complain, the values of the code normally trickle down to them.

The ultimate orientation in the street is the issue of respect that one deserves. Respect is viewed in a different manner, in the street, but it depends on some external entities which are hard-won or may be easily lost, thus it must be well guarded. This brings the point of what an individual possess in terms of money, car, clothing, friends, among others, which brings about respect. Notably, many people among the decent street residents are always on the watch and fear of physical danger. It has become a reality in the streets, in the mainstream societies as many people are losing faith in the police and the judicial systems (Lisa, 2013). The cultural dynamism has at last become so adaptive to these forms of violence and aggressions, especially among the black society, making many people take the necessary security measures.

Age is a social process and is an outcome of an ongoing interactive work of an individual. According to Laz’s ‘Act you age’, the general focus is that age should be looked beyond years, i.e. expecting an individual to get older with time. However, this era is looking at age in broader societal aspects that affect people in life. The accomplishment of age according to Laz (2009) is when it becomes a status. In this way, an individual has to behave and be acting in manners and ways that show how old he or she is. This work of societal approval by Laz directly provide clear evidence that people in different sorts of situations should shape their behaviors in order to win the respect of others.

According to Kluckhohn, culture is a design of living and it can actually be proven to be different from biological influences on individual behaviors (Lisa, 2013). Through his research, Kluckhohn clearly understands that culture affect biological processes and it is learned rather than transmitted in genetic forms. Kluckhohn affirms that culture is the product of human nature and therefore the study of other cultures allows us to understand our own culture in a better way than we originally perceive it. This research makes it clear that the first point of earning the societal respect and respect from other people begins by learning their culture.

The prospect of survival, aggression, and violence in the streets depends on the strength, skills, and the natural strength that an individual has. In this context, the female often become the cheaper prey of the male counterparts as described by Gracian (2010). In his research, Gracian found out that there is a collective nature of gender performance, sexual pursuit, and activities that are normally associated with an individual rather than a group. The research demonstrates how young men use some of their collective masculine strategies surrounding a girl hunt, each designed to reinforce some forms of masculine behavior, boost performances of masculinity, and heterosexual power in heterosexual societies. In such areas, they argue that masculinity and power bring respect, and people need respect in order to survive in the urban streets, as stipulated by the street code (Lisa, 2013). In general, these sum to the overall outlook of the fact that people behave in different situations, in the name of shaping their behaviors to win the respect of others.


Anderson, E., & Academic Internet Publishers, Inc. (2007). Cram 101 textbook outlines to accompany: Code of the street ; Anderson, 1st edition. S.l.: Academic Internet publishers.

Lisa,M. (2013). Practical Skeptic: Readings in Sociology. McGraw-Hill Companies, Washington State University

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