The story of the young sociologist who studied a Chicago crack-dealing gang from the inside captured the world's attention when it was first described in Freakonomics. This is the full story of how Venkatesh managed to gain entrée into the gang, what he learned, and how his method revolutionized the academic establishment. When first-year grad student Venkatesh walked into one of Chicago's most notorious housing projects, he was looking for people to take a survey on urban poverty. He never imagined that he would befriend a gang leader and spend the better part of a decade inside the projects under his protection. He got to know the neighborhood dealers, crackheads, squatters, prostitutes, pimps, activists, cops, organizers, and officials. From his position of unprecedented access, he observed the gang as they operated their crack-selling business and rose or fell within the ranks of the gang's complex organizational structure.--From publisher description.… (more)
wandering_star: Both authors have spent a long time with a community of the very poor and have produced sympathetic and very insightful books about how the "underclass" see, and manage their interactions with, the rest of society.
jcbrunner: Both Marie Jahoda and Sudhir Venkatesh went into the field to observe their subjects. Jahoda studied Austrian unemployed workers during the Great Depression, Venkatesh black kids in a Chicago ghetto, offering new perspectives into strange worlds.