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Inner City Violence Article Critique

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It rules out the popularly held belief that girls, owing to their gender, do not get involved in incidents of violence in the inner cities. Most of the ethnographic literature written hitherto on the concept of inner city violence has focussed mainly, if not only, on the experiences of distressed men and boys in inner city neighbourhoods. But the fact is that girls are not simply exempted of such treatment owing to their gender. Jones’ article attempts to reveal the impact of the interplay of “reputation, respect and retaliation” on the poor, urban girls and women (Jones, 2008, p.63). It also aims at exploring the role of gender in shaping up the experiences of urban and ethnically marginalised girls with inner city violence. It thus helps in establishing the complicated though much-needed relationship between gender and violence in the urban US.
The author establishes her view on the basis of her analysis of interviews with several adolescents who had been involved in inner city violence. All the respondents approached in this study belonged to the age group 12 to 24 years. They were all African-Americans who were enrolled in a city-hospital-based intervention for checking violence in the city. These individuals who had voluntarily enrolled for this violence intervention program had been involved in recent activities of racial violence and ran the risk of getting involved in similar incidents in their near future. The author’s fieldwork for this study extended over a period of three years (2001-03) and in three distinct phases. The first phase of research was characterised by a discussion with the intervention counsellors who had the first-hand experience of interacting with the teenagers. It was complemented by a participant observation of the teenaged youth who were enrolled in the program and interviews with their peers, family and relatives. This was followed by the second phase in which 24