This paper is based on interviews with thirty-eight young adults about their experiences from ages 13-24 in a low-income neighborhood of Oakland, California. In the year 2000, the population of the neighborhood was approximately one-third Asian American, one-third Latino, 20% African American and 20% white. Over half the population was foreign-born. The young adults who have succeeded academically and obtained jobs maintain friendships with peers of different ethnic backgrounds and also with those who have varying life experiences (for example those who are in a gang, those who are pursuing higher education, and so forth). For these young people, “delinquent peers” help them move through their neighborhood safely and help them feel anchored to their community even when they seem poised to leave it by attending college. Growing up in a site of global capital accumulation and disinvestment in the era of neoliberalism, they challenge us to re-examine risk.
Source: ISSC Project Reports and Working Papers, Institute for the Study of Social Change, UC Berkeley [via eScholarship Repository]
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