so, i recently updated my okcupid profile to read “other” as the answer to every question and to include the statement “fuck this, strangers-i’m out.” but this book was a (slightly dragging) suggestion from someone that i exchanged a few messages with early on. in honour of the beauty that lies within the connections of every community, i got to confess my guilt at my account being in such arrears to my head librarian as she rolled through my lineup on her day off, chatting to a woman that just moved into the neighborhood that had just met her at the gym.
i’m usually suspicious of folks performing modern-day ethnographic studies, but i suppose i should just relax, not everybody charges in looking for heads to measure.
“I had no illusion that I could transform this community into a stable, crime-free area. Yet no matter how I use my sociological tools to undermine stereotypes, craft better public policies, and so on, I was still complicit in helping to perpetuate these conditions.” (xvii)
but some do. this is how you write an in/outsider preface to your study. bigups.
“The three women often remark on how different they are. Bird, for example, earns her living as a prostitute, plying her trade along Marquis Park’s main thoroughfare as well as on busy downtown streets. Eunice works in the formal economy, cleaning offices at minimum wage, and supplements her income by selling homemade soul food to the local lunchtime crowd. Marlene has various off-the-books jobs in the service sector; she earns most her underground money as a $9 per hour nanny for a white family in the neighboring upper-class university district. When it comes to religion, Eunice believes that ‘Jesus is the answer, it doesn’t matter what the question is.’ Bird, having slept with ‘most of the preachers in the community,’ feels the church is no longer a place where one can find salvation.” (22)
“Bird, a ten-year veteran, has worked only for her pimp-whose father pimped Bird’s mother. Their johns, however, change often.” (29)
legacy’s labour’s lost and found.