Code Of The Suburb: Inside The World Of Young Middle-class Drug Dealers

Paperback | May 8, 2015

byScott Jacques, Richard Wright

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When we think about young people dealing drugs, we tend to picture it happening on urban streets, in disadvantaged, crime-ridden neighborhoods. But drugs are used everywhere—even in upscale suburbs and top-tier high schools—and teenage users in the suburbs tend to buy drugs from their peers, dealers who have their own culture and code, distinct from their urban counterparts.
 
In Code of the Suburb, Scott Jacques and Richard Wright offer a fascinating ethnography of the culture of suburban drug dealers. Drawing on fieldwork among teens in a wealthy suburb of Atlanta, they carefully parse the complicated code that governs relationships among buyers, sellers, police, and other suburbanites. That code differs from the one followed by urban drug dealers in one crucial respect: whereas urban drug dealers see violent vengeance as crucial to status and security, the opposite is true for their suburban counterparts. As Jacques and Wright show, suburban drug dealers accord status to deliberate avoidance of conflict, which helps keep their drug markets more peaceful—and, consequently, less likely to be noticed by law enforcement.
 
Offering new insight into both the little-studied area of suburban drug dealing, and, by extension, the more familiar urban variety, Code of the Suburb will be of interest to scholars and policy makers alike.

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When we think about young people dealing drugs, we tend to picture it happening on urban streets, in disadvantaged, crime-ridden neighborhoods. But drugs are used everywhere—even in upscale suburbs and top-tier high schools—and teenage users in the suburbs tend to buy drugs from their peers, dealers who have their own culture and code,...

Scott Jacques is assistant professor of criminal justice and criminology in the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies at Georgia State University. Richard Wright is professor of criminal justice and criminology in the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies at Georgia State University.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:208 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.6 inPublished:May 8, 2015Publisher:University Of Chicago PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:022616411X

ISBN - 13:9780226164113

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Extra Content

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction Studying Suburban Drug Dealers

1 The Pursuit of Coolness
2 Securing a Supply
3 Selling to Customers
4 Police and Parents
5 Victimization
6 Hitting Back?
7 The Triumph of Conventionality

Conclusion The Bigger Picture
Notes
References
Index

Editorial Reviews

“Jacques and Wright succeed at providing an intriguing description of an understudied population of drug dealers without resorting to embellishment or exaggeration. Their straightforward account of ‘suburban coolness’ is enriched with a theoretically informed comparative analysis drawing attention to differences between urban and suburban drug dealing and deftly exposing micro- and macro-level structural inequalities. The valuable contribution this book offers to social scientists and students interested in drugs and crime is apparent in the last chapter, but the first seven chapters provide the unique insights into middle-class drug dealing that make this contribution significant. . . . Few books offer insight on drug dealing in middle-class suburban environments. Code of the Suburb provides the contrast needed for a more in-depth understanding of the structural, social, and cultural distinctions between ‘the pursuit of coolness’ and ‘in search of respect.’”