Fighting like a ballplayer: Basketball as a strategy against social disorganization

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Scopus citations


Many inner-city black neighborhoods in South Philadelphia are variations of the 'hood-places with high rates of poverty, violence, singleheaded households, drug dealing, and premature death. Here and in similar urban American neighborhoods, people are indirectly monitored and supervised through physical boundaries, fraternal and compound policing,1 and limited access to mainstream social services. These conditions are symptomatic of social disorganization. Children are raised under tenuous conditions where relationships and trust are strained early on and adult efforts must be combined. Parents and guardians seek to keep young males from the street, hoping that they will resist the allure of the corner-both a metaphor for street culture and a real place in the poorest communities- and avoid the inevitable violence, incarceration, or death that is associated with the street. In South Philadelphia, basketball is used to combat social disorganization and give young men some tools to counter the draw of the corner.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAgainst the Wall
Subtitle of host publicationPoor, Young, Black, and Male
PublisherUniversity of Pennsylvania Press
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9780812206951
ISBN (Print)9780812220179
StatePublished - Jan 1 2012
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)


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