The Con Men

Hustling in New York City

Author: Terry Williams,Trevor B. Milton

Publisher: Columbia University Press

ISBN: 0231540493

Category: Social Science

Page: 256

View: 4519

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This vivid account of hustling in New York City explores the sociological reasons why con artists play their game and the psychological tricks they use to win it. Terry Williams and Trevor B. Milton, two prominent sociologists and ethnographers, spent years with New York con artists to uncover their secrets. The result is an unprecedented view into how con games operate, whether in back alleys and side streets or in police precincts and Wall Street boiler rooms. Whether it's selling bootleg goods, playing the numbers, squatting rent-free, scamming tourists with bogus stories, selling knockoffs on Canal Street, or crafting Ponzi schemes, con artists use verbal persuasion, physical misdirection, and sheer charm to convince others to do what they want. Williams and Milton examine this act of performance art and find meaning in its methods to exact bounty from unsuspecting tourists and ordinary New Yorkers alike. Through their sophisticated exploration of the personal experiences and influences that create a successful hustler, they build a portrait of unusual emotional and psychological depth. Their work also offers a new take on structure and opportunity, showing how the city's unique urban and social architecture lends itself to the perfect con.
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Down and Out in New Orleans

Transgressive Living in the Informal Economy

Author: Peter J. Marina

Publisher: Columbia University Press

ISBN: 0231545193

Category: Social Science

Page: 310

View: 9295

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In the years since Hurricane Katrina, the modern-day bohemians of New Orleans have found themselves forced to the edges of poverty by the new tourist economy. Modeling his work after George Orwell’s Down and Out in Paris and London, the sociologist and ethnographer Peter J. Marina explores this unfamiliar side of the gentrifying “new” New Orleans. In 1920s Paris, Orwell witnessed an influx of locals and outsiders seeking authenticity while struggling to live with bourgeois society. Marina finds a similar ambivalence in New Orleans: a tourism-dependent city whose commerce caters largely to well-heeled natives and upper-class travelers, where many creative locals and wanderers have remained outsiders, willingly or otherwise. Marina does not merely interview these spirited urban misfits—he lives among them. Down and Out in New Orleans follows their journeys, depicting the lives of those on the social fringes of a resilient city. Marina finds work as a bartender, street mime, and poet. Along the way, he visits homeless shelters, squats in abandoned buildings, attends rituals in cemeteries, and befriends writers, musicians, occultists, and artists as they look for creative solutions to the contradictory demands of late capitalism. Marina does for New Orleans what Orwell did for Paris a century earlier, providing a rigorous, unrelenting, and original glimpse into the subcultures of a city in rapid change.
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Immigration Policy in the Age of Punishment

Detention, Deportation, and Border Control

Author: Philip Kretsedemas,David C. Brotherton

Publisher: Columbia University Press

ISBN: 0231545894

Category: Social Science

Page: N.A

View: 7182

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The events of 2016 catapulted immigration policy to the forefront of public debate, and Donald Trump’s administration has signaled a harsh turn in enforcement. Yet the deportation, detention, and border-control policies that North American and European countries have embraced are by no means new. In this book, sociologists David C. Brotherton and Philip Kretsedemas bring together an interdisciplinary group of contributors to reconsider the immigration policies of the Obama era and beyond in terms of a decades-long “age of punishment.” Immigration Policy in the Age of Punishmenttakes a critical, interdisciplinary, and transnational look at current issues surrounding immigration in the U.S. and abroad. It examines key features of this age of punishment, connecting neoliberal governance, global labor markets, and the national obsession with securing borders to explain critical research and theory on immigration enforcement. Contributors document the continuities between presidential administrations and across countries from many perspectives, with chapters discussing Canada, Australia, France, the UK, the Dominican Republic, and Mexico in addition to the U.S. They offer macro-level analyses of deportations and border enforcement, analyses of national policy and jurisprudence, and ethnographic accounts of the daily life experience of the prison-to-deportation pipeline, the making of deportability, and post-deportation transitions for noncitizens. This book highlights new directions in critical immigration policy and enforcement and deportation studies with the aim of problematizing the age of punishment that currently reigns over borders and those who seek to cross them.
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The Gang Paradox

Inequalities and Miracles on the U.S.-Mexico Border

Author: Robert J. Durán

Publisher: Columbia University Press

ISBN: 0231543433

Category: Social Science

Page: 299

View: 6016

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The areas along the U.S.-Mexico border are commonly portrayed as a hot spot for gang activity, drug trafficking, and violence. Yet when Robert J. Durán conducted almost a decade’s worth of ethnographic research in border towns between El Paso, Texas, and southern New Mexico—a region notorious for gang activity, according to federal officials—he found significantly less gang membership and activity than common fearmongering claims would have us believe. Instead, he witnessed how the gang label was used to criminalize youth of Mexican descent—to justify the overrepresentation of Latinos in the justice system, the implementation of punitive practices in the school system, and the request for additional resources by law enforcement. In The Gang Paradox, Durán analyzes the impact of deportation, incarceration, and racialized perceptions of criminality on Latino families and youth along the border. He draws on ethnography, archival research, official data sources, and interviews with practitioners and community members to present a compelling portrait of Latino residents’ struggles amid deep structural disadvantages. Durán, himself a former gang member, offers keen insights into youth experience with schools, juvenile probation, and law enforcement. The Gang Paradox is a powerful community study that sheds new light on intertwined criminalization and racialization, with policy relevance toward issues of gangs, juvenile delinquency, and the lack of resources in border regions.
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The Age of Lone Wolf Terrorism

Author: Mark S. Hamm,Ramón Spaaij

Publisher: Columbia University Press

ISBN: 0231543778

Category: Political Science

Page: 304

View: 3409

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The lethality of lone-wolf terrorism has reached an all-time high in the United States. Isolated individuals using firearms with high-capacity magazines are committing brutally efficient killings with the aim of terrorizing others, yet there is little consensus on what connects these crimes and the motivations behind them. In The Age of Lone Wolf Terrorism, terrorism experts Mark S. Hamm and Ramón Spaaij combine criminological theory with empirical and ethnographic research to map the pathways of lone-wolf radicalization, helping with the identification of suspected behaviors and recognizing patterns of indoctrination. Reviewing comprehensive data on these actors, including more than two hundred terrorist incidents, Hamm and Spaaij find that a combination of personal and political grievances lead lone wolves to befriend online sympathizers—whether jihadists, white supremacists, or other antigovernment extremists—and then announce their intent to commit terror when triggered. Hamm and Spaaij carefully distinguish between lone wolves and individuals radicalized within a group dynamic. This important difference is what makes this book such a significant manual for professionals seeking richer insight into the transformation of alienated individuals into armed warriors. Hamm and Spaaij conclude with an analysis of recent FBI sting operations designed to prevent lone-wolf terrorism in the United States, describing who gets targeted, strategies for luring suspects, and the ethics of arresting and prosecuting citizens.
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