"Nikki Jones's sharp, detailed investigation of the way fighting, on the street and in school, shapes the lives of young African American women combines shrewd analytical insight and clear evocative language to give readers an understanding of what it costs a 'good girl' to stay good, and what happens to those who 'go for bad.'" -Howard S. Becker, author of Outsiders and Writing for Social Scientists
"This book adds invaluable information and analysis to the growing debate on the violence perpetrated by girls, and the ethnographic method is exactly what is needed to further the question of whether today's girls-particularly those most marginalized due to class, race, and neighborhood-are more violent." -Joanne Belknap, author of The Invisible Woman: Gender, Crime & Justice
With an outward gaze focused on a better future, Between Good and Ghetto reflects the social world of inner-city African American girls and how they manage threats of personal violence.
Nikki Jones gives readers a richly descriptive and compassionate account of how African American girls negotiate schools and neighborhoods governed by the "code of the street"-the form of street justice that regulates violence in distressed urban areas. She reveals the multiple strategies girls use to navigate interpersonal and gender-specific violence and how they reconcile the gendered dilemmas of their adolescence. Illuminating struggles for survival within this group, Between Good and Ghetto encourages others to move African American girls toward the center of discussions of "the crisis" in poor, urban neighborhoods.
Nikki Jones is an assistant professor in the department of sociology at the University of California, Santa Barbara.
A volume in the Rutgers Series in Childhood Studies, edited by Myra Bluebond-Langner, Distinguished Professor of Anthropology, Rutgers University