In Search of Respect Chapter 3 Handout

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                                                                                                                                  King, Lee, Preda

Authority and Exercise of Power: Systems of Stratification

The Game Room

  • The Game Room, a crackhouse owned by Ray, was left to the management of Primo
  • Primo was granted power to hire and employ his own lookout and workers
  • Lookouts like Benzie and Caesar however let their status as crack dealers to empower themselves
  • Benzie would insult his customers and mock their crack-addiction (84)
  • Both Primo and Benzie, ironically, were able to “kick” their crack habits(89)
  • Their status as crack dealers forced them to  decrease the amount of crack intake in order to sell their products instead of using them

Social Organization of Space

  • Ray expands and creates a crack joint at the Social Club, targeting high class customers and “hardcore intravenous cocaine users” (99)
  • The Social Club was renovated and had a “pool table, a powerful sound system, a flush toilet that worked some of the time, an air conditioner, and a heater” while the Game Room was “fucked up” (93)
  • This differentiated the Social Club with the Game Room

Kinship: Alliance

Alliance, cohesion – to ensure the loyalty of his workers, Ray mainly hired blood-related kin, people affiliated through marriage or who had established a fictive kinship. (82)

  • By hiring blood-related kin, Ray was able to build strong relationships and connections
  • Ray asked Primo to be his son’s godfather (82)
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  • Established a compadre relationships
  • A relationship deeper than the boss-worker relationship
  • Growing up with Ray, Gato was spared further injuries from stealing from Ray’s Game Room
  • “That he was still alive with no broken bones was a testimony to his childhood friendship with Ray” (105)

Division of Labour and Specialization

Employees are divided into roles according to their area of expertise


  • Obtained rights of the Game Room for $3000
  • Ray was a “brilliant labor relations manager” (82) – over the years he would “systematically extract higher and higher ...

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