For those of you who've read Freakonomics, you'll remember Sudhir Venkatesh. He's the sociology graduate student who accidentally runs into a drug gang. This evolves into a fascinating account of how drug gangs are organized like modern corporations with a few successful people at the top and a lot of poorly paid employees at the bottom.
Venkatesh is now a Professor of Sociology at Columbia where he continues his research on "...ethnographic investigation of urban neighborhoods in the United States". Recently, he's been a guest blogger on the Freakonomics blog where he is writing about watching HBO's The Wire with a collection of New York City "street figures" (aka thugs)! In his first post he explains:
Last year, I learned a lot by watching a few episodes of The Wire with gang leaders in Chicago. So, a few weeks ago, I called a few respected street figures in the New York metro region to watch the upcoming fifth season. I couldn’t think of a better way to ensure quality control.
He then proceeds to describe what happened as they watched the first episode of the current season. His second post is focused on:
What price, a cop? I posed this question to several self-described “thugs” after the airing of the second episode of The Wire, season five.
Not surprisingly, it makes for fascinating reading.