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Street women and their verbal transactions : some aspects of the oral culture of female prostitute drug… Layton, Monique Jacqueline Berthe 1978

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STREET WOMEN AND THEIR VERBAL TRANSACTIONS Some A s p e c t s o f t h e O r a l C u l t u r e of Female P r o s t i t u t e Drug A d d i c t s by MONIQUE JACQUELINE BERTHE LAYTON B.A., U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h C o l u m b i a , 1969 M.A., U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h C o l u m b i a , 1970 M.A., U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h C o l u m b i a , 1972  A THESIS SUBMITTED I N PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY  in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES (Department  of Anthropology  & Sociology)  We a c c e p t t h i s t h e s i s a s c o n f o r m i n g to the required standard  THE UNIVERSITY OF B R I T I S H COLUMBIA May 19 7 8  Co}  Monique Jacqueline Berthe Layton, 1978  In  presenting  an  advanced  the  Library  I  further  for  degree shall  agree  scholarly  by  his  of  this  written  thesis  in  at  University  make  that  it  thesis  for  partial  freely  permission  purposes  may It  fulfilment  of  of  Columbia,  British  available for  by  the  is understood gain  for  extensive  be g r a n t e d  financial  shall  not  of  University  Anthropology & Sociology of  British  Columbia  the  Head  be  requirements  reference copying  that  permission.  2075 Wesbrook P l a c e V a n c o u v e r , Canada V6T 1W5  Date  the  representatives.  Department  The  this  of  agree  and  of my  I  this  or  allowed  without  that  study. thesis  Department  copying  for  or  publication my  i  ABSTRACT This  study attempts t o describe,  through the combination of  an i n t e r a c t i o n a l f r a m e w o r k , an e t h n o g r a p h i c s e m a n t i c a p p r o a c h a n d an a n a l y s i s o f t h e f o l k l o r e , t h e o r a l c u l t u r e o f f e m a l e t u t e drug a d d i c t s they appear  prosti-  and t h e f o r m s o f v e r b a l e x c h a n g e t h r o u g h  to exercise  which  some c o n t r o l o v e r t h e i r s o c i o - e c o n o m i c  environment. The v e r b a l  transactions  s t r e e t , but always  involve  examined t a k e p l a c e  on and o f f t h e  " s t r e e t " p a r t i c i p a n t s : p e o p l e whose  b u s i n e s s i s on t h e s t r e e t , w h e r e t h e y c a s u a l l y meet f r i e n d s a n d f o e s , where t h e y make t h e i n i t i a l c o n t a c t s lead to further transactions,  and where t h e y r e p o r t  e x c i t e m e n t and a pace o f l i f e t h e y e n j o y . actions  are described  and c o n t r a c t s  as " b u l l s h i t t i n g " :  which  f i n d i n g an  Many o f t h e s e  trans-  the f l e x i b i l i t y of  meaning o f t h i s term e n a b l e s us t o use i t t o i n d i c a t e a v a r i e t y of v e r b a l  exchanges  among s t r e e t p e o p l e o n t h e one h a n d , a n d  b e t w e e n s t r e e t p e o p l e a n d " s q u a r e J o h n s " on t h e o t h e r . In the f i r s t  instance,  t a l k , anecdotes, gossip, manipulative  exercises  socialization.  i t covers amicable greetings,  small  j o k e s , w a r n i n g s : d i d a c t i c n a r r a t i v e s and  whose f u n c t i o n  i s t o a l a r g e e x t e n t one o f  They s e r v e a s a s t e r n d e s c r i p t i o n o f t h e r u l e s o f  b e h a v i o u r among members o f t h e s t r e e t g r o u p i n t e g r a t i n g newcomers t o t h e s u b c u l t u r e  a n d a s means o f  o f t h e s t r e e t by  describing "street"  the  contrasting  culture  s e r v e m o s t l y as The taking  members. an  characteristics In the  p l a c e between p r o s t i t u t e s  mants are  transaction and  c o n s i d e r e d as  i n f o r m a n t s , they are  street  further  examined i s the  t h e i r c u s t o m e r s , and  drug a d d i c t s i n v o l v e d  in  transactions.  involved  The  infor-  rion-  As  incarcerated  in "interview  transactions" and  participants. informants' p e r c e p t i o n of  the  worldviews, t h e i r l i f e s t y l e s  and  attributes,  creation  g i v e r i s e to the  of  principles  and  straight  r e g u l a t e the  p a t t e r n of  two  groups'  contrasting  opposite characteristics  stereotypes which r e i n f o r c e  V e r b a l t r a n s a c t i o n s r e f l e c t the  of  and  e n d o - and inclusion street  on  survival  a profitable rests  on  interaction  and  a cohesive interaction  exclusion  interaction.  informants'  with outsiders,  and  exo-  understanding  t h e i r s o c i o - e c o n o m i c e n v i r o n m e n t , where economic  rests  one  the  f i r m l y d e f i n e d c u l t u r a l b o u n d a r i e s between s t r a i g h t  The  of  acts  exploitation.  d e v e l o p e d t o cope w i t h p r o b l e m a t i c c a s e s . also  and  second i n s t a n c e , speech  p r o s t i t u t i o n a l though e x p l o i t a t i v e  b a s e d on  "straight"  i n s t r u m e n t o f m a n i p u l a t i o n and  most d e v e l o p e d t y p e of  strategies  of  and  survival social  among t h e m s e l v e s .  i i i  TABLE  OF  CONTENTS  Page CHAPTER ONE A FRAME OF REFERENCE: LITERATURE AND THEORY  1  Literature  2  and E t h n o s e m a n t i c  Approaches  Folklore  8  Ernies a n d S t e r e o t y p e s  13-  C u l t u r a l Boundaries  17  The S e t t i n g  .  Summary  21 .  25  CHAPTER TWO F I E L D WORK AND THE INTERVIEW SITUATION  27  P a s t and P r e s e n t F i e l d w o r k  27  The I n f o r m a n t s  33  The P o p u l a t i o n The I n d i v i d u a l  34 Informants  Pseudonyms  39 44  The I n t e r v i e w T r a n s a c t i o n  47  Boundaries  53  The D a t a  61  CHAPTER THREE STREET TALK:. RAPPING, CONNING AND BULLSHITTING  68  "Reading"  and Conning  69  Stylistic  Devices  78  Manners o f Speech  85  Swearing  92  Joking  94  A r g o t and Competence  97  t h e Mark  iv  Page CHAPTER FOUR NATURE AND FUNCTION OF BULLSHITTING  107  The N a t u r e o f B u l l s h i t t i n g  108  The  Function of B u l l s h i t t i n g  110  The  Didactics of Street Talk  116  CHAPTER  FIVE  CONTRASTING CHARACTERISTICS OF STREET AND STRAIGHT PEOPLE Square J o h n s , Rounders Contrasting  130 and t h e J a i l  Experience  Lifestyles  130 137  V a l u e s and A t t i t u d e s  140  A d d i c t s , N o n - A d d i c t s a n d Time O r i e n t a t i o n  146  S t r e e t and S t r a i g h t V i l l a i n s  150  The  Rip Off  150  The  Rat  152  The E a s t I n d i a n  154  The N a r c  157  F o r m a l and S u b t e r r a n e a n V a l u e s  159  CHAPTER S I X JUNKIE-PROSTITUTES, T R I C K S , MARKS : DEFINITIONS AND TRANSACTIONS  160  The  Prostitute  163  The  Trick  17 3  Transactions  178  The Mark  190  CHAPTER SEVEN "FAILURE" AND "SUCCESS" ON THE STREET  19 8  V  Page  CHAPTER EIGHT  .  •  VERBAL S K I L L S , MANAGEMENT AND CULTURAL CONTEXT  205  The S t r a i g h t - S t r e e t  207  Opposition  The M a l e - F e m a l e O p p o s i t i o n  208  Summary  212  »  BIBLIOGRAPHY  214  APPENDIX A VOCABULARY SELECTION  230  APPENDIX B TAXONOMY : I - S t r e e t / S t r a i g h t II - Prostitution I I I - Drugs  .'  234 235 236  APPENDIX C BASIC GLOSSARY  237  APPENDIX D A SAMPLE OF STORIES  240  APPENDIX E MAPS : I - The Uptown A r e a I I - The Downtown A r e a  258 259  APPENDIX F A; MARK'S STORY  260  vi  ACKNOWLEDGEMENT  My t o t a l g r a t i t u d e i s due t o E l v i W h i t t a k e r f o r h e r g u i d a n c e a n d h e r c o n s t a n t g o o d humour. I n s t r e e t p a r l a n c e , she i s " s o l i d " a n d s h e i s "good p e o p l e . " I a l s o owe E l l i Kongas M a r a n d a a n d P i e r r e M a r a n d a a l a s t i n g d e b t , h a v i n g found i n s p i r a t i o n i n t h e i r work and s u p p o r t i n t h e i r f r i e n d s h i p . I am d e e p l y g r a t e f u l t o a l l t h r e e f o r t h e i r p a s t and p r e s e n t encouragement. My t h a n k s a r e due t o M a r t i n M e i s s n e r f o r h i s c o n s t r u c t i v e c r i t i c i s m a n d t o M i c h a e l Kew, K e n n e t h S t o d d a r t a n d E l a i n e Stolar.. f o r t h e i r u s e f u l suggestions. I am a l s o g r a t e f u l t o t h e s t a f f o f t h e Lower M a i n l a n d R e g i o n a l C o r r e c t i o n a l C e n t r e , i n p a r t i c u l a r t o D. E d g a r , R. L i v i n g s t o n e , M. S t r o c e l a n d A. LaFlamme, a s w e l l a s t o Hilary C a r d a r e l l i f o r her professional assistance. F i n a l l y , I want t o thank t h e Canada C o u n c i l f o r i t s f i n a n c i a l a s s i s t a n c e d u r i n g t h e 1976-77 a c a d e m i c y e a r . For o b v i o u s and d i f f e r e n t r e a s o n s , t h e p e o p l e t h e m o s t a r e my i n f o r m a n t s a n d my f a m i l y .  I owe  CHAPTER ONE A FRAME OF REFERENCE: LITERATURE AND THEORY P r o s t i t u t e s c l a i m t o have d e v e l o p e d a q u i c k men a s p o t e n t i a l c u s t o m e r s a n d t h e a b i l i t y t i t u t e s who s o l i c i t  i n public places  seek o n l y q u i c k shortchanging  t o manage them.  a n d who a r e a l s o  addicts explain that t h e i r twice vulnerable to the law increases  appreciation of  drug  position with  t h e i r need f o r e f f e c t i v e n e s s .  Pros-  regard  They c l a i m t o  f i n a n c i a l r e w a r d s a n d t o f e e l no c o m p u n c t i o n i n  t h o s e t h e y b e l i e v e t o be o u t t o e x p l o i t them.  Moreover, t h e s o c i a l and l e g a l v u l n e r a b i l i t y which r e s u l t s from t h e i r v i s i b l e  and i l l e g i t i m a t e a c t i v i t i e s  acceptance i n t o a supportive and  leads  m i l i e u where t h e y f i n d  them t o s e e k understanding  solidarity.  C o n v e r s e l y , t h e y a p p e a r t o p u t s t r e s s on b e i n g  self-sufficient  a n d k n o w l e d g e a b l e e n o u g h n o t t o be " r i p p e d o f f "  by  other  street addicts.  behaviour which w i l l  They m u s t l e a r n q u i c k l y t h e r u l e s o f  e n a b l e them t o c o p e w i t h a n a m b i v a l e n t  m i l i e u and t h r o u g h w h i c h they w i l l  e a r n and r e t a i n a c c e p t a n c e  into the subculture. This  d i s s e r t a t i o n describes  two t y p e s o f v e r b a l  trans-  a c t i o n s p r a c t i s e d b y f e m a l e p r o s t i t u t e s a n d d r u g a d d i c t s on t h e s t r e e t : t h o s e a i m e d a t o u t s i d e r s a s means o f w h a t t h e y as the  "conning", and those t h a t s e r v e t o s o c i a l i z e use o f d i d a c t i c g o s s i p .  describe  i n s i d e r s through  Both forms a r e l o o s e l y d e s c r i b e d  by  2  the  informants  with  which  as  they  "bullshitting", appear  to  a  support  technique deceptive  of  verbal  and  exchange  cohesive  trans-  actions. An must  understanding  rest  study  on  an  attempts  struct  their  it.  thus  described  to  describe  in  terms  tural  values  LITERATURE  of  and t h a t  to  of  living  growing  and the  would  view  logical  not  street  adopted  relevant  here.  If  to  and a n t h r o p o l o g i c a l  consider  we  the  perhaps  find topic (James  that in  -  drug  we  and  this con-  interact  dissertation  their  are  subculture  their  system  of  and  cul-  society.  to  all  look  the  has  type  terms  of  1972a:8).  Benjamin and M a s t e r s '  very  of  -  of  of  fic-  sociological the  woman  considering  lifestyle  been  the  literature until  topic  addiction  at  titles  without  to  what the  the  historical,  the  even  related  of  of  and  perceive  this  between  legal,  devoted  works  values,  APPROACHES  medical,  the  in  world view  larger  performances  a n d how t h e y  studied  bibliography of  problems  be  rehabilitation: are  the  works  of  informants  conflict  M o r e o v e r , much o f  prostitution, to  on  list  compile.  ject  the  psychological,  her  the  verbal  cultural  environment  AND E T H N O S E M A N T I C  anthropological  addicts  their  how t h e  of  of  A comprehensive  fast  of  The a d d i c t - p r o s t i t u t e s  understanding  makes  informants'  understanding  their  and  the  socio-economic  with  tional,  of  would  of  analysis  difficult on  and  the the  psychological,  related recently  "morality, Of t h e s e  to the  the  drug  be  written  Prostitution  and  subpoint  socio-  prostitutes trend  has  maladjustment,  works,  who  the  best  Morality  and been  and known  3  (1964) w h i c h d e v e l o p s a s i t i s now Prostitute  t h e theme o f t h e f a i l u r e o f  attempted; (1965);  and  Maryse Choisy's  rehabilitation  P s y c h o a n a l y s i s of  H a r o l d G r e e n w a l d ' s The  Elegant  the  Prostitute  (1970), a p s y c h i a t r i c approach t o the study o f c a l l - g i r l s . o f t h e s e w o r k s f o c u s on t h e v i e w s o f t h e contemplates  what i t u n d e r s t a n d s  Most  l a r g e r s o c i e t y as i t  t o be t h e w o r l d o f t h e  prosti-  tute . In sonality  c o n t r a s t t o those works devoted s t r u c t u r e or t o the  deemed t o be lifestyle, female  s t u d i e s c o n c e n t r a t e on  o c c u p a t i o n and  b r i e f l y attempts  by w h a t i s  t h e women's ( s i n c e o n l y perspective  of the environment i n which they operate.  Professional Prostitute"  and Hirschi s 1  (1962) e x a m i n e s p r o s t i t u t i o n a s t o g i v e an  i n s i g h t i n t o the  t i t i o n e r 's o c c u p a t i o n a l i d e o l o g y ; J a c k m a n , 0 ' T o o l e and  Geis  (1968) a r e c o n c e r n e d  and  with the p r o s t i t u t e ' s self-image,  V e l a r d e , i n " B e c o m i n g P r o s t i t u t e d " , w i t h t h e way p r o s t i t u t e forms her sertation  self-identity;  finally,  (1972a) o f f e r s an e t h n o s e m a n t i c  of s t r e e t w a l k e r s .  The  per-  physically detrimental  p r o s t i t u t e s a r e c o n s i d e r e d h e r e ) own  understanding "The  s o c i a l problems presented  a m o r a l l y r e p r e h e n s i b l e and  a few  to the p r o s t i t u t e s '  an  prac-  a masseuse-  James' d o c t o r a l d i s -  approach to the  l a t t e r w o r k , w i t h i t s t a x o n o m i c and  study compo-  n e n t i a l a n a l y s i s of the domains of the s t r e e t w a l k e r s ' a r g o t , i s to  my  knowledge - the  e x c l u s i v e l y on t h e s e  f i r s t study of i t s k i n d t o  concentrate  informants' p e r c e p t i o n of t h e i r  environment.  1  ^ c h u t z ' d e f i n i t i o n f o r "environment" i s used: t h a t p a r t of t h e e x t e r n a l w o r l d t h a t c a n be d i r e c t l y a p p r e h e n d e d . "This would i n c l u d e not o n l y the p h y s i c a l but a l s o the s o c i a l environment w i t h a l l of i t s n a t u r a l a r t i f a c t s , language, e t c . " (1967:170).  4  S t u d i e s on d r u g a d d i c t s and d r u g a d d i c t i o n f o l l o w a lel of  paral-  l i n e , a l t h o u g h i n t h i s case the s o c i a l problems p e r c e i v e d are a more r e c e n t n a t u r e .  Agar,  i n c o n t r a s t w i t h p r e v i o u s works  d e a l i n g m a i n l y w i t h the problem  o f t h e s o c i a l and p s y c h o l o g i c a l  "failure (19 73)  system"  o f t h e a d d i c t , p r e s e n t s i n R i p p i n g and  a s i m i l a r approach  t o James' i n h e r s t u d y o f  Running  street-  walkers . B e f o r e him,  S u t t e r ' s d e s c r i p t i o n of the world of  " r i g h t e o u s dope f i e n d "  (19 66)  p r o v i d e s a good i n t r o d u c t i o n t o t h e  s u b c u l t u r e o f t h e s t r e e t a d d i c t , and P r e b l e and phy  of the h e r o i n user's l i f e  Business"  the  on t h e s t r e e t ,  Casey's  "Taking Care  (1969) s e e k s t o f i n d t h e m e a n i n g o f t h e l i f e  street addict.  ethnogra-  f o r the  In h i s survey of the l i t e r a t u r e of drug a d d i c -  t i o n , Weppner n o t e s t h a t P r e b l e ' s a n t h r o p o l o g i c a l f i e l d which produced  this article,  t h e f i r s t one  d e a l w i t h the h e r o i n user's l i f e for  of  work,  emically oriented  on t h e s t r e e t , was  the  to  impetus  o t h e r a n t h r o p o l o g i s t s " t o study the s t r e e t a d d i c t ' s sub-  c u l t u r e f r o m h i s p o i n t o f v i e w and n o t f r o m t h e a b s t r a c t e d e m p i r ical  v i e w p o i n t o f t h e s o c i o l o g i s t o r p s y c h o l o g i s t " (Weppner  1973:114). of  Finally,  particular  Stoddart's study  (1968) w i l l  be  mentioned,  i n t e r e s t s i n c e some o f h i s d a t a on d r u g  a c t i o n s a r e d r a w n f r o m t h e same c i t y t e n y e a r s ago u s e f u l source of comparison  trans-  and p r o v i d e d a  with data obtained for  this  dissertation. It w i l l  be  shown l a t e r how  When t h e y f i r s t came t o me, "street people".  t h e i n f o r m a n t s were  selected.  t h e y acknowledged t h a t t h e y were  As an i n d i r e c t way  of checking  their  5  f a m i l i a r i t y w i t h the environment of the s t r e e t drug a d d i c t , I showed them l e n g t h y e x t r a c t s o f A g a r ' s , S u t t e r ' s , and P r e b l e a n d Casey's  s t u d i e s , a s k i n g them w h e t h e r t h e y a g r e e d w i t h t h e  i l l e g i t i m a t e and c r i m i n a l p r o c e d u r e s d e s c r i b e d and t h e t e r m i n o l ogy u s e d .  The l a t t e r was t h o u g h t t o d i f f e r  s l i g h t l y at times  f r o m t h e i r own, b u t t h e y t o t a l l y a g r e e d w i t h t h e d e s c r i p t i v e of the works.  part  One o f them, who was n o t f a m i l i a r w i t h t h e c o n f i -  d e n c e game known a s " t h e h o t T.V.  game" ( A g a r 1973:46-47 and c f .  Appendix F ) , f o u n d i t so p l a u s i b l y d e s c r i b e d t h a t she s a i d - o n l y half  jokingly,  I t h i n k - she m i g h t t r y i t a f t e r h e r r e l e a s e  from  jail. I n t h e same manner, I s o m e t i m e s showed J a m e s  1  dissertation  t o my i n f o r m a n t s , and c h e c k e d h e r c l a s s i f i c a t i o n a g a i n s t own.  At the beginning of s e v e r a l i n t e r v i e w s ,  their  I had James and  A g a r ' s w o r k s i n e v i d e n c e on my d e s k , t o e s t a b l i s h c l e a r l y t h e f a c t t h a t s u c h i n f o r m a t i o n a s I r e q u e s t e d f r o m them was i n f a c t a l r e a d y known a n d n o t a t a l l o f a c o n f i d e n t i a l n a t u r e . B o t h James and A g a r s 1  approach. in  s t u d i e s t a k e an e t h n o s e m a n t i c  I n R i p p i n g and R u n n i n g , A g a r , who was m o s t l y  involved  i n s t i t u t i o n a l research, adapts a technique f o r gathering  r e t r o s p e c t i v e d a t a t o t h e d e f i n i t i o n o f w h a t he s e e s a s c o n f l i c t s i t u a t i o n s : h i s i n f o r m a n t s were a s k e d t o e n a c t s t r e e t familiar to a l laddicts  scenes  ( o b t a i n i n g money- f o r d r u g s t h r o u g h  v a r i o u s means, b u y i n g a n d u s i n g d r u g s ) ; t h e s e e n a c t m e n t s  were  t a p e r e c o r d e d and l a t e r p l a y e d b a c k t o o t h e r i n f o r m a n t s f o r v a l i d i t y and r e l i a b i l i t y  checks.  B o t h he a n d James b o r r o w  l i n g u i s t i c methods and adopt i n t h e i r work a s y s t e m a t i c  from  6  questioning procedure to e l i c i t th e  c u l t u r e under  study.  they f o l l o w , the i n i t i a l  d a t a w h i c h e n a b l e them t o a n a l y z e  In the componential a n a l y s i s  procedure  step i s to provide the informants with  " s u b s t i t u t i o n frames" through which the ethnographers generate t e r m i n o l o g i c a l systems. grouping  Next, they e s t a b l i s h taxonomies  "segregates".and "contrast sets"  1972:209; Agar  1973:28-39).  thus obtained c o n s t i t u t e s u l a r ways o f c l a s s i f y i n g o t h e r words, In  The  a d d e d sum  ( F r a k e 1972; of f o l k  by  Psathas  taxonomies  "a s o c i e t y ' s e t h n o s c i e n c e , i t s p a r t i c i t s m a t e r i a l and s o c i a l u n i v e r s e " ; i n  i t constitutes i t s "culture"  a l a t e r work, Ethnography  f u r t h e r e x p a n d s on t h e m e t h o d o l o g y  (Sturtevant  and C o g n i t i o n  1964:99).  (19 74) , A g a r  of " r e t r i e v i n g both concepts  and t h e i r r e l a t i o n s h i p s " b y e x a m i n i n g " s i g n s " i n i n f o r m a n t s ' utterances  (1974:13).  Folk taxonomies, already the subject of  much o f James' w o r k , a r e e x a m i n e d means o f i n v e s t i g a t i n g  a g a i n i n t h i s w o r k by A g a r a s a  the informants' c o n c e p t u a l i z a t i o n of  their  environment. A p p l y i n g t h e same e t h n o s c i e n t i f i c a p p r o a c h a s A g a r  and  J a m e s , S p r a d l e y makes a f o r m a l s e m a n t i c a n a l y s i s o f t r a m p s  and  a l c o h o l i c s i n " A d a p t i v e S t r a t e g i e s o f U r b a n Nomads"  and  You Owe  Y o u r s e l f a Drunk  (1972)  (19 70) a n d , w i t h Mann, t o a f e m a l e o c c u -  p a t i o n i n an e s s e n t i a l l y m a l e w o r l d i n The  Cocktail Waitress  (1975) . Because  o f t h e i r e t h n o s e m a n t i c a p p r o a c h , A g a r , James a n d  S p r a d l e y b r e a k away f r o m t h e c o n v e n t i o n a l a n a l y s i s o f s u c h  sub-  c u l t u r e s as t h a t o f t h e h e r o i n a d d i c t , t h e s t r e e t w a l k e r , o r t h e a l c o h o l i c , as " d e v i a n t " c u l t u r e s ; t h e y d e f i n e i n s t e a d the  way  7  their  informants  their  a c t i o n s i n terms o f these The  sis,  perceive  and o r d e r  their  perceptions.  r e p u d i a t i o n o f c l a s s i c a l grammars b y l i n g u i s t i c  pology along  and  analy-  and i t s d e s c r i p t i o n o f each language i n terms a p p r o p r i a t e t o  i t s own s t r u c t u r e h a s t o a c e r t a i n e x t e n t  on  e n v i r o n m e n t and e x p l a i n  t h e same p a t h .  guided  cultural  Thus, c o g n i t i v e a n t h r o p o l o g y  anthrofocuses  r e l a t i o n s h i p s between u n i t s o f language and u n i t s o f c o g n i t i o n has t r a v e l l e d  essentially  f r o m an e s s e n t i a l l y  "emic"  " e t i c " viewpoint  t o an  understanding.  Conventionally, Pike's  "emic-etic" distinction  for the d e s c r i p t i o n of behaviour,  w h e r e " e t i c s " mean  i s used  here  features  assumed t o be c u l t u r e - f r e e , t o w h i c h a r e o p p o s e d " e m i c s " , o r t h e group's culture-bond  apprehension of these  Harris' definitions for  same f e a t u r e s .  w e r e f o u n d t h e most u s e f u l g u i d e l i n e s  t h e u s a g e o f t h e two t e r m s : E m i c s t a t e m e n t s r e f e r t o l o g i c o - e m p i r i c a l s y s t e m s whose p h e n o m e n a l d i s t i n c t i o n s o r " t h i n g s " a r e b u i l t up o u t o f c o n t r a s t s and d i s c r i m i n a t i o n s s i g n i f i c a n t , m e a n i n g f u l , r e a l , a c c u r a t e , o r i n some o t h e r f a s h i o n r e g a r d e d a s a p p r o p r i a t e by t h e a c t o r s t h e m s e l v e s . An e m i c s t a t e m e n t c a n b e f a l s i f i e d i f i t c a n be shown t h a t i t c o n t r a d i c t s t h e c o g n i t i v e c a l c u l u s by w h i c h r e l e v a n t a c t o r s j u d g e t h a t e n t i t i e s a r e s i m i l a r o r d i f f e r e n t , r e a l , m e a n i n g f u l , s i g n i f i c a n t , o r i n some o t h e r sense " a p p r o p r i a t e " o r " a c c e p t a b l e " ( H a r r i s 1968:671). By  sively  comparison w i t h these  statements which r e f l e c t  t h e p o i n t o f v i e w o f members o f t h e s u b c u l t u r e  tain their cultural  exclu-  and a s c e r -  competence,  e t i c s t a t e m e n t s depend upon phenomenal d i s t i n c t i o n s j u d g e d a p p r o p r i a t e by t h e c o m m u n i t y o f s c i e n t i f i c o b s e r v e r s . Etic s t a t e m e n t s c a n n o t be f a l s i f i e d i f t h e y do n o t c o n f o r m t o t h e a c t o r ' s n o t i o n o f what i s s i g n i f i c a n t , r e a l , m e a n i n g f u l o r appropriate. E t i c s t a t e m e n t s a r e v e r i f i e d when i n d e p e n d e n t observers using s i m i l a r operations agree t h a t a given event has o c u r r e d ( H a r r i s 1 9 6 8 : 6 7 5 ) .  8  Throughout t h i s work, I have adopted t h e emic and  perspective  h a v e t r i e d t o e x a m i n e s t r e e t women's p e r c e p t i o n o f m a t e r i a l  phenomena a n d t h e i r of Agar, Spradley  cognitive discriminations.  As i n t h e w o r k s  a n d James i n w h i c h f o l k t a x o n o m i e s r e v e a l t h e  culture's cognitive structure, the starting  p o i n t o f my  field  w o r k was t h e e l a b o r a t i o n o f l i n g u i s t i c c a t e g o r i e s a n d f o l k o m i e s f o r what t h e i n f o r m a n t s  recognize  as d i s t i n c t  taxon-  domains.  Through t h e c o g n i t i v e c o n s t r u c t s r e v e a l e d by t h e taxonomy and  t h e added d i m e n s i o n o f f o l k l o r e  call  and v e r b a l p e r f o r m a n c e s w h i c h  f o r "some d r a m a t i z a t i o n o f t h e i d e a l s o f t h e g r o u p "  (Abrahams 1 9 7 0 : 2 9 0 ) , t h r o u g h t h e e l i c i t a t i o n o f s t e r e o t y p e d i n i t i o n s w h i c h j u s t i f y and r e i n f o r c e t h e acknowledged  def-  confronta-  t i o n between t h e s u b c u l t u r e  and t h e l a r g e r c u l t u r e , I have t r i e d  to  apprehension of the socio-economic  describe the informants'  environment i n the context  o f which they p r a c t i s e t h e i r  verbal  transactions. FOLKLORE  Since study  f o l k l o r i s t s view f o l k l o r e  o f human t h o u g h t "  (Dundes 1 9 7 1 : 1 0 3 ) , t h e s t u d y  p e o p l e ' s f o l k l o r e may be t a k e n anthropology.  Adopting  t r a d i t i o n a l expressions  a s "raw m a t e r i a l f o r t h e of a  as an i n t r i n s i c p a r t o f c o g n i t i v e  Abrahams' d e f i n i t i o n and i m p l e m e n t a t i o n s  of folklore  o f knowledge oper-  a t i n g w i t h i n a community", knowledge i s c o n s i d e r e d  t o be " t h e  power o f t h e m i n d f o r s o l v i n g p r o b l e m s " and t r a d i t i o n a l to  provide  groups"  as " a l l  knowledge  " i n h e r i t e d s o l u t i o n s t o t h e r e c u r r e n t problems o f  (Abrahams 1 9 7 1 : 1 7 ) .  9  Some r e c u r r e n t p r o b l e m s may b e s o l v e d b y m a t e r i a l and p r a c tical  means a n d t h e d e v e l o p m e n t  of specific  techniques. For  instance, i n t h e a d d i c t p r o s t i t u t e c u l t u r e , items of m a t e r i a l folklore  deal with the p r a c t i c a l  porting i l l e g a l  problems o f f i x i n g , o f t r a n s -  drugs, of t a t t o o i n g , s h o p l i f i n g ,  sexual prac-  tices, etc. Other p r o b l e m s , o f an e t h i c a l tional the  solutions i n ethical  or social order, find  tradi-  and e s t h e t i c e x p r e s s i o n , o f t e n i n  f o r m o f p r o v e r b s w h i c h p r o v i d e "an a r g u m e n t f o r a c o u r s e o f  a c t i o n which conforms  t o c o m m u n i t y v a l u e s " and " i n v o k e s a n a u r a  of moral r i g h t n e s s i n t h e c o n v e r s a t i o n " As a c o m m u n i c a t i v e tively  (Abrahams  process, folklore  1968:150).  i s limited  to rela-  s m a l l g r o u p s , whose members ( p e r f o r m e r s a n d a u d i e n c e ) a r e  p a r t o f t h e same r e f e r e n c e g r o u p . and t h e f o l k l o r i c g e n r e u s e d  Whatever t h e form o f  exchange  (tale, proverb, joke), i ti s tran-  s c e n d e d b y t h e e x p r e s s i o n o f n o t i o n s w h i c h Dundes c a l l s  "folk  i d e a s " : t h e " t r a d i t i o n a l n o t i o n s t h a t a group o f p e o p l e have a b o u t t h e n a t u r e o f man, o f t h e w o r l d , and o f man's l i f e world"  i n the  (1971:95).  A l l c u l t u r e s have u n d e r l y i n g a s s u m p t i o n s and i t i s t h e s e assumptions or f o l k ideas which a r e the b u i l d i n g blocks o f worldview. Any one w o r l d v i e w w i l l be b a s e d u p o n many i n d i v i d u a l f o l k i d e a s a n d i f one i s s e r i o u s l y i n t e r e s t e d i n s t u d y i n g w o r l d v i e w , one w i l l n e e d f i r s t t o d e s c r i b e some o f the f o l k i d e a s which c o n t r i b u t e t o t h e f o r m a t i o n o f t h a t w o r l d v i e w (Dundes 1 9 7 1 : 9 6 ) . One o f t h e f o l k  i d e a s emerging  and t r a d i t i o n a l p h r a s e s w o u l d  f o r i n s t a n c e a p p e a r t o be i n N o r t h  American c u l t u r e t h e " p r i n c i p l e opposition to the "principle  from a corpus o f p r o v e r b s  o f u n l i m i t e d good"  of limited  (in direct  g o o d " f o u n d by F o s t e r  10  (1967) t o be a c h a r a c t e r i s t i c cultures).  This p r i n c i p l e  n o t i o n i n M e x i c a n , and  other  emerges a m b i g u o u s l y i n my  b e l i e f t h a t " m a r k s " a r e p l e n t i f u l , , and  informants'  i n the c a r e l e s s n e s s  some o f t h e i r t r a n s a c t i o n s s i n c e t h e y assume t h a t new ties will  always a r i s e .  On  peasant  of  opportuni-  the o t h e r hand, the p r e s s u r e  exer-  c i s e d by t h e i r n e e d s as h e r o i n a d d i c t s o f t e n make t h e i r s o l i c iting  a competitive enterprise.  that particular ity,  and  case,  "good"  But  i t i s also a fact  (tricks)  i s indeed  o n e ' s g a i n i s somebody e l s e ' s  Dundes o p p o s e d " f o l k  w h i c h one  may  n o t be  a limited  f a l l a c i e s " t o f o l k i d e a s and  they  commod-  loss.  utes the term t o t r a d i t i o n a l s t e r e o t y p e s . premises of a c u l t u r e " ,  that i n  attrib-  As p a r t o f t h e  are c o n t r a s t e d t o f o l k ideas  aware o r w h i c h one  may  n o t be  "stated of  able to a r t i c -  ulate. F o l k i d e a s w o u l d be more a m a t t e r o f b a s i c u n q u e s t i o n e d p r e m i s e s c o n c e r n i n g t h e n a t u r e o f man, o f s o c i e t y , and o f t h e w o r l d , and t h e s e p r e m i s e s a l t h o u g h m a n i f e s t e d i n f o l k l o r e p r o p e r m i g h t n o t be a t a l l o b v i o u s t o t h e f o l k i n whose t h i n k i n g they are c e n t r a l . F o l k f a l l a c i e s s u c h as s t e r e o t y p e s w o u l d t h e r e f o r e be p a r t o f t h e c o n s c i o u s o r s e l f c o n s c i o u s c u l t u r e o f a p e o p l e w h e r e a s f o l k i d e a s w o u l d be p a r t of the unconscious or u n s e l f - c o n s c i o u s c u l t u r e of a p e o p l e (Dundes 1 9 7 1 : 1 0 1 ) . Street people straight  people  who  i m p r i s o n t h e m , and seduce. and  i n a c l o s e and  they  as t r y i n g  see  a c t i v e symbiosis  t o use,  control,  whom t h e y t r y t o e v a d e , c o n ,  Much o f t h e i r  anecdotes,  people  interact  folklore, especially  d e s c r i b e s how  this interaction  d e a l w i t h what t h e y p e r c e i v e t o be  the c o n f l i c t of i n t e r e s t s  b e t w e e n t h e two  e x t e n t , i t r e v e a l s the precepts  and  trap  rob, t r i c k  i n the  with  form of  and  and gossip  t a k e s p l a c e and  the problems c r e a t e d groups.  norms o f t h e  To  that  informants'  how by  11  cognitive  system.  G o s s i p may a l s o be s e e n a s a means t o a c h i e v e trol.  I t makes "a s t a t e m e n t o f a p p r o v a l  r e i t e r a t e s t h e approved b e h a v i o u r a l  social  con-  o r condemnation which  l i m i t s o f the group"  (Abrahams 1 9 7 0 : 3 0 0 ) . If  i ti s true that folklore  l i v e s by f o r c e o f i t s f u n c t i o n ,  as f o l k l o r i s t s o f t e n m a i n t a i n , t h e n f o l k l o r e t h a t we must e x a m i n e . practitioners. typified  We o f t e n s e e i t " p r o t e c t i n g " i t s  F o r i n s t a n c e , t h e f u n c t i o n o f one o f t h e w e l l  villains  (the "rat") i s c l e a r l y t o shoulder  r e s p o n s i b i l i t y of the informants' scapegoats,  they  a r e rendered  a b l e so t h a t t h e y  boundaries insiders'  and b e a r t h e  l a c k o f competence.  conscious  be s e e n a s t h e i r own  statements  Much  like  a l l t h e more l o a t h s o m e a n d d e s p i c -  serve a u s e f u l f u n c t i o n i n enabling  t o d e n y what w o u l d o t h e r w i s e The  i ti s the function of street  made b y s t e r e o t y p e s  informants  failures. strengthen the  b e t w e e n t h e t w o g r o u p s , a f f i r m i n g a much n e e d e d solidarity,  a n d d e f i n i n g t h e means o f c o p i n g w i t h  s i d e r s , which o f t e n form t h e t o p i c o f g o s s i p and  out-  anecdotes.  J o k e s a r e a l s o used as a p r o t e c t i v e d e v i c e and a l l o w a p p a r e n t l y threatening behaviour  t o be p e r c e i v e d a s a t e n t a t i v e o r  harmless i n c u r s i o n i n t o otherwise trical  or asymmetrical  prestige - their  Their  ( d e p e n d i n g on p e o p l e ' s  "reputation" or their  " t h a t i n any o t h e r hostility"  exchange  forbidden areas.  s o c i a l context  such  and a r o u s e  S i n c e one o f t h e f u n c t i o n s  of j o k i n g r e l a t i o n s h i p s i s t o o b v i a t e q u a r r e l s or r e a l it  individual  "name") i s t y p i c a l l y  i t would express  ( R a d c l i f f e - B r o w n 1952:91).  symme-  conflict,  i s n o t s u r p r i s i n g t h a t - j u s t a s t h e y a r e f o u n d among  cocktail  12  waitresses 1972)  ( S p r a d l e y & Mann 1975)  - they  s h o u l d be met  j o k i n g a l s o serves  (Pilcher  f r e q u e n t l y i n t h e t i g h t and  e x p l o s i v e c o n f i n e s of the j a i l . this  or longshoremen  As  i n the case  of  sometimes  longshoremen,  as  an i m p o r t a n t b o u n d a r y and s y m b o l o f g r o u p s o l i d a r i t y ... and p r o b a b l y c o n t r i b u t e s t o some unknown d e g r e e t o t h e m a i n t e n ance of t h i s s o l i d a r i t y . This f u n c t i o n of j o k i n g behaviour was t o some d e g r e e r e c o g n i z e d by R a d c l i f f e - B r o w n when he s t a t e d t h a t the j o k i n g r e l a t i o n s h i p i s a r e l a t i o n of a l l i a n c e ( P i l c h e r 1972:112-113). As  i n P i l c h e r ' s s t u d y , h o w e v e r , we  ing behaviour fit  i n the context of the  must p o i n t out t h a t j o k -  s t r e e t s u b c u l t u r e does  t o t h e end w i t h R a d c l i f f e - B r o w n s d e f i n i t i o n 1  p a r t i c u l a r type of j o k i n g behaviour  i s not connected  or the a l l i a n c e of n o r m a l l y h o s t i l e groups. joking behaviour s t r e e t people relationship  a r e b r o u g h t t o g e t h e r and (matrons o r g u a r d s , 1  frequent  this  with kinship  Y e t , when  this  i s a l s o d i r e c t e d a t t h e s t r a i g h t g r o u p w i t h whom  better with Radcliffe-Brown s and  since  not  have a f o r m a l l y h o s t i l e  for instance), i t falls  thesis since i t s direct  s u b s t i t u t e i s as c l o s e a form o f  in  equivalent  avoidance  ( R a d c l i f f e - B r o w n 1952:106) a s t h e s e t t i n g a l l o w s . A f u r t h e r e x a m p l e o f t h e p a r t p l a y e d by  folklore  i n the  d a i l y conduct of the s t r e e t ' s business are s t o r i e s comparing and  now,  t h e r e and  to a l i f e s t y l e  here, which serve t o g i v e depth  c e n t e r e d on t h e i m m e d i a t e and  t i e s of the a d d i c t s ' l i f e  and  add  continuity  alienating necessi-  to i t the dimension  i n g t o a c o m m u n i t y e x p a n d i n g o v e r t i m e and Finally,  and  of  overlooked.  d e s c r i p t i v e statements  of f a c t s ,  Although  belong-  space.  t h e v e r y s t r o n g e t h i c a l t e n o r o f some o f  a n e c d o t e s c a n n o t be  then  the  most appear t o s t a r t  t h e y o f t e n become enmeshed i n  as  13  v a l u e judgements. stressed,  F i d e l i t y between mates i s e m p h a t i c a l l y  " h o n o u r among t h i e v e s " (as t h e i n f o r m a n t s  voice i t i r o n i c a l l y ) , outsiders,  l o v e and  the n e c e s s i t y t o present a u n i t e d f r o n t  support,  retaliation  f a i r l y meted out  t r a n s g r e s s o r s , a r e n o t o n l y themes b u t e x p l i c i t l y whose m e s s a g e i s i n d i s t i n g u i s h a b l e of the s t r a i g h t w o r l d . a p p e a r i n no way Through the  sometimes  The  to  stated morals  f r o m t h e o n e s c a r r i e d by  tales  v a l u e s of a " d i s v a l u e d " s u b c u l t u r e  l e s s e t h i c a l than those stories,  to  j o k e s and  of the l a r g e r  culture.  b u l l s h i t t i n g events,  the  same c a r e i s e x e r c i s e d i n p r o v i d i n g w a r n i n g s a g a i n s t p h y s i c a l danger of a l l n a t u r e s , but expressed, g r o u p and  a l s o , more s u b t l y , a j u s t i f i c a t i o n  which appears t o p r o t e c t the v u l n e r a b i l i t y of  is  the  c o n t r i b u t e to the p s y c h o l o g i c a l w e l f a r e of i t s i n d i v i d -  uals . EMICS AND The cies"  STEREOTYPES formulated  statement  o f what Dundes c a l l s  takes the form o f t r a d i t i o n a l  o f s t e r e o t y p e s by  s t r e e t people  t h a t they are able to handle  stereotypes.  is particularly  s e v e r a l sets of  "folk  The  falla-  formulation  interesting  in  stereotypes.  Much o f t h e d a t a d e a l s w i t h t h e m a n i p u l a t i o n o f members o f t h e r e s e a r c h e r ' s c u l t u r e by t h e t o them and  i n f o r m a n t s , a c u l t u r e a l s o known  o f w h i c h t h e y have sometimes themselves been p a r t .  These i n f o r m a n t s ' a s s u m p t i o n i s t h a t t h e y are f a m i l i a r w i t h sets of  both  emics.  I n t h e c o n f u s i o n c r e a t e d by bound f e a t u r e s f o r e x a m i n a t i o n  informants providing c u l t u r e -  to a researcher  t a t i v e o f t h e o t h e r c u l t u r e ) whose own  (i.e.a  culture-bound  represen-  outlook  was  14  itself  e x a m i n e d and  ferentiate straight  the  c h a l l e n g e d , I have used t h r e e l a b e l s  n a t u r e and  i s used f o r the  researcher's culture,  emics are  also  sometimes f o l k f o r the t h e i r own  m a n i p u l a t i o n of  stereotypic  t h e i r own  profit.  s t r e e t p e o p l e as agree w i t h the j u d i c i a l and  and  i n f o r m a n t s ' emic views  and  the  are  the ...  are  irresponsible  all  the  folk  are  ( s t r a i g h t emic) i s a l s o  people are  by  straight  the  proper  insider.  greedy people  and  ...  Thus, enables  for  u n t r u s t w o r t h y e n a b l e s him  of  to  authoritarian  for  takes place: a  s t r a i g h t people often  w h i l e i n f a c t you  ("true") t h a t known t o t h e  interlocutor's  are  think  ...  and  i s made t o  i t s contradictory street  position.  o n l y f a m i l i a r w i t h t h e i r own  folk  accompanied  b o t h g r o u p s : i . e . "You  ( s t r e e t emic) d e s c r i p t i o n  more c o n v i n c i n g  e n i n g the  as  becomes a  s t r a i g h t person's emic view  a double d e s c r i p t i o n  stereotype  be  systems.  s t r e e t p e o p l e and  t h a t we The  outsider  often  f o r the  p r i n c i p l e o f p a t e r n a l i s t i c and  straight and  guidelines  straights  C o n v e r s e l y , the  I n C h a p t e r V,  by  outsider  upon t h i s p a r t i c u l a r c h a r a c t e r i s t i c  correctional  s t e r e o t y p e of  i n f o r m a n t s assume t o culture;  that  f a b r i c a t i o n of  s t r e e t people to act  informants'  environment.  i n s i d e r ' s emic v i e w of  h a n d l i n g and  the  differentiation  the  emic views of e i t h e r  handy s t e r e o t y p e w h i c h c o n t r i b u t e s  the  since  c o m p r i s e d o f b o t h ) f o r what t h e  understanding of The  t h e r e i s no  interpretations  s t r a i g h t p e r s o n ' s own  s t r e e t or  (and  dif-  information:  i n f o r m a n t s ' emic view of  but  h e r e b e t w e e n t h e s e two  the  a t t r i b u t i o n of emic  to  you  we sound version  s p e a k e r , t h u s weakWhereas  straight  characterization  of  both  15  g r o u p s , s t r e e t p e o p l e know b o t h s t r e e t a n d s t r a i g h t v e r s i o n s o f the exo-and  endo-stereotypes.  I t i s s o m e t i m e s d i f f i c u l t t o a s c e r t a i n - when t h e e t i c i n t e r p r e t a t i o n corresponds t o a c e r t a i n extent with a s t e r e o t y p i c d e f i n i t i o n o f an o b j e c t - w h e t h e r t h e e t i c simply  i n t e r p r e t a t i o n i s not  a r a t i o n a l i z a t i o n o f s t r a i g h t people's emic i n t e r p r e t a -  tion. L e t u s c o n s i d e r , f o r i n s t a n c e , t h e common  characteristics  a t t r i b u t e d t o t h e T r i c k s t e r (Abrams a n d S u t t o n - S m i t h  1977:30):  v i o l a t i o n o f taboo, impulsiveness, a lack o f c l o s e , c a r i n g r e l a t i o n s h i p s , apparent d i s r e g a r d f o r the f e e l i n g s of others, an i n a b i l i t y t o l e a r n f r o m p a s t m i s t a k e s , l a c k o f a n x i e t y o r r e m o r s e , an e x h i b i t i o n i s t i c n a r c i s s i s m , c o n s t a n t u s e o f p r e t e n s e a n d t r i c k e r y , a n d a demeanor o f c h i l d l i k e , i n n o c e n t charm. S u c h a l s o a p p e a r t o be t h e c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s  frequently  p o s s e s s e d by t h e main c h a r a c t e r o f t h e p e r s o n a l - e x p e r i e n c e s t o r i e s I was t o l d b y women o f t h e s t r e e t . w i l l be r e c o g n i z e d  These  throughout t h e t e x t s quoted here,  d e s c r i p t i o n o f h e r s i s t e r ' s a c t i o n s may s e r v e b r i e f l y these  characteristics but Jo's  t o exemplify  traits:  My s i s t e r h a s r o b b e d my mark a c o u p l e o f t i m e s . He s e t s up an a p a r t m e n t f o r me a n d s h e goes a n d c l e a n s i t o u t I The f u r n i t u r e , t h e c o l o u r T.V. ... T w i c e s h e d i d t h a t t o h i m ! ... She w o u l d do t h a t t o a n y b o d y t h a t w o u l d g i v e h e r t h e opportunity. B u t , s e e , I was i n h e r e a n d I t h o u g h t I w o u l d be g e t t i n g o u t on b a i l . S o , he r e n t e d me a n a p a r t m e n t , a n d p u t a l l k i n d s o f f u r n i t u r e i n i t , b o u g h t a c o l o u r T.V. f o r me ... J u s t e v e r y t h i n g ! I t was a l l w a i t i n g f o r me. I s a i d " W e l l , l i k e , I'm g o i n g t o be a b i t , s o y o u m i g h t a s w e l l g i v e h e r a k e y a n d s h e c a n s t a y t h e r e u n t i l I'm s p r u n g . " And s o he d i d . He w e n t o u t o f t o w n . He came b a c k a month o r two l a t e r a n d t h e p l a c e i s e m p t y ! She s o l d e v e r y t h i n g . S o , he d i d i t a g a i n ...  16  She b l o w s my m i n d ! [To h e r f r i e n d ] You know how o u t s p o k e n she i s ? And most p e o p l e t h i n k s h e ' s j u s t k i d d i n g , t h e t h i n g s she comes o u t w i t h ! B u t I know s h e ' s d e a d s e r i o u s ! And t h e y l a u g h , and I l a u g h t o o , b u t f o r d i f f e r e n t r e a s o n s " ... S h e ' s downtown, s h e ' s s i c k , she c a n ' t g e t any money ... She s a y s "The n e x t guy t h a t w a l k s a r o u n d t h e c o r n e r , t h a t ' s i t , I'm gonna n a i l him!" And she w i l l ! S h e ' l l j u s t punch h i m i n t h e f a c e , k n o c k h i m down, t a k e h i s money and go [laughing]. 2  Many o f t h e T r i c k s t e r ' s c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s w e r e a l s o d e s c r i b e d t o me  by p e o p l e  professionally  i n v o l v e d w i t h t h e s e women.  In  o t h e r w o r d s , t h i s d e s c r i p t i o n o f what r e s e m b l e s so c a l l e d chopathic  symptoms" and w h i c h i s s e e n a s an e t i c  definition  a p p e a r s t o be t h e s t e r e o t y p i c image o f s t r e e t women (and sumably of s t r e e t people  "psy-  a t l a r g e ) h e l d by r e l a t i v e l y  pre-  knowl-  edgeable s t r a i g h t people , a stereotype which a l s o appears t o w i l l i n g l y upheld It  i s my  by  s t r e e t people  themselves.  impression t h a t the e t i c c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n  to disappear  f r o m t h e n a r r a t i v e s as my  better.  t h a t t h e y had  Not  s t a n d i n g and  t h e y knew how  recognized  informants i n me  I saw  v e r s e d " w i t h me  c l e a r l y b e e n made.  them.  on my  K n o w i n g my  terms.  tended  came t o know  me  someone whose u n d e r -  openmindedness c o u l d e a s i l y t r a n s c e n d  b e c a u s e t h e p o i n t had  be  They had  it,  but  shown me  c u l t u r e , t h e y had  simply that  "con-  T h i s p o i n t h a v i n g been e s t a b l i s h e d  by them, I made t h e s u b s e q u e n t p o i n t : I knew w h e r e I s t o o d  and  had  not  where  The  point  no  I was was  i n t e n t i o n o f f o o l i s h l y p r e t e n d i n g t h a t t h i s was going t o remain:  I simply sought to understand.  n o t t o "become n a t i v e s ...  o r t o m i m i c them", t h e p o i n t  T h e i n f o r m a n t s ' s y n t a x and v o c a b u l a r y h a v e b e e n i n a l l the t e x t s quoted i n t h i s work. z  was  respected  17  to  t r y and, " i n t h e widened sense o f t h e term i n which  p a s s e s v e r y much more t h a n t a l k ,  t o c o n v e r s e w i t h them"  i t encom(Geertz  1973:13). In  the s y m b i o t i c r e l a t i o n s h i p i n which  people are involved - a symbiosis which equal use o f e t i c group  s t r e e t and s t r a i g h t  j u s t i f i e s perhaps t h e  a n d e m i c d e s c r i p t i o n s b y t h e members o f t h e  e x a m i n e d - t h e y h a v e an a d v a n t a g e  o v e r us ( i t i s k n o w i n g l y  t h a t I s o c l e a r l y draw t h e l i n e b e t w e e n "them" a n d " u s " , o n l y d o i n g w h a t t h e y do t h e m s e l v e s ) . of  I believe that their stereotypes  u s a r e more u s e f u l t o them t h a n o u r s t e r e o t y p e s o f them a r e t o  us: o f n e c e s s i t y , t h e i r  s t e r e o t y p e s h a v e t o be more r e f i n e d  since  t h e i r d e p e n d e n c e on u s i s g r e a t e r t h a n o u r d e p e n d e n c e on them, and  s i n c e t h e y h a v e t o w o r k h a r d e r a t m a n i p u l a t i n g u s t h a n we do  them. CULTURAL  BOUNDARIES  Stereotypes mainly serve t o r e i n f o r c e the d e l i n e a t i o n of c u l t u r a l b o u n d a r i e s b e t w e e n t h e two g r o u p s . (James 1 9 7 2 a : l - 9 ) , a s s t r e e t a d d i c t s L  1966:180-186)  and as j a i l  inmates  i n a subculture.  (Agar 1973:2-4,  Sutter  ( C o u t t s 1961:24-29, I r w i n and  C r e s s e y 1 9 6 4 ) , my i n f o r m a n t s t r i p l y membership  As p r o s t i t u t e s  f u l f i l l the requirements f o r  T h e i r presence  in jail  although  f r e q u e n t i s u s u a l l y o f s h o r t d u r a t i o n and o n l y comes a s a r e s u l t of  t h e i r p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n the a c t i v i t i e s  groups:  i t i s o n l y a secondary  their prostitutional activities they are not themselves  o f one o r t h e o t h e r two  subculture.  They a l s o  (or that of t h e i r  "working g i r l s " )  understand  friends  when  t o be r e l a t e d t o t h e  18  need t o s u p p o r t a drug h a b i t .  Consequently, t h e i r  foremost i n t e g r a t i o n i s i n t o the s t r e e t a d d i c t s ' f a c t , a s i x t e e n y e a r o l d g i r l met unexpected  etymology:  first  and  subculture.  on t h e s t r e e t g a v e me  "We're c a l l e d h o o k e r s b e c a u s e  In  this  we're  hooked." As members o f a s u b c u l t u r e ,  t h e y s h a r e many o f t h e v a l u e s  of the l a r g e r c u l t u r e , but they d i f f e r learned  behaviors"  t h i n k i n g and group"  a c t i n g w h i c h make p o s s i b l e i d e n t i f i c a t i o n  people".  Julie's  referred  When I q u e s t i o n e d h e r , she s a i d she meant Julie  h e r husband a r e s t r e e t p e o p l e "because t h i n g s we  as a  Snow, a T s i m s h i a n woman, a l w a y s  " s t r e e t people, not other Indians."  the  "shared,  r e s u l t i n g " i n t h e c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s ways o f  (James 1 9 7 2 a : 6 ) .  t o h e r "own  from i t i n t h e i r  i n d i c a t e d t h a t she  o f t h e way  we  and  f i t i n , and  know." s t a t e m e n t i s t h e non  scholarly version  of  Goodenough's d e f i n i t i o n o f c u l t u r e : W h a t e v e r i t i s one h a s t o know o r b e l i e v e i n o r d e r t o o p e r a t e i n a manner a c c e p t a b l e t o i t s member, and t o do so i n any r o l e t h a t t h e y a c c e p t f o r any o f t h e m s e l v e s . By t h i s d e f i n i t i o n , we s h o u l d n o t e t h a t c u l t u r e i s n o t a m a t e r i a l phenomenon; i t d o e s n o t c o n s i s t o f t h i n g s , p e o p l e , b e h a v i o r , or emotions. I t i s r a t h e r an o r g a n i z a t i o n o f t h o s e t h i n g s . I t i s the form o f t h i n g s t h a t p e o p l e have i n mind, t h e i r m o d e l f o r p e r c e i v i n g , r e l a t i n g , and o t h e r w i s e i n t e r p r e t i n g them ( 1 9 5 7 : 1 6 7 ) . Street addicts be e x a m i n e d l a t e r  s h a r e c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s and v a l u e s w h i c h  i n the study.  Since the s u r v i v a l of t h e i r  c u l t u r e d e p e n d s so much on i n t e r a c t i o n w i t h t h e y must a l s o i n t r o d u c e in  their  socio-economic  sub-  the l a r g e r c u l t u r e ,  o u t s i d e r s to the r o l e they are to system.  will  play  19  When Dee a n d B u g s y , my f i r s t office  i n O a k a l l a and agreed  i n f o r m a n t s , came i n t o my  t o t a l k t o me, I became p a r t o f  t h e i r c u l t u r e - along w i t h t h e o t h e r "square w i t h them i n a complex system a newcomer t o t h e i r c u l t u r e , iour.  Johns"  o f communication I  who i n t e r a c t  and exchange.  had t o l e a r n a c e r t a i n  As  behav-  I c o u l d n e v e r b y " s o l i d " , b u t c o u l d I be t a u g h t t o be  "good p e o p l e " r a t h e r t h a n  "ignorant"?  What minimum k n o w l e d g e  w o u l d I have t o a c q u i r e i n o r d e r t o u n d e r s t a n d  t h e rough  guide-  l i n e s o f o u r t r a n s a c t i o n s ? What was my p l a c e i n t h e i r o r d e r o f things?  I d i d n o t know a n y t h i n g a n d I h a d t o be t a u g h t .  Newcomers t o t h e s t r e e t c u l t u r e  - whether as s t r e e t  i n s i d e r s o r s t r a i g h t o u t s i d e r s - h a v e t o be somehow d r a w n i n t o a continual process of s o c i a l i z a t i o n .  Some o f t h e t h i n g s t h e y  l e a r n a r e p r o b a b l y t h e same: what makes a r o u n d e r a square  a rounder and  a s q u a r e , and what t h e y c a n e x p e c t from each  other.  As t h e d a t a w e r e c o l l e c t e d a n d i n f o r m a n t s t a l k e d a b o u t what t o o k p l a c e on t h e s t r e e t b e t w e e n s t r a i g h t a n d s t r e e t p e o p l e ,  they  s i m u l t a n e o u s l y a c t e d o u t t h i s c o n f r o n t a t i o n b y d r a w i n g me i n t o i t and d e f i n i n g t h e i r c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s a s " s t r e e t " and  "straight" By  characteristics,  c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s a s b e i n g my own.  s t r i c t l y defining our respective i d e n t i t i e s  they a l s o e s t a b l i s h e d secure b o u n d a r i e s between u s . described the l i f e s t y l e c l e a r that boundaries  and v a l u e s o f b o t h groups,  and r o l e s , As t h e y  i t became  b e t w e e n them c o u l d o n l y be c r o s s e d b y  p e o p l e who h a v e r e l i n q u i s h e d t h e i r a l l e g i a n c e t o t h e i r group.  former  Knowledge o f t h a t c u l t u r e i s n a t u r a l l y n o t f o r g o t t e n , b u t  may be r e t r o s p e c t i v e l y t r a n s f o r m e d b y t h e a d o p t i o n o f t h e new  20  culture's  values.  Many s t r e e t p e o p l e come f r o m s t r a i g h t f a m i l i e s a n d w e r e t h e m s e l v e s s t r a i g h t ; o r a mark may become so i n v o l v e d woman's l i f e s t y l e  t h a t he may e n d up a d o p t i n g  O t h e r s have c r o s s e d  the line  i n reverse.  in a  h e r pace o f l i f e .  In their  transitional  s t a t e t h e y may e v e n be named: one o f t h e s e v e r a l d e f i n i t i o n s given  f o r an a c e y - d u c e y i s "someone who i s n o t on t h e l e v e l .  They r o c k . (Bugsy).  L i k e an e x - j u n k i e Marginal  t h a t comes b a c k f o r a v i s i t "  people themselves are u s e f u l i n  the boundaries s i n c e t h e i r e x c e p t i o n a l the nature o f t h e i r d i f f e r e n c e . f r o m one g r o u p t o t h e o t h e r ,  status  determining  serves t o define  I n s p i t e o f t h e moderate  and t h e s y m b i o t i c  flow  nature of the  o n g o i n g r e l a t i o n s h i p b e t w e e n t h e two g r o u p s , b o u n d a r i e s a r e firmly  maintained.  C a t e g o r i c a l e t h n i c d i s t i n c t i o n s do n o t d e p e n d o n an a b s e n c e o f m o b i l i t y , c o n t a c t a n d i n f o r m a t i o n b u t do e n t a i l s o c i a l p r o c e s s e s o f e x c l u s i o n and i n c o r p o r a t i o n whereby d i s c r e t e c a t e g o r i e s a r e m a i n t e d d e s p i t e c h a n g i n g p a r t i c i p a t i o n and membership i n t h e c o u r s e o f i n d i v i d u a l l i f e h i s t o r i e s . S e c o n d l y , one f i n d s t h a t s t a b l e , p e r s i s t i n g , a n d o f t e n v i t a l l y important s o c i a l r e l a t i o n s are maintained across s u c h b o u n d a r i e s , a n d a r e f r e q u e n t l y b a s e d p r e c i s e l y on t h e d i c h o t o m i z e d e t h n i c s t a t u s e s (Barth 1969:9-10). But  these " c a t e g o r i c a l ethnic d i s t i n c t i o n s "  that clear cut since - to start with of  - my i n f o r m a n t s '  s t r a i g h t n e s s was n o t q u i t e a s e x c l u s i v e a s m i n e .  the  research,  Pen,  Throughout  i s a s t r i p p e r , her brother  a n d h e r p a r e n t s a r e God knows where c l a i m t o have been, u n t i l v e r y  me) ?"  definition  I h a d t o a t t e m p t and d i v e s t m y s e l f o f s u c h  r e a c t i o n s as " I f h e r s i s t e r  she  are not a l l  i s i n the  ( s h e d o e s n o t ) , how c a n  recently, straight (i.e. like  21  Thus, i t i s from t h e t w i c e a n t i t h e t i c s t r a i g h t n e s s and m i d d l e  class that the contrasting l i f e s t y l e s  d e p i c t e d t o me h a d t o be a n a l y z e d . straight,  standpoint of  As t h e e p i t o m e o f t h e  I p e r h a p s f o u n d i t e a s i e r t o a c t o u t my p a r t i n o u r  street-straight transactions, symbolizing a l l the straight and To  calling  i n r e s p o n s e f o r an a f f i r m a t i o n o f t h e s t r e e t v a l u e s .  t h i s e x t e n t , o n l y women who f e l t  l e a s t h a l f way became By  values  c h a l l e n g e d a n d met me a t  informants.  incorporating the interview situation  i n t o the ethnog-  r a p h y , we a r e d e a l i n g w i t h d a t a e n a b i m e , a w e l l known  literary  d e v i c e w h i c h r e v e a l s a p l o t w i t h i n a p l o t , b o t h h e l d i n an a n a l o g i c a l r e l a t i o n , and each s e r v i n g t o t h r o w l i g h t on t h e other.  The t r a n s a c t i o n s b e t w e e n r e s e a r c h e r a n d i n f o r m a n t s ,  the d e f i n i t i o n o f boundaries but  t o be m a i n t a i n e d  with  and t r a n s g r e s s e d  a l w a y s t o be a c k n o w l e d g e d , a r e p a r t o f an e t h n o g r a p h y o f com-  munication  w h i c h encompasses v e r b a l exchanges between t h e two  cultures.  Throughout the study,  b e t w e e n t h e two c u l t u r e s w i l l the  informants'  the contrast of outlooks  be s t r e s s e d , a s a r e i t e r a t i o n o f  need f o r c l e a r l y d e f i n e d  boundaries.  THE SETTING The  very  setting  ( t h e " S t r e e t " ) i n w h i c h most t r a n s a c t i o n s  take place o r are i n i t i a t e d two  groups.  viewed d i f f e r e n t l y by t h e  I n V a n c o u v e r , t h e S t r e e t c a n be downtown  ( " G r a n v i l l e , Davie Stratford  i sitself  ...").  ....") o r u p t o w n Many p e o p l e ,  ("East H a s t i n g s , C o r d o v a , t h e  e s p e c i a l l y drug a d d i c t s , concen-  t r a t e t h e i r a c t i v i t i e s around t h e Corner.  The C o r n e r  22  ( e x c l u s i v e l y a s t r e e t term) i s formed by t h e i n t e r s e c t i o n o f E a s t H a s t i n g s and Columbia s t r e e t s . West p a r t o f t h e i n t e r s e c t i o n almost  straight.  From a s t r e e t p o i n t o f v i e w , t h e i s quite devoid of i n t e r e s t :  But the North East corner, with the Sunrise  H o t e l and t h e a d j a c e n t b e e r p a r l o u r i n f r o n t o f w h i c h or  d r u g g e d women a r e s o m e t i m e s s e e n t a k i n g t h e e a r l y  sun, and t h e South  hang e x p e c t a n t  t h a t i s the Corner.  neighbouring area  intoxicated afternoon  E a s t c o r n e r , w i t h t h e Cozy C o r n e r ,  grocery s t o r e , around which hookers:  i t is  a  Chinese  j u n k i e s and w o r k i n g  The name a l s o i n c l u d e s a s m a l l  ( s e e A p p e n d i x E)  To me, t h e C o r n e r i s H a s t i n g s a n d C o l u m b i a . I t ' s a name f o r t h a t whole g e n e r a l a r e a . Down t o C a r r a l l , f r o m P e n d e r o v e r to P o w e l l , t h a t whole a r e a . To me, t h e S t r e e t a n d t h e C o r n e r a r e t h e same. L i k e , when I'm t a l k i n g o f g e t t i n g o u t o f h e r e and h i t t i n g t h e s t r e e t , i t ' s j u s t g e t o u t , b u t when I t a l k about t h e S t r e e t , I t a l k about t h e Corner. (Dee) Julie  d e s c r i b e d t h e S t r e e t a s made o f " p a w n s h o p s , r e s t a u -  r a n t s , h o t e l s , beer p a r l o u r s , d r u g s t o r e s , n o v e l t y shops". s i b l y a p a r t f r o m pawnshops  Pos-  (atleast highly v i s i b l e ones), the  d e s c r i p t i o n w o u l d a p p l y e q u a l l y t o uptown and.downtown,  although  t h e p h y s i c a l appearance o f t h e l a t t e r and t h e t y p e o f p e o p l e i t draws p u t i t a d e f i n i t e n o t c h above t h e f o r m e r ,  from a s t r e e t and  a s t r a i g h t p o i n t o f view. However, g i v e n t h e l o c a t i o n o f t h e two a r e a s , most people (the ville  i n t e r v i e w e d make a c l e a r d i s t i n c t i o n b e t w e e n  c e n t r e o f which and G e o r g i a  straight  "downtown"  they see as b e i n g t h e i n t e r s e c t i o n o f Gran-  s t r e e t s ) a n d "uptown"  (which they c a l l  t o w n " a n d do n o t f r e q u e n t much: "Most p e o p l e t h e r e ' s n o t h i n g t h a t d r a w s them t h e r e " ) .  "China-  d o n ' t go t h e r e ,  Downtown, t h e y s a y ,  23  t h e r e a r e "department  stores, small stores, o f f i c e  d e n t a l and m e d i c a l b u i l d i n g s , theatres." Town  f l o w e r and c h i n a s h o p s , h o t e l s a n d  One p e r s o n a l s o a d d e d "and p o r n o  shops."  ( o r "uptown", i n J u l i e ' s t e r m s ) , t h e y l i s t  C h i n e s e and Japanese Police Station.  buildings,  In China-  the o l d L i b r a r y ,  c u r i o shops, C h i n e s e r e s t a u r a n t s and t h e  Two y o u n g men a l s o m e n t i o n e d  the T r a f f i c Court.  Two y e a r s a g o , t h i s m i g h t h a v e b e e n my d e s c r i p t i o n ,  3  t h a t o f an  o r d i n a r y s q u a r e J o h n who, l i k e J u l i e o r t h e p e o p l e q u o t e d ,  only  sees what i s r e l e v a n t t o h i s o r h e r e x p e r i e n c e . The Julie's  o n l y a d d i t i o n s b r o u g h t by t h e o t h e r i n f o r m a n t s t o  list  of beer p a r l o u r s , d r u g s t o r e s , h o t e l s ,  and n o v e l t y s h o p s where " s e x u a l a i d s "  restaurants  ("French t i c k l e r s " and  o t h e r s ) a r e bought, were t h e a t r e s showing X - r a t e d f i l m s , t h e beach  ("You m i g h t a s w e l l g e t a good t a n w h i l e y o u ' r e  a n d , i n t h e c a s e o f some " b o o s t e r s " , s e v e r a l d e p a r t m e n t known f o r t h e i r  shoplifting  facilities.  a n t s ' m e n t a l map o f t h e c i t y relevant s i t e s of the street,  sleeping") stores  Obviously, the inform-  i s reduced t o the o c c u p a t i o n a l l y t h e i r w o r k i n g and l i v i n g  area.  I n t h e S p r i n g o f 1 9 7 5 , I was a s k e d by t h e B r i t i s h C o l u m b i a P o l i c e C o m m i s s i o n t o do some r e s e a r c h i n t o and w r i t e a r e p o r t o n s t r e e t p r o s t i t u t i o n i n Vancouver (Layton 1975). One o f t h e f i r s t t h i n g s I d i d was t o go o u t a t n i g h t w i t h s t r e e t w o r k e r s f r o m t h e G a s t o w n Team, a n o r g a n i z a t i o n c o n c e r n e d w i t h t h e p r o t e c t i o n o f j u v e n i l e s , who p a t r o l t h e a r e a s d e s c r i b e d a s u p t o w n a n d downtown. I t was a t o t a l r e v e l a t i o n : t h e n o c t u r n a l s t r e e t became a l m o s t a photographic negative of the diurnal street. Stores disappeared and between t h o s e v a n i s h e d shops s t a r e d t h e u n s u s p e c t e d o p e n i n g s o f i n n u m e r a b l e w a l k - u p h o t e l s and rooms f o r r e n t : no l o b b y , j u s t a door and a s t e e p s t a i r c a s e . The same phenomenon a l s o g a v e s u b s t a n c e t o t h e p e o p l e who come t o l i f e a n i g h t , a n d make shadows of t h e s t r a i g h t p e o p l e l e f t o v e r f r o m t h e d a y . ( s e e A p p e n d i x E) 3  24  Not o n l y do t h e two  groups'  perception of the  physical  r e a l i t y o f t h e two  areas d i f f e r , but i t i s a l s o c l e a r from  responses  t h a t the s t r a i g h t persons  elicited  the  i n t e r v i e w e d , what-  e v e r t h e i r a r e a o f r e s i d e n c e and w o r k , h a v e a more e x t e n s i v e v i s i o n of Vancouver. and W h i t e example  The  same p o i n t i s w e l l  (1974:34-37) who  reproduce  P.  i l l u s t r a t e d by  Orleans'  (1967) o f t h e t h r e e maps o f L o s A n g e l e s  the eyes of  characteristic perceived through  (1) u p p e r m i d d l e c l a s s w h i t e s i n Westwood,  r e s i d e n t s i n A v a l o n , and Heights, i n which  (3) S p a n i s h - s p e a k i n g  the c i t y  Could  (2) b l a c k  residents i n Boyle  i s g r a d u a l l y reduced  i n s i z e to the  e x t e n t , i n the l a s t case, of o n l y i n c l u d i n g the immediate a r e a , t h e C i t y H a l l and  t h e bus  depot  ("The  m a j o r e n t r a n c e and  exit  to  t h e i r t i n y urban w o r l d " ) . S t r a i g h t p e o p l e who f e e l i n g s about i t .  go t o t o w n t o w o r k and  E i t h e r they  what t h e y ' v e done w i t h i t " , appearance.  "like"  it,  shop e x p r e s s  or they  "don't  few  like  usually r e f e r r i n g to i t s physical  S t r e e t p e o p l e , on t h e o t h e r h a n d d r a w much o f  s t r e n g t h from the v e r y environment  o f t h e s t r e e t where  their  their  t r a n s a c t i o n s t a k e p l a c e , f r o m k n o w i n g i t and b e i n g known a s  a  part of i t . L o t s o f p e o p l e c a n ' t go f r o m B u r r a r d t o D a v i e . They go crazy. I t ' s another t e r r i t o r y . They're a f r a i d of people, they can't fend f o r themselves. (Brandy) The  w e l l d e f i n e d areas i n which  a l s o r e f l e c t t h e i r own street performers.  s t a t u s and  s t r e e t a d d i c t s f e e l a t home  the recognized h i e r a r c h y of  T h i s i s e v e n more t r u e o f a d d i c t s t r e e t -  w a l k e r s , whose c h o i c e o f a r e a i s n o t o n l y r e g u l a t e d by f a c t o r s as a d d i c t s ( t y p e o f d r u g t h e y u s e , t h e i r  primary  involvement  in  the drug scene, whether they a r e a l s o t r a f f i c k e r s , etc.) b u t a l s o by s e c o n d a r y  f a c t o r s as p r o s t i t u t e s  grooming, remuneration  expected  (their physical  appearance,  for services, etc.).  Sue p o i n t e d  out t h a t The G r a n v i l l e s t r e e t g i r l s t h i n k t h e y ' r e b e t t e r t h a n t h e Stratford g i r l s , the Stratford g i r l s think they're better than the Hastings s t r e e t g i r l s . But, wherever i t s exact l o c a t i o n , the S t r e e t i s , f o r a l l t h e i n f o r m a n t s , more t h a n a p h y s i c a l r e a l i t y : life.  i t i s a way o f  As a d d i c t s , my i n f o r m a n t s r e c o g n i z e a n d a d a p t  t o t h e i r own  f a v o u r i t e s p o t t h e f e e l i n g s Dee a t t r i b u t e d t o h e r f r i e n d s a t t h e Corner: You c a n t a k e a h y p e a t t h e C o r n e r , a n d t h e y c a n l i v e down t h e r e a n d be c o n t e n t o r h a p p y , o r w h a t e v e r , a n d t h e y c a n l i v e down t h e r e w i t h o u t n e e d i n g t h e r e s t o f t h e w o r l d . SUMMARY The of  f o l l o w i n g ethnographic d e s c r i p t i o n of the v a r i o u s types  v e r b a l t r a n s a c t i o n s i n which  concepts  of ethnosemantics  S t u r t e v a n t 1964, interaction  (Goodenough 1957,  F r a k e 1969,  ( G o f f m a n 1959,  s t r e e t women engage d r a w s on t h e  B l a c k 1974:521-529), o r s y m b o l i c  1961 a n d 1963,  1966)  and an a n a l y s i s o f t h e f o l k l o r e  1971,  Cothran  (Abrahams 1968,  Dundes  o f communication  which  t o d e f i n e t h e b o u n d a r i e s o f t h e c o m m u n i t y w h e r e communi-  cation takes place, the boundaries specific  M c C a l l a n d Simmons  1974).  I t i s e s s e n t i a l l y an ethnography attempts  B u r l i n g 1969,  speech  o f t h e s i t u a t i o n s where  a c t s o c c u r , t h e n a t u r e o f t h e s e exchanges and t h e  v a r i o u s codes adopted  i n these  encounters.  o  L i k e t h e w o r k s o f James (1971) , A g a r (1970,  1975),  the dissertation  interpretation.  (1973) a n d S p r a d l e y  f o c u s e s on an e s s e n t i a l l y  emic  The a s p e c t o f a " d e v i a n t " s u b c u l t u r e p r e v i o u s l y  c o n s i d e r e d by s o c i a l the only deviance  26  s c i e n t i s t s becomes i r r e l e v a n t h e r e ,  since  a c k n o w l e d g e d by t h e i n f o r m a n t s i s t h a t o f t h e  c u l t u r e ' s members who f a i l  t o conform t o the expected  behaviour  p a t t e r n w i t h i n t h e group and endanger i t s c o h e s i o n : t h e " r a t s " and  the " r i p o f f s " . The  informants' understanding  of their  socio-economic  e n v i r o n m e n t d i r e c t s t h e i r t r a n s a c t i o n s w i t h members o f t h e l a r g e r c u l t u r e and among t h e m s e l v e s .  T h e i r e c o n o m i c s u r v i v a l d e p e n d s on  t h e i r management o f members o f t h e o t h e r c u l t u r e , w h i l e social  their  s u r v i v a l d e p e n d s on t h e i r management o f r e l a t i o n s h i p s  w i t h i n t h e i r own g r o u p . The  inclusion of the informant-researcher transaction into  the study permits the c o n s i d e r a t i o n of a double  process: the  i n f o r m a n t ' s i n t e r a c t i o n w i t h a member o f t h e s t r a i g h t c u l t u r e , an interaction usually  seen as m u t u a l l y e x p l o i t a t i v e , and t h e  i n f o r m a n t ' s method o f i m p a r t i n g and d e f i n i n g a c u l t u r a l system.  value  67  CHAPTER  TWO  F I E L D WORK AND THE INTERVIEW SITUATION In t h e course o f a past study f o r t h e B r i t i s h  Columbia  P o l i c e C o m m i s s i o n and t h e p r e s e n t r e s e a r c h , I t a l k e d t o a b o u t d o z e n women, p r o s t i t u t e s a n d h e r o i n a d d i c t s . w o r k t o o k two d i f f e r e n t  forms:  I first  The a c t u a l  field  became a c q u a i n t e d w i t h t h e  s e t t i n g as an o b s e r v e r , and I proceeded  l a t e r t o i n t e r v i e w women  whose t r a n s a c t i o n s n o r m a l l y t a k e p l a c e i n t h e same PAST AND PRESENT  two  setting.  FIELDWORK  T h r o u g h o u t t h e Summer o f 1 9 7 5 , I s p e n t two o r t h r e e n i g h t s a week i n t h e a r e a s d e s c r i b e d e a r l i e r I accompanied i n d i v i d u a l f r o m 9 a.m.  a s "downtown" a n d "uptown".  s t r e e t workers  on t h e i r r o u n d s ,  usually  t o m i d n i g h t o r l a t e r a n d , on a f e w o c c a s i o n s , a  policeman detached M o r a l i t y squad  t o the s t r e e t workers'  team.  A member o f t h e  a n d a member o f t h e g a y c o m m u n i t y a l s o i n t r o d u c e d  me - s e p a r a t e l y - t o some p l a c e s o u t s i d e t h e w o r k i n g a r e a o f t h e s t r e e t workers. specific  Through these people  I became a c q u a i n t e d w i t h  l o c a t i o n s w i t h i n these a r e a s : s t r e e t c o r n e r s , whole  city  b l o c k s , h o t e l s , b e e r p a r l o u r s and b a r s o r d i s c o t h e q u e s r e p u t e d t o c a t e r t o groups w i t h s p e c i a l i z e d homosexuals,  interests  such as j u v e n i l e  b l a c k pimps o r drug t r a f f i c k e r s .  I sometimes  r e t u r n e d t o t h e s e p l a c e s l a t e r , a n d i n t i m e became more  familiar  28  w i t h them a n d more s e n s i t i v e t o a c t i o n s o r s i g n a l s , a n d e v e n t o s o u n d s s p e c i f i c t o some o f them. some u n d e r s t a n d i n g  During  t h a t summer, I o b t a i n e d  o f t h e p h y s i c a l e n v i r o n m e n t f a m i l i a r t o my  informants. I a l s o s a t i n on t r i a l s o r r e a d t r i a l which r e f l e c t e d events iting,  living  t r a n s c r i p t s o f cases  relevant to street l i f e :  charges o f s o l i c -  on t h e a v a i l s o f p r o s t i t u t i o n , r a p e ,  trafficking,  d r u g r e l a t e d o f f e n c e s , and even one d r u g r e l a t e d murder. common e n o u g h o f f e n c e s informants'  life,  i n t r o d u c e d me t o a n o t h e r  t h e j u d i c i a l and c o r r e c t i o n a l one.  o n e s i n t r o d u c e d me t o e v e n t s street  folklore  aspect  (e.g. Porky  o f my The u n u s u a l  w h i c h s o m e t i m e s became p a r t o f t h e and t h e M a f i a s t o r y , p p . 1 2 5 - 1 2 6 ) .  F o r t h e a c t u a l i n t e r v i e w s and t h e t e x t s o b t a i n e d , however a l m o s t e x c l u s i v e l y f o r t h i s in  O a k a l l a , t h e Lower M a i n l a n d  the Spring t o t h e Winter  The  I relied  s t u d y on i n f o r m a t i o n r e c e i v e d  Regional  C o r r e c t i o n a l Centre,  o f 1 9 7 6 . The m a i n r e a s o n  for  from  this  s e l e c t i o n i s t h a t i n 1975 I d i d n o t t h i n k I w o u l d be u s i n g f o r a d i s s e r t a t i o n t h e d a t a I was g a t h e r i n g . as a r e s e a r c h e r forthcoming  Information  g i v e n t o me  f o r t h e P o l i c e Commission m i g h t n o t have been  had t h e informants  a personal goal.  known i t w o u l d be u s e d t o f u r t h e r  M o r e o v e r , t h e d i r e c t i o n o f t h e r e s e a r c h was  q u i t e d i f f e r e n t and t h e p r a c t i c a l u s e f o r t h e f o l l o w i n g y e a r s o f w o r k done i n 1975 s i m p l y became one o f f a m i l i a r i z a t i o n w i t h t h e s e t t i n g and t h e l i f e s t y l e . Finally, preferred j a i l  from a p r a c t i c a l  and a p e r s o n a l p o i n t o f v i e w , I  i n t e r v i e w s t o s t r e e t work.  U n l i k e J e n n i f e r James  29  who  s p e n t many n i g h t s t a l k i n g t o h e r p r o s t i t u t e i n f o r m a n t s i n  little  c a f e s , a t home, a n d i n a v a r i e t y o f p l a c e s o u t s i d e t h e  j a i l w h e r e s h e h a d o f t e n f i r s t met them., I f o u n d t h i s f o r t h r i g h t and  s e l f assured  approach incompatible  w i t h my own c h a r a c t e r .  f o r m e d a g o o d r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h a t l e a s t f o u r o f my but  informants,  t h e r e was n e v e r t h e s l i g h t e s t p r e t e n c e t h a t i t w o u l d be  carried outside her  I  the j a i l .  One o f them o f f e r e d t o meet me a f t e r  release, but her a c t i v i t i e s  immediately absorbed her (I heard  l a t e r t h a t s h e was " m i s b e h a v i n g a g a i n " ) a n d we n e v e r m e t . I d i d n o t a t t e m p t t o t a l k t o unknown women on t h e s t r e e t when t h e y w e r e w o r k i n g , e v e n b e f o r e about s t r e e t l i f e , afterwards. and  and c e r t a i n l y  ference  with  patronization contained  i s due t o a n a t u r a l  salesmanship.  s t r e e t business  shyness  The k n o w l e d g e o f my  (usually "hooking"),  inter-  the implicit  i n my a s s u m p t i o n t h a t I m i g h t  question  them, t h e s u p p o s i t i o n t h a t t h e y w o u l d h a v e t o r e j e c t t h i s approach i f only consider  t h i s method a d e s i r a b l e one.  M o s t o f my  I was s o m e t i m e s i n t r o d u c e d  p o l i c e o f f i c e r s o r s t r e e t workers. m e t h o d , s i n c e t h e women h a d v e r y did)  present  reluctance,  f i n d no a n s w e r t o t h e  "Why w o u l d t h e y w a n t t o t a l k t o me?".  I n 19 75,  one  public  f o r a p p e a r a n c e ' s s a k e , d i d n o t e n c o u r a g e me t o  h o w e v e r , was d u e t o t h e f a c t t h a t I c o u l d question  more  saw i t a s a n i m p o s s i b i l i t y  Part of this reluctance  a lack of personal  I came t o know a l i t t l e  t o s t r e e t women b y  T h i s was a l s o an u n a c c e p t a b l e  little  choice  t o refuse  (only  a n d t h e p e r s o n who p e r f o r m e d t h e i n t r o d u c t i o n was a l s o during  the interview.  From t h e s e b r i e f  and r a t h e r  futile  30  e n c o u n t e r s , I have o n l y r e t a i n e d r e m a r k w h i c h s t r u c k me challenge, our  an  as an  a s s e r t i o n of  stood  this  the  left  (e.g.  for a minute, saying,  s i l e n c e , " L a s t n i g h t , I made 550  s t a t e m e n t as a c h a l l e n g e  and  whatever r i g h t I might have f e l t My  occasion  s t a t u s was  perhaps  dollars!"  I under-  a n s w e r e d : "Wow,  (researcher  j u n k i e h o o k e r who t h a t we  Then the  c o u l d not  that's  they are  t i m e and  we  a cop's r e q u e s t ) , had  (1975) as now  (1977) , p r i v a t e i n t e r v i e w s e n v i s a g e as a p o s s i b i l i t y .  h a v e m e n t i o n e d t h a t p e o p l e seem w i l l i n g  in jail.  Among my  informants,  t h a t w i l l i n g n e s s : b o r e d o m f o r some, and  as a p e r s o n and t h o s e who  as a s t o r y t e l l e r ;  stressed  t h e i r education  Langara"; " I f i n i s h e d grade XII the  t e r m s t h e y assumed t o be  street l i f e ing  but  to i n terms was  and  were  Many to t a l k  while  perhaps a d e s i r e expected of of being  those of the  researcher  and  the  how  for  them; appreci-  challenge  s t a r t e d one  i n h e r e " ) t o t r y and  f o r a t l e a s t one,  in jail  intellectual ("I  d i f f e r e d from s t r a i g h t l i f e  i t a l l was;  the  I g u e s s e d a t many r e a s o n s  sheer enjoyment, a f t e r a r e l u c t a n t beginning,  for  for  e s t a b l i s h e d t h a t she  t h e more d o c i l e t o do w h a t t h e y t h o u g h t was  ated  in a police  P o l i c e C o m m i s s i o n as o p p o s e d refuse  denied  me).  o n l y method I c o u l d  researchers  for  f o r the  could both appreciate,  "better" than  to i n t e r r o g a t e her  b e t t e r than hers at the  a  B o n n i e , when  more t h a n I make i n a m o n t h ! " , an a n s w e r w h i c h m o m e n t a r i l y  car.  odd  u n s o l i c i t e d meaningful statement,  s e l f worth, etc.  d e t e c t i v e g o - b e t w e e n had  to break the  f o r the p r e s e n t r e s e a r c h  term  explain  at in  i n what  much more  way  excit-  i n t e r v i e w s were seen  as  31  didactic  exercise.  I n a l l cases, t h e p r a c t i c e o f b u l l s h i t t i n g as  an a r t f o r m t o o k p r e c e d e n c e  over whatever other reasons  they  m i g h t h a v e h a d f o r a g r e e i n g t o t a l k t o me. The one  a u t h o r i t i e s w e r e e x t r e m e l y g e n e r o u s w i t h me, g i v i n g  o f t h e i r hard-to-come-by o f f i c e s ,  inmates  I chose t o i n t e r v i e w .  me  and f r e e a c c e s s t o any  T h i s was done o n t h e b a s i s o f  previous interviews I held i n j a i l  and t h a n k s  to a letter of  i n t r o d u c t i o n from t h e Chairman o f t h e P o l i c e Commission.  I also  assume t h a t t h e y a p p r e c i a t e d r e c e i v i n g a c o p y o f my p r e v i o u s report.  S i n c e , h o w e v e r , I was e n g a g e d i n t h i s new r e s e a r c h a s a  private individual, Jail  I am v e r y much i n d e b t e d t o t h e i r g e n e r o s i t y .  i n t e r v i e w s may l e a v e much t o be d e s i r e d .  None p u t s i t  more s c a t h i n g l y t h a n P o l s k y . We know a l s o , o r o u g h t t o know b y now, t h a t d a t a g a t h e r e d from caught c r i m i n a l s , f o r r e a s o n s i n a d d i t i o n t o and q u i t e a p a r t from p o s s i b l e sampling b i a s , are n o t o n l y v e r y p a r t i a l b u t p a r t i a l l y suspect. T h e s e a r e d a t a t h a t a r e much t o o h e a v i l y r e t r o s p e c t i v e , d a t a f r o m p e o p l e who a r e n ' t r e a l l y f r e e t o p u t y o u down; d a t a o f t e n i n v o l v i n g t h e k i n d o f " c o o p e r a t i v e n e s s " i n w h i c h y o u g e t t o l d w h a t t h e c r i m i n a l t h i n k s y o u want t o h e a r s o y o u w i l l g e t o f f h i s b a c k o r may b e do h i m some g o o d w i t h t h e j u d g e o r p a r o l e b o a r d ; d a t a f r o m someone who i s n o t b e h a v i n g a s he n o r m a l l y w o u l d i n h i s n o r m a l l i f e s i t u a t i o n s ; and a b o v e a l l , d a t a t h a t y o u c a n n o t s u p p l e m e n t w i t h , o r i n t e r p r e t i n the l i g h t o f your d i r e c t o b s e r v a t i o n o f the c r i m i n a l ' s b e h a v i o r i n h i s n a t u r a l environment ( P o l s k y 1969: 115-116). One c a n c o u n t e r some o f t h e r e a s o n s g i v e n b y P o l s k y f o r condemning t h e v a l i d i t y o f d a t a thus 1.  gathered:  Data a r e n o t n e c e s s a r i l y t o be shunned b e c a u s e t h e y a r e "retrospective".  I n d e e d , most d a t a , e x c e p t t h o s e  arising  from d i r e c t o b s e r v a t i o n o r p a r t i c i p a t i o n , a r e o f a r e t r o spective nature.  They a r e a l s o p r o c e s s e d a n d s e l e c t e d  data  32  and  s e r v e t o p r o v i d e an  e m p h a s e s , and  i n s i g h t i n t o emic v a l u e s  the c o n s t r u c t s of r e a l i t y  N a r r a t i v e s a r e seldom bare  statements  give explanations f o r events.  and  (Whittaker  1973).  of f a c t s but u s u a l l y  I t i s as s u c h  that  these  r e t r o s p e c t i v e d a t a a r e u s e f u l s i n c e , as S c h w a r t z and m e n t i o n i n a p a s s a g e q u o t e d by W h i t t a k e r  Merton  (1973:7) :  T a l k a b o u t m o t i v e s d o e s n o t end w i t h t h e s u g g e s t i o n t h a t i t i s the " r e a l " or " t r u e " reason f o r the a c t i n q u e s t i o n but taps the moral vocabulary through which the informant a p p r a i s e s and e v a l u a t e s m y r i a d s a c t i o n s and r e l a t i o n s h i p s . M o r e o v e r , t h e i n d i v i d u a l manner o f a c c o u n t i n g r e v e a l i n g of the informant's congruent w i t h h i s or her  The  ( S c o t t and  believed to  conceive.  and  i s t h e m o s t p o t e n t p u t - d o w n some i n f o r m a n t s I t i s a l s o a s o c i a l l y a c c e p t a b l e one  o f c o u r s e , one  c h o o s e s t o make i t so and  t h e p u t - d o w n and The  investigation.  4.  My  can  s i n c e , as Unless,  acknowledges  both  one's i n c l u s i o n i n t h e d e c r i e d group.  "cooperativeness"  nized  be  straight  the saying goes, "there's nothing p e r s o n a l i n i t " .  3.  front  Lyman 1 9 6 8 ) .  simple comparison of s t r e e t l i f e s t y l e  lifestyle  itself  at presenting a  s e l f - i m a g e and  acceptable t o the researcher 2.  attempts  is in  is in itself  As w i l l  be  an e v e n t w o r t h y  seen l a t e r ,  i t i s a well  of recog-  phenomenon.  s c e p t i c i s m has  grown c o n s i d e r a b l y a b o u t t h e a b i l i t y  t h e s t r a i g h t r e s e a r c h e r t o come c l o s e e n o u g h t o  the  s u b j e c t ' s - e s p e c i a l l y the c r i m i n a l s u b j e c t ' s -  "scene"  to analyze the l a t t e r ' s behaviour experience  of t h i s  scene.  of  i n the l i g h t of h i s  N a t u r a l l y , e x c e p t i o n s have t o  33  be made f o r p e o p l e who enough t o i t ,  like  b e l o n g t o i t o r h a v e come c l o s e  t h e M i l n e r s f o r t h e b l a c k pimps  for i n s t a n c e , Polsky f o r the h u s t l e r s the p r o f e s s i o n a l musicians be  s a i d t o be e n t i r e l y  I am  to which  t i o n t h a t square  But, can  s t r a i g h t any  these  Johns s i m p l y cannot  o t h e r w o r d s , " I know my J o h n s o f t e n i n t e r a c t and the former's  people  the  reitera-  street  people.  John.  Since s t r e e t people  and  In square  f e e d on e a c h o t h e r , t h e r e v e l a t i o n  c u l t u r e to the l a t t e r  understanding  "understand"  the  s o c i a l i z a t i o n as a s q u a r e  place".  for  longer?  I h a v e b e e n s u b m i t t e d , and  I c o n s i d e r i t a p a r t o f my  of  i s i m p o r t a n t , as w e l l as  o f t h e r o l e a s s i g n e d t o them by t h i s  the  culture.  INFORMANTS The  was  (1967) o r B e c k e r  q u i t e aware t h a t t h i s s c e p t i c i s m i s a r e s u l t o f  "bullshitting"  THE  (1951).  (1972)  only c r i t e r i o n of i n c l u s i o n  t h a t t h e women "know" t h e s t r e e t .  drawing  up  the l i s t ,  traffickers m i g h t be. staff  informants  For the p r i s o n s t a f f  and/or p r o s t i t u t e s , whatever t h e i r p r e s e n t The  o f inmates  w o u l d p r o b a b l y t a l k t o you  ...  The  i n which  and  charge  p u t a c h e c k mark i n f r o n t  a p p r o p r i a t e and t h a t one m i g h t  names I t h e n s e l e c t e d one  where I s a t .  users,  i n f o r m a n t s w e r e s e l e c t e d i n a c a s u a l maner: t h e  o f t h o s e whose e x p e r i e n c e was  selected,  group of  i t meant women u s u a l l y known t o be  looked at a l i s t  checked  i n my  who  was  i n f o r m a n t s o f t e n asked case  added: " T h i s ..."  From t h e  c a l l e d t o the  how  one  t h e y had  office  been  I e x p l a i n e d t h a t I had p i c k e d t h e i r name  34  a t random f r o m a l i s t "interesting"  I h a d b e e n g i v e n o f p e o p l e who m i g h t be  t o t a l k t o (rather than " w i l l i n g "  to talk  t o me,  w h i c h may h a v e b e e n s e e n a s a p u t d o w n ) , a n d t h a t I d i d n o t know anything  a b o u t them p e r s o n a l l y .  My i n f o r m a n t s tigious who  a r e n o t p a r t o f t h e hard  core  pres-  i n m a t e s who a r e u n w i l l i n g t o t a l k t o n o n - o f f i c i a l s :  a r e seen on t h e s t r e e t as " s o l i d " o r " h e a v i e s "  become i n j a i l  t h e m e d i a t o r s between o t h e r  They u s e t h e i r  s t r e n g t h and a b i l i t y  favours  of often  those  and o f t e n  inmates and t h e s t a f f .  t o manipulate people,  grant  a n d p r o t e c t i o n , mete o u t p u n i s h m e n t a n d f i n d t h a t  their  authority  i s seldom c h a l l e n g e d .  They a r e u s u a l l y j u n k i e s w i t h a  "name" on t h e s t r e e t who f i n d t h a t t h e i r r e p u t a t i o n h a s p r e c e d e d them i n t h e j a i l .  They w o u l d h a v e h a d no r e a s o n t o s p e a k t o me  and w o u l d h a v e g a i n e d Of  nothing  from i t .  a l l my i n f o r m a n t s , Dee was^the o n l y one who had a s t r e n g t h  of c h a r a c t e r and p e r s o n a l i t y comparable t o t h e i r s .  Referring  p e r h a p s t o t h e women I i n t e r v i e w e d , Dee o n c e e x p l a i n e d t h a t i t was  n o t "very c o o l t o help s t r a i g h t people",  a n d I l a t e r came t o  see  t h e i r w i l l i n g n e s s t o be i n t e r v i e w e d a s a f l a w i n t h e compos-  i t e p i c t u r e o f c u l t u r a l competence t h e y were o t h e r w i s e b u i l d i n g f o r me.  This  f l a w was somewhat r e d e e m e d b y my a b s o l u t e c e r t a i n t y  t h a t t h e y w o u l d n o t h a v e s p o k e n t o me o n t h e s t r e e t . (a)  The P o p u l a t i o n The  first  p a r t o f my r e p o r t o f t h e B.C. P o l i c e C o m m i s s i o n  (1975) d r a w s upon t h e c o u r t , p o l i c e a n d p r o b a t i o n  files  o f one  h u n d r e d women a r r e s t e d b e t w e e n 1973 a n d 1975 i n V a n c o u v e r f o r  35  "soliciting  f o r t h e purpose o f p r o s t i t u t i o n " .  arbitrarily  s e l e c t e d , b u t t h e f i l e s w e r e c h o s e n on t h e b a s i s o f  fullness.  Thus, a young g i r l  The number was  f o r whom t h e c o u r t h a d r e q u e s t e d  a t h o r o u g h p r e - s e n t e n c e r e p o r t was a s l i k e l y t o be r e p r e s e n t e d  as  a woman w i t h a h e a v y c r i m i n a l r e c o r d , w e l l known b y t h e p o l i c e and  who may h a v e b e e n o n a l o n g This biased  probation.  s a m p l e may a l s o n o t h a v e b e e n r e p r e s e n t a t i v e o f  t h e a c t u a l age d i s t r i b u t i o n on t h e s t r e e t , girls The  s i n c e i n f o r m a t i o n on  u n d e r t h e a g e o f s e v e n t e e n h a d t o be s o u g h t  manner i n w h i c h i n f o r m a t i o n h a d b e e n g a t h e r e d  separately. d i d not present  a g r e a t c o n s i s t e n c y e i t h e r a n d some f i l e s d i d n o t e v e n t o u c h aspects  v e r y w e l l documented i n o t h e r  (e.g.  Some f i l e s went b a c k t e n o r f i f t e e n y e a r s , and  f a m i l y background). and f a s h i o n s ,  emphases w e r e s o m e t i m e s d i s c e r n i b l e (one f i l e ,  even c o n s i d e r e d With these  t h e women's e a r l y c h i l d h o o d  serious caveats,  and t o i l e t  training).  an a t t e m p t was made t o c o l l e c t history, their  b a c k g r o u n d a n d home e n v i r o n m e n t , t h e i r  involvement with  o f drugs, t h e i r medical  history  infor-  family various  and p s y c h i a t r i c h i s t o r y , c o u r t  ( r a t h e r t h a n c r i m i n a l h i s t o r y w h i c h may n o t a l w a y s h a v e  been f o r m a l l y s a n c t i o n e d occupational history.  w i t h a r r e s t and t r i a l )  and t h e i r  T h e s e women f o r m t h e p o p u l a t i o n  f o r the present  from which  the  informants  the  r e p o r t ' s f i n d i n g s , which a r e c o n s i s t e n t w i t h Limoges  (1967),  trends  for instance,  m a t i o n r e l a t e d t o t h e women's p e r s o n a l  types  upon  may s e r v e  The  w o r k a r e d r a w n , a n d a summary o f  as a u s e f u l i f v e r y  survey  sketchy i n t r o d u c t i o n .  y o u n g e s t woman i n c l u d e d i n t h e r e p o r t was 14 y e a r s o l d  36  and  t h e o l d e s t one 4 5 ; b u t most o f t h e a g e s r a n g e d b e t w e e n 16  and  25.  tion, 16-18.  Of t h e t h i r t y who r e p o r t e d when t h e y  80% i n d i c a t e d t h a t i t was b e f o r e Most were w h i t e ,  e i g h t w e r e b e t w e e n t h e a g e s 15 a n d 19.  from B r i t i s h Columbia. few  prostitu-  t h e age o f 20, p e a k i n g a t  and o f t h e t w e l v e  from u r b a n and r u r a l a r e a s ,  entered  Indians  i n t h e sample,  They came a l m o s t e q u a l l y  a n d a l m o s t two t h i r d s o f them w e r e  Some c o m p l e t e d s e c o n d a r y s c h o o l a n d a  d i d n o t go b e y o n d e l e m e n t a r y s c h o o l ; b u t t h e m a j o r i t y  s c h o o l somewhere b e t w e e n g r a d e 8 a n d 1 1 .  The o c c u p a t i o n s  have i n t e r m i t t e n t l y h e l d ranged from w a i t r e s s e s strippers.  left they  to clerks or  Many h a v e n e v e r h e l d l e g i t i m a t e e m p l o y m e n t a n d m o s t  w e r e on W e l f a r e . Some o f t h e women a r r e s t e d h a d b e e n m a r r i e d u s u a l l y divorced or separated.  and were  A few l i v e d w i t h an " o l d l a d y " i n  a l e s b i a n r e l a t i o n s h i p , b u t m o s t l i v e d w i t h a n " o l d man" i n a common-law r e l a t i o n s h i p .  The " o l d man" u s u a l l y h a d a c r i m i n a l  r e c o r d , made h i s l i v i n g b y t r a f f i c k i n g o r o t h e r means, a n d was m o s t o f t e n a h e r o i n a d d i c t .  illegitimate  Some o f t h e women  who were n o t t h e m s e l v e s h e r o i n a d d i c t s h a d w o r k e d o r w e r e w o r k i n g for a white  o r b l a c k pimp.  Many o f them  c h i l d r e n , u s u a l l y g i v e n up f o r a d o p t i o n k e p t them u s u a l l y h a d them l o o k e d  (30%) h a d h a d one o r two at birth;  t h e f e w who h a d  a f t e r by a r e l a t i v e .  More t h a n h a l f o f t h e women's e a r l y home l i f e  had been  a f f e c t e d by t h e p a r e n t s '  d i v o r c e o r s e p a r a t i o n , by t h e d e a t h o r  d e s e r t i o n o f one p a r e n t ,  o r some o t h e r  t e e n were r e p o r t e d  family disruption.  Four-  t o be i l l e g i t i m a t e o r t o h a v e b e e n a d o p t e d i n  37  infancy.  Many r e p o r t e d  One dren, six  quarter  l e a v i n g home b e f o r e  t h e age o f 1 5 .  came f r o m s m a l l f a m i l i e s o f o n e o r t w o c h i l -  more t h a n h a l f came f r o m f a m i l i e s w i t h b e t w e e n t h r e e a n d  c h i l d r e n , a n d t h e r e s t came f r o m v e r y  s e v e n , t e n o r e v e n more c h i l d r e n .  large families of  Almost a t h i r d o f the s i x t y -  f o u r women f o r whom t h e i n f o r m a t i o n was a v a i l a b l e w e r e f i r s t children. pressure  I t was a l s o n o t e d t h a t when t h e f a m i l y h a d t o b e a r t h e o f a severe  a d d i t i o n a l problem  slowly dying o f cancer, parent,  (a b l i n d m o t h e r , a m o t h e r  a mongoloid brother, a badly c r i p p l e d  a s i s t e r w i t h c e r e b r a l p a l s y , o r a mother w i t h  a t r i c problems), of t h e sample. in  born  i n h a l f t h e cases t h e f i r s t Moreover,  eight  psychi-  b o r n c h i l d was p a r t  o f them w e r e t h e e l d e s t d a u g h t e r  f a m i l i e s of f i v e t o nine c h i l d r e n . A l m o s t h a l f o f t h e home e n v i r o n m e n t s w e r e d e s c r i b e d a s  "average".  An a l m o s t e q u a l  h o l i c parents,  number w e r e d e s c r i b e d  abused c h i l d r e n , e t c . ) .  The f i l e s  as "bad" ( a l c o substantiated  seven cases o f m o l e s t a t i o n by a c l o s e male r e l a t i v e b e f o r e t h e age  o f 10, and r e p o r t e d  t w o more.  A s m a l l number o f women w e r e  r e p o r t e d by s o c i a l workers o r p r o b a t i o n a p u n i t i v e o r extremely  o f f i c e r s as coming  from  r e l i g i o u s f a m i l y , o f t e n among f o s t e r  parents. The keeping  parents'  more o r l e s s s t e a d y  s k i l l e d workers. odd  w o r k h i s t o r y showed on t h e w h o l e a n a t t e m p t a t employment as l a b o u r e r s o r s e m i -  A s m a l l g r o u p showed o n l y s p o r a d i c  jobs and s o c i a l a s s i s t a n c e .  s m a l l e r group i n d i c a t e d parents  employment,  A t t h e o t h e r p o l e , an even w i t h a p r o f e s s i o n a l and m i d d l e  38  class  background. O n l y h a l f o f t h e women a r r e s t e d f o r s o l i c i t i n g o n t h e  s t r e e t a n d i n b a r s were h e r o i n a d d i c t s .  A l l , h o w e v e r , u s e d some  type o f drug, whether a l c o h o l , b a r b i t u a t e s , marijuana, speed, c o c a i n e , glue.  etc.  The y o u n g e r g i r l s  still  LSD,  reported  sniffing  Among t h e h e r o i n a d d i c t s , d a i l y c o n s u m p t i o n was a n y t h i n g  f r o m a l i g h t h a b i t o f two t o t h r e e c a p s t o a n e x p e n s i v e s i x t o e i g h t c a p s o r more o f l o w q u a l i t y d r u g .  Quite  habit of  a few were  o r h a d been on a methadone m a i n t e n a n c e program. A l m o s t h a l f t h e women h a d n e v e r b e e n c h a r g e d w i t h o r c o n v i c t e d of s o l i c i t i n g before  b u t may h a v e r e c e i v e d  "warnings" under t h e p r e v i o u s one  Act.  The o t h e r h a l f h a d a t l e a s t  c o n v i c t i o n f o r t h e same o f f e n c e  previous  soliciting  t r a f f i c k i n g or being  convictions.  a n d many h a d f o u r o r f i v e  Most o t h e r  i n possession  several  c o n v i c t i o n s were f o r  of narcotics.  Three  o f t h e women h a d a l s o b e e n c o n v i c t e d o f p e t t y t h e f t . y o u n g e r women h a d b e e n i n v o l v e d i n c r i m e s r e c e n t l y mostly and  w h i c h were  quarters  Some o f t h e until  c o m m i t t e d b y men, s u c h a s c a r t h e f t o r b r e a k i n g  e n t e r i n g , a n d more c a s e s o f a s s a u l t s w e r e r e p o r t e d  among t h e  juveniles. The  underground p r o s t i t u t i o n o f c a l l g i r l s and housewives  was n o t t h e o b j e c t o f t h e s t u d y figured  i n the report.  and o n l y v i s i b l e  prostitution  I d i s t i n g u i s h e d between t h r e e  z o n e s o f o p e r a t i o n : S k i d Road  ("uptown" i n t h e p r e s e n t  general study,  see A p p e n d i x E ) , t h e G r a n v i l l e s t r e e t a r e a and t h e D a v i e s t r e e t area.  In the f i r s t  a r e a , where t h e C o r n e r and t h e S t r a t f o r d  39  Hotel figure prominently, overwhelming. r u l e o f thumb applied. reasons,  t h e p r o p o r t i o n o f h e r o i n a d d i c t s were  Lower f e e s w e r e r o u t i n e l y c h a r g e d  (where one t r i c k e q u a l s one cap) was u s u a l l y  I understand  t h a t , f o r a v a r i e t y o f l e g a l and e c o n o m i c  p r o s t i t u t i o n downtown h a s r e c e n t l y b e e n more  more a g g r e s s i v e a n d , r e p u t e d l y u n d e r t h e g u i d a n c e proliferating.  obvious,  of pimps, i s  I do n o t b e l i e v e t h a t s t r e e t p r o s t i t u t i o n  the j u n k i e s of the f i r s t  among  a r e a h a s b e e n n o t i c e a b l y m o d i f i e d by t h e  changes r e p o r t e d elsewhere. is  and t h e economic  I f the addict p r o s t i t u t e s '  business  a f f e c t e d by t h e c o m p e t i t i o n c o m i n g f r o m t h e i n c r e a s e d number  o f p r o s t i t u t e s r e p o r t e d b y t h e P o l i c e a n d t h e news m e d i a , t h e y must did (b)  s i m p l y r e s o r t t o more t h e f t s , more c o n j o b s , a n d t h o s e n o t t r a f f i c k b e f o r e may The I n d i v i d u a l  now h a v e t o do s o .  Informants  For a v a r i e t y of reasons, i n f o r m a n t s ' good w i l l as i n f o r m a n t s  t h e m a i n one b e i n g o b v i o u s l y t h e  and a c c e s s i b i l i t y , t e n women w e r e s e l e c t e d  f o r the d i s s e r t a t i o n .  21 and 3 3 , w i t h a mean o f 25.8 y e a r s . travelled  T h e i r ages ranged between O n l y two h a v e n o t  f a r t h e r than A l b e r t a ; the experience  a d d i c t s and p r o s t i t u t e s ,  o f t h e o t h e r s , as  c o v e r s m o s t o f Canada and p a r t o f t h e  U n i t e d S t a t e s , and t h r e e have a l s o been o v e r s e a s . f a i r l y new it  who  Two  were  t o t h e s t r e e t , t h e o t h e r e i g h t have been i n v o l v e d i n  since their  l a t e teens or e a r l i e r .  A l l b u t one h a d .been i n  p r i s o n b e f o r e , some many t i m e s . Three had r e q u e s t e d  t o be h e l d i n p r o t e c t i v e c u s t o d y f o r  t h e i r own p r o t e c t i o n and t h e y l i v e d t o g e t h e r i n one room  where  40  everybody o f t e n j o i n e d i n t h e c o n v e r s a t i o n . first  were  i n t e r v i e w e d t o g e t h e r , t h e n b r o k e up t h e i r r e l a t i o n s h i p a n d  were a f t e r w a r d s seen  Two o t h e r s  seen s e p a r a t e l y .  The l a s t t h r e e w e r e  always  alone. Some i n f o r m a n t s  claimed or denied  "I've never been a working  areas o f e x p e r t i s e  g i r l , b u t I ' v e been t r a f f i c k i n g  I was s i x t e e n , " D e e ) . The f i n a l  All  among " s t r e e t  since  c r i t e r i o n o f i n c l u s i o n was  w h e t h e r o r n o t t h e woman h e r s e l f a c c e p t e d belonging  (e.g.  h e r d e f i n i t i o n as  people".  around t h e j a i l ,  I r e c o g n i z e d t h e sounds and s m e l l s o f  an E n g l i s h m e n t a l h o s p i t a l w h e r e I w o r k e d t w e n t y - f i v e y e a r s a g o , and  some o f t h e l i s t l e s s n e s s a n d t h e r e s t l e s s n e s s w e r e a l s o t h e  same.  A l l t h e i n f o r m a n t s b u t B o o t s who h a d j u s t a r r i v e d h a d t h e  pasty complexion  and t h e s h u f f l i n g g a i t o f t h e i n s t i t u t i o n a l i z e d .  They a l l w o r e t h e same j e a n s a n d t h e same T - s h i r t s a n d some t h a t t h e y w e r e p l e a s e d t h a t t h e y no l o n g e r h a d t o w e a r They a l l h a d j e w e l l e r y a n d m o s t e x h i b i t e d t a t t o o s . itions,  jokes, boasts  and f e a r s quoted i n t h e n e x t  said  uniforms.  The d e f i n four  chapters  are e x t r a c t e d from r a m b l i n g c o n v e r s a t i o n s h e l d w i t h Bugsy, B r a n d y , Snow, J u l i e , their their  files  J o , Sue, S u g a r , T i n y and B o o t s .  I n e v e r saw  a n d o n l y know w h a t t h e y t o l d me a n d what I f e l t i n  presence. BUGSY was t h e y o u n g e s t , a f a i r  skinned g i r l  o f twenty-one.  From one i n t e r v i e w t o t h e n e x t , I d i d n o t know how I w o u l d her: b o i s t e r o u s , s u l k y , funny, barely c i v i l .  find  a p p a r e n t l y p l e a s e d t o s e e me o r  Y e t , she always s t a y e d .  She d e s c r i b e d h e r s e l f a s  41  p h y s i c a l l y and m e n t a l l y received  and g i v e n ,  tough and o f t e n  talked of beatings  o f t h e u t t e r p i t i l e s s n e s s o f s t r e e t l i f e , and  of s u r v i v i n g i t a l l and coming o u t a winner. delightful  story t e l l e r .  hooker and a j u n k i e later,  I can only  I n s p i t e o f h e r a g e , she h a d been a  f o r eight years.  Now, a l m o s t two y e a r s  remember h e r a s y o u n g a n d  DEE was a s t o l i d  Her composure  a n d common s e n s e .  h a d a l w a y s b e e n a l e s b i a n a n d a t t h e b e g i n n i n g a l w a y s came  with  Bugsy.  robberies, and  Dee was a j u n k i e , a t r a f f i c k e r , escapes and v i o l e n c e .  f e l t considerable  atically  no f u r t h e r .  you."  respect  to our interviews  same t i m e d e s c r i b i n g go  disarming.  a n d s t u r d i l y b u i l t woman.  was a l w a y s a d m i r a b l e a n d s h e e x u d e d s t r e n g t h She  I found her a  and t a l k e d o f  I thought her brave,  f o rher.  courteous  She a l s o a p p l i e d  system-  t h e c o n n i n g t e c h n i q u e s s h e was a t t h e  f o r me.  A f t e r f o u r m o n t h s , I s a i d : "We c a n  Y o u now know more a b o u t me t h a n I know a b o u t  She a g r e e d p o l i t e l y ,  a n d t h a t was t h a t .  BRANDY was a t t h i r t y - t h r e e t h e o l d e s t o f my i n f o r m a n t s .  I  t h o u g h t h e r a n u n w i s e a n d i n d i s c r e e t woman: a f t e r t w e n t y - t w o y e a r s on t h e s t r e e t and i n t h e j a i l s ,  she s t i l l  wrong p e o p l e and s a i d t h e wrong t h i n g s ; custody. and  Her l o n g  s h e was i n p r o t e c t i v e  e x p e r i e n c e i n American and Canadian  j a i l s made h e r a n i d e a l s u b j e c t ,  argot,  talked to the  equally  fluent i n street  standard language and m e d i c o - l e g a l jargon.  t u n a t e l y moody, h o w e v e r , w i t h  a very short  She was  unfor-  a t t e n t i o n span and  i n t e r v i e w i n g h e r amounted t o an e n d u r a n c e t e s t . i n t h e sun where she s u n b a t h e d , f o r e v e r  streets  We o f t e n  sat out  d i s t r a c t e d by t h e male  42  i n m a t e s who  worked nearby.  w o r s t enemy was "blackouts" was  a l c o h o l : she  during  w h i c h she  She y e t was  slash  could  beat people senseless. her  f o r e a r m s were  and  SNOW was  express h e r s e l f i n  totally  the  and  Since  the others  mental, vulnerable,  entirely  I t h i n k she  and  imaginable, f o u n d me  as  of twenty-four,  some-  with  these p o r t r a i t s are purely say  t h a t I saw  "women".  I saw  else.  l i f e which I could  subjec-  B u g s y and  Snow  them b o t h as  i n need o f p r o t e c t i o n perhaps  t h e m s e l v e s more t h a n a n y t h i n g experience of  violence  inconsequential.  impressionistic, I shall  "girls"  Her  f o u l e s t way  a b e a u t i f u l Tsimshian g i r l  r e m a r k a b l y f i n e hands. t i v e and  had  scars.  c e r e m o n i o u s l y p o l i t e w i t h me.  what s i m p l e  self-professed  c o u l d n e v e r r e s i s t i t and  a l s o d i r e c t e d a t h e r s e l f and  covered with  as  A l t h o u g h a j u n k i e , her  senti-  against  In s p i t e of t h e i r having  not  e v e n f a t h o m , I saw  an  them b o t h  as c h i l d r e n . Snow had  been i n v o l v e d  small time t r a f f i c k i n g , tion.  L i k e B u g s y , she  t r o l l a b l e wildness t e r m , she  and had  i n many p e t t y a c t i v i t i e s  an  i m p u l s i v i t y and  about her.  Two  an a l m o s t  weeks b e f o r e  uncon-  the  end  of  She  was  married  was  born i n  a pervious  o f t e n t a l k e d and  term of  imprisonment.  who Her  h u s b a n d was  she  c l a s s of p r o s t i t u t i o n than  t h a t a l l her  the  also  She  p r a c t i s e d a somewhat h i g h e r  g a v e me  impression  a c t i v i t i e s were i n f a c t s u p e r i o r  and  jail  serving a sentence i n Oakalla.  others,  her  escaped.  a c h i l d o f whom we  during  thefts,  a l s o s u p p o r t e d h e r s e l f by p r o s t i t u -  J U L I E came f r o m a " s t r a i g h t " f a m i l y . had  and  that the  to that  of  43  the o t h e r inmates  and mentioned  t h a t she and h e r husband had  "worked" i n E n g l a n d a n d done w e l l . a h e a r t shaped  She h a d l u m i n o u s  f a c e and h e r appearance  g r e y eyes i n  a n d manner w o u l d  h e r c l a i m t h a t h e r g r e a t e s t s u c c e s s was w i t h m a r k s .  support  She a l w a y s  showed i n t e r e s t i n my work and e n j o y e d d i s c u s s i n g a g r e a t v a r i e t y of t o p i c s . with which  T h i s was p r o b a b l y a n o t h e r a s p e c t o f t h e i n s i s t e n c e she p r o j e c t e d a " s u p e r i o r "  image.  JO was a v e r y composed a n d handsome, i n t e l l i g e n t a n d o f t e n b i t t e r woman. was  She h a d t r a v e l l e d t o E n g l a n d  and N o r t h A f r i c a and  p l e a s e d t o h e a r t h a t I knew M o r o c c o w h i c h  she l i k e d .  She  p r o s t i t u t e d h e r s e l f as a l a s t r e s o r t and p r e f e r r e d t o b o o s t o r steal  from h e r customers. BOOTS was s m a l l a n d q u i t e c h i l d l i k e  long blond h a i r .  i n appearance,  with  She h a d b e e n w e l l p r o t e c t e d b y h e r o l d man a n d ,  a f t e r h i s d e a t h , went t o w o r k f o r a w h i t e p i m p who g o t h e r o f f heroin for a while.  A l t h o u g h a p r o s t i t u t e and drug a d d i c t o f  l o n g s t a n d i n g , she had o n l y r e c e n t l y e n t e r e d s t r e e t l i f e .  She  t o l d t a l e s o f s u c c e s s u n r i v a l l e d b y t h e o t h e r women, a n d h e r c o n t r i b u t i o n f i g u r e s mostly i n Appendix SUE, was  D.  w i t h Dee t h e o n l y i n f o r m a n t who was n o t a p r o s t i t u t e ,  mostly a t r a f f i c k e r  of t h i r t e e n .  a n d b o o s t e r , who s t a r t e d u s i n g a t t h e a g e  She was an u n f r i e n d l y woman a n d s o m e t i m e s  t o i n t i m i d a t e me.  Yet, these minor  power s t r u g g l e s w e r e  attempted neither  i m p o r t a n t n o r f r e q u e n t enough t o j u s t i f y h e r w i l l i n g n e s s t o t a l k t o me.  She was a p r e c i s e i n f o r m a n t who t o o k t h e t r o u b l e t o  c o r r e c t my  misapprehensions.  44  TINY and unable  SUGAR w e r e t h e o n l y two  i n f o r m a n t s who  appeared  t o cope w i t h t h e p r e s s u r e o f t h e i r p e r s o n a l l i f e .  had b o t h b e e n " s t r a i g h t "  and u n a b l e  a more " e x c i t i n g "  life,  s u c c e s s f u l on t h e  street.  escaped.  to r e s i s t the temptation  f i e l d w o r k , T i n y and  B o o t s w e r e t r a n s f e r r e d ; Sue,  B r a n d y was  of  but n e i t h e r appeared t o have been v e r y  D u r i n g t h e n i n e m o n t h s o f my r e l e a s e d ; B u g s y and  They  Jo were  Snow and  r e c a p t u r e d s o o n a f t e r w a r d s and  said  Brandy i t had  been "worth i t ! " All  t h e i n f o r m a n t s were j u n k i e s .  the s t r e e t  and  A l l made t h e i r  a l l w o u l d p r o b a b l y go b a c k t o i t a f t e r  r e l e a s e or t h e i r escape,  a s t h e y had  always  living  on  their  done i n t h e p a s t .  Pseudonyms I t o l d my ted  i n f o r m a n t s t h a t t h e i r a n o n y m i t y w o u l d be  a s much as p o s s i b l e .  ensure  complete  I c o u l d have d i s t o r t e d  nyms, and 1.  My  this  for four  c o m m i t t e e and  dissertation another  the data  a n o n y m i t y , b u t h a v e done n o t h i n g b e y o n d  vagueness o f t h e above p o r t r a i t s  and  the a t t r i b u t i o n  to  the  of pseudo-  reasons: the problematic readers of a d o c t o r a l  c a r e l i t t l e w h e t h e r J a n e Doe,  who  lives in  w o r l d , becomes T a t i a n a as l o n g as e i t h e r  attributed  respec-  w i t h c o n s i s t e n c y t o the author of the  name i s statements  quoted. 2.  S i n c e t h e i n f o r m a n t s were c a l l e d  i n t o my  office  t h e c l a s s i f i c a t i o n o f f i c e , t h e s t a f f know who f r e q u e n t v i s i t o r s were.  my  through most  45  3.  I t i s q u i t e u n l i k e l y t h a t a n y o f my i n f o r m a n t s ' would ever bother,  associates  i f t h e y knew o f i t s e x i s t e n c e , t o go t o  t h e u n i v e r s i t y a n d r e a d my t h e s i s . 4.  M o r e o v e r , and t h i s i s by f a r t h e most i m p o r t a n t the  r e a s o n f o r w h i c h t h e y showed s o l i t t l e  s e r v i n g t h e i r anonymity) t h e data  p o i n t (and  i n t e r e s t i n pre-  I c o l l e c t e d are t o t a l l y  unimportant from t h e i r p o i n t o f view. W h i l e w o r k i n g f o r t h e P o l i c e Commission, I once asked a woman i f s h e d i d n o t m i n d b e i n g obviously  s e e n g e t t i n g o u t o f w h a t was  a n unmarked p o l i c e c a r ( o t h e r s , p e r h a p s l e s s s u r e o f  t h e i r r e p u t a t i o n , h a d shown some r e l u c t a n c e a b o u t i t ) . answered: " I don't r e a l l y mind. wouldn't say anthing thing  "important"  They know me.  important!"  (whether knowledge o f a c r i m e ,  o u t on o t h e r  information given  endowed w i t h task  t o do s o . square John - even one  a n d b e n t o n some s c h o l a r l y  - i s o f t h e same t y p e a s t h e t i d b i t s g i v e n  w a n t e d f r o m them.  t o t h e mark:  B u t s i n c e t h e p o i n t o f v i e w o f t h e women  that of the researcher  so-thought t r i v i a  the police).  s t r e e t p e o p l e a n d one w o u l d  to the curious  some s c h o l a r l y t i t l e  neither r e a l l y matter. and  on c r i m i n a l a c t i v i t i e s  which would help  h a v e t o h a v e a good r e a s o n f o r a g r e e i n g The  some-  i t s p e r p e t r a t o r s , t h e whereabouts  o f an e s c a p e d c o n v i c t , o r a n y t h i n g T h i s w o u l d be " r a t t i n g "  They know I  I c a n o n l y assume t h a t  w o u l d be i n f o r m a t i o n  She  ( o r t h e mark) a r e n o t t h e same, t h e  o f f e r e d b y t h e f o r m e r may b e a l l t h a t i s  46  On t h e s e c o n d  or third  q u e s t i o n o f anonymity one.  i n t e r v i e w , I w o u l d come b a c k t o t h e  a l r e a d y b r i e f l y mentioned  A l l t h e informants s a i d t h a t they d i d not c a r e about i t .  T h i s , I b e l i e v e , was t h e f i r s t need f o r anonymity  put-down I met.  tant".  Their denial of a  was s i m p l y a r e i t e r a t i o n o f t h e s t a t e m e n t  t h e y e a r b e f o r e t h a t "They know I w o u l d n ' t  say anything  made  impor-  The i m p l i c a t i o n was a l s o t h a t o n l y what t h e y c o n s i d e r  important is_ important. tor  during the f i r s t  By t h e same t o k e n , i t made me a c o l l e c -  of t r i v i a . I  i n s i s t e d o n t h e i r n e e d f o r a pseudonym b e c a u s e I was  k e e p i n g an o p e n d i c t i o n a r y w h i c h was a v a i l a b l e t o them a n d w h e r e they c o u l d always  check  t h e i r own d e f i n i t i o n s a n d comments, a s  w e l l a s t h o s e made b y o t h e r p e o p l e , a n d d i s c u s s t h e s e .  I made  the double  p o i n t t h a t t h e y m i g h t be embarrassed  their  statements  r e a d by o t h e r p e o p l e  anonymity  i n the j a i l ,  t o have  and t h a t  was a l s o f o r my p r o t e c t i o n s i n c e I o n l y w a n t e d t o know  them b y a n i c k n a m e a n d b e u n a b l e  t o i d e n t i f y them l a t e r  i n d e e d o f t e n q u e s t i o n e d me on "Who s a i d t h a t ? " ) . interested  their  i n t h e types o f nicknames they would  (they  I was a l s o choose.  O n l y h a l f o f them c h o s e t h e i r own p s e u d o n y m s : S u g a r c o n s u l t i n g B r a n d y who, w i t h o n e g l a n c e a t h e r w e l l friend,  suggested  (after  endowed  " G r a p e f r u i t " ) , Brandy, B o o t s , Bugsy  (second  c h o i c e , T i n y b e i n g a l r e a d y t a k e n and h e r own n i c k n a m e b e i n g t o o w e l l known), and J u l i e . would r e v e a l t h e i r  I s e l e c t e d t h e o t h e r s , b u y my  reasons  identity.  So, b e c a u s e o f my i n s i s t e n c e a n d i n s p i t e o f t h e i r  lack of  47  i n t e r e s t , my i n f o r m a n t s w e r e g i v e n pseudonyms. r i g h t e o u s l y i n s i s t e d t h a t s h e h a d no r e a s o n few d a y s l a t e r , it  suddenly  A l l b u t o n e , who  t o "hide h e r s e l f " .  A  i n t h e course of a g o s s i p y s e s s i o n w i t h Brandy,  became c l e a r t h a t t h i s woman's r e a l name was q u i t e  unknown o n t h e s t r e e t where s h e was o n l y known b y h e r n i c k n a m e . Her In  r e a l name was i n f a c t t h e b e s t pseudonym s h e c o u l d h a v e a p p r e c i a t i o n o f h e r g u i l e and h e r s a n c t i m o n i o u s  g a v e h e r b a c k h e r own n i c k n a m e a s a pseudonym. which  used.  attitude, I  I t matters  little  one i t i s s i n c e t h e j o k e i s o n l y b e t w e e n h e r a n d me, a n d  s i n c e , more t o t h e p o i n t , h e r s t a t e m e n t s  a r e indeed "not  important". THE INTERVIEW TRANSACTION S i n c e t h e i n f o r m a n t s ' agreement t o c o l l a b o r a t e had t o be solicited  b e f o r e a n y f u r t h e r s t e p c o u l d be t a k e n , o u r f i r s t  i n t e r v i e w was a l m o s t  a storming  r a p i d l y t h r o u g h what O l e s e n t h r e e phases o f r o l e - m a k i n g :  s e s s i o n , where I went v e r y  and W h i t t a k e r d e s c r i b e as t h e f i r s t surface encounter,  proffering  i n i t i o n s o f one's s e l f and t h e o t h e r ) and i n v i t i n g of ful  both  (definitions  from t h e i n f o r m a n t s ) , s e l e c t i n g and m o d i f y i n g  (meaning-  and v i a b l e p o r t i o n s o f r e s e a r c h e r ' s and i n f o r m a n t ' s  (Olesen and W h i t t a k e r I  (def-  role)  1967:273-281).  introduced myself  a n d i n d i c a t e d my a f f i l i a t i o n s ,  stating  t h a t I was n e i t h e r a s o c i a l w o r k e r n o r a p s y c h o l o g i s t .  I t was  one  I soon  way t o d i s s o c i a t e m y s e l f  from t h e o v e r l y f a m i l i a r .  r e a l i z e d t h a t t h i s was a n e c e s s i t y .  My d o o r was open when I was  48  not  i n t e r v i e w i n g a n y o n e , and a f t e r h a v i n g  w h i l e w a i t i n g t o be a d m i t t e d the h a l l ,  s e e n me a few t i m e s  to the c l a s s i f i c a t i o n o f f i c e  some women s o m e t i m e s w a n d e r e d i n and q u e s t i o n e d  Most, having  me.  s a t i s f i e d t h e m s e l v e s t h a t I was n o t w h a t t h e y  t h o u g h t I was  ( e i t h e r a psychologist or a s o c i a l worker,  t h a t p a r t i c u l a r o f f i c e was s o m e t i m e s u s e d by them) l e f t that.  across  since i tat  O t h e r s s a t on t h e edge o f t h e d e s k , r e a d y t o f l e e  should  I become d e m a n d i n g ( o r p e r h a p s t a l k t o o m u c h ) , a n d t r y t o f i n d o u t w h a t I was. (i.e.  Since  t h e s e t a l k s were n o t f o r m a l  t h e y had i n i t i a t e d  asking  the questions,  when t h e y s h o u l d conversations  t h e i n t e r a c t i o n , w e r e i n c o n t r o l and  h a d n o t a g r e e d t o " t a l k " t o me,  decided  l e a v e , e t c . ) t h e y o f t e n p r o v e d t o be p r o f i t a b l e  where I c o u l d o b s e r v e a f r e e h a n d l i n g  s t r e e t - s t r a i g h t encounter. running  interviews  and c a s u a l  I o f t e n n o t i c e d t h a t a smoothly  conversation  s t i l t e d when i t t u r n e d  of the  c o u l d become d i f f i d e n t a n d  i n t o a formal  l i k e t o t a l k t o me, t h e n ? "  interview  "Yeah ... O.K.  a p p e a r t o come t o an end u n t i l  ("Well, would you  ...")• or could  " n e x t t i m e we m e e t " , w h i l e  even i n fact  c o n t i n u i n g t o r a m b l e on f o r some t i m e a f t e r w a r d s .  The commitment  i n v o l v e d i n t h e change o f s t a t u s f o r t h e i n f o r m a n t  and t h e  pressure  f o r the inexperienced  i n t e r v i e w e r seemed t o t a k e  on a  p a r a l y z i n g q u a l i t y f o r both. Since  the informants  knew v e r y w e l l - e a c h i n h e r own way -  how t o h a n d l e a s o c i a l w o r k e r o r a p s y c h o l o g i s t , i t was a f o r them t o f a c e an unknown q u a n t i t y a s I , and t h e i r  novelty  reconnais-  s a n c e i n t o l e s s f a m i l i a r t e r r i t o r y was i n t e r e s t i n g t o o b s e r v e . F o r c a s u a l v i s i t o r s and r e g u l a r i n f o r m a n t s ,  I p r a c t i s e d a few  49  d e f i n i t i o n s o f a n t h r o p o l o g y which would s e t i t a p a r t from f a m i l i a r experience.  I tried:  in a very nice position, us, n o t h i n g i s r e a l l y if  i t doesn't,  " I n a n t h r o p o l o g y , we a r e a c t u a l l y  s i n c e we d o n ' t  "good" o r "bad".  i t ' sbad."  their  have t o t a k e s i d e s .  For  I f i t works, i t ' s good,  Some may h a v e r e c o g n i z e d i n t h i s w h a t  i s p a r t l y t h e i r own p h i l o s o p h y . p o l o g i s t s p r e t t y wishy-washy.  O t h e r s may h a v e t h o u g h a n t h r o But - even i f t h e y d i d n o t  b e l i e v e me - i t was a t l e a s t a c l e a r d e p a r t u r e f r o m w h a t t h e y c o n s i d e r " p r e a c h i n g " b e h a v i o u r o r what t h e y s e e a s a n a t t e m p t t o " g e t i n t o my h e a d a n d s e t me  straight".  To r e t u r n t o t h e i n t e r v i e w , I i n t r o d u c e d m y s e l f a n d e x p l a i n e d t h a t I was i n t e r e s t e d i n l a n g u a g e describe their  life  a n d how p e o p l e  e x p e r i e n c e , g i v i n g t h e example o f what a  " b a s t a r d " c o p w o u l d mean t o a s t r e e t woman a n d a " b a s t a r d " p r o f t o a s t u d e n t : how t h e y w o u l d d e s c r i b e t w o d i f f e r e n t  behaviours  w i t h t h e same t e r m a n d how t h i s t e r m a n d t h e b e h a v i o u r w o u l d be u n d e r s t o o d another  d i f f e r e n t l y by another  implied  s t r e e t woman o r  s t u d e n t , n e i t h e r h a v i n g an i m m e d i a t e r e c o g n i t i o n o f h e r  s t r e e t o r u n i v e r s i t y c o u n t e r p a r t ' s e x p e r i e n c e , b u t knowing what t h e t e r m meant f o r h e r own g r o u p ;  I c o n c l u d e d t h a t " t h e c o p and  t h e p r o f a r e p r o b a b l y b a s t a r d s f o r t h e same r e a s o n s , b u t a c t i t out d i f f e r e n t l y "  - thus c l a i m i n g acceptance  i n t o t h e ranks o f  downtrodden i n f e r i o r s and females everywhere,  the only  e x p e r i e n c e I c o u l d c l a i m w i t h my i n f o r m a n t s .  I also  shared  mentioned  t h a t I was i n t e r e s t e d t o s e e how we p r o t e c t e d o u r s e l v e s f r o m  such  behaviour. I found  i t n e c e s s a r y t o e x p l a i n a t some l e n g t h my  interest  50  in  l a n g u a g e , s i n c e my  first  superficial  p a r t y a s "someone i n t e r e s t e d  i n t r o d u c t i o n by a  i n s t r e e t language" e l i c i t e d  amused a n d p a t r o n i z i n g r e a c t i o n :  "You mean " f u c k " and  third the  stuff  like  that?" B e f o r e t h e y answered  my  r e q u e s t t o t a l k t o me,  I also  a s k e d : " T h e r e ' s a n o t h e r p o i n t and t h a t i s w h a t ' s i n i t f o r y o u , and w h a t ' s i n i t f o r me? sity,  I'm  w o r k i n g f o r my  Ph.D.  and t h e l a s t t h i n g I h a v e t o do b e f o r e I'm  write a thesis.  Once I'm  finished,  i t w o u l d h a v e meant a g o o d j o b .  at the  through i s to  I d o n ' t know.  Now,  I'm  Ten y e a r s  not so s u r e .  b e e n a t i t f o r so l o n g t h a t I m i g h t a s w e l l f i n i s h ! in  i t f o r you?  r e a l l y pay you.  I'm  n o t so s u r e a b o u t t h a t e i t h e r  univer-  But  Now,  ...  A l l I c a n do i s l e a v e a " t o k e n o f my  ago I've  what's  I can't apprecia-  t i o n " o r a " c o n s u l t a n t ' s f e e " on y o u r a c c o u n t when I l e a v e , b u t i t w o u l d n o t be v e r y much ...  Some p e o p l e e n j o y t a l k i n g a b o u t w h a t  t h e y know and what t h e y ' r e g o o d a t ... w h i c h I t h i n k i s i m p o r t a n t and i t ' s understand a l i t t l e  problems  And  else  s i m p l y t o t r y and make p e o p l e  b i t b e t t e r what goes on.  r e a l l y w a n t t o be l e f t make t h e l a w s .  There's someting  I know m o s t o f  you  a l o n e [ v i g o r o u s nods o f a g r e e m e n t ] , b u t  i f we  d o n ' t know a n y t h i n g a b o u t y o u ,  your  and y o u r needs, o u r laws a r e g o i n g t o r e f l e c t t h a t .  c a n g i v e y o u two e x a m p l e s  o f how  a little  and v e r y s o o n now  rape w i l l  n o t be a s k e d w h e t h e r  not f i r s t  have t o s t a n d t r i a l  someone who  I  b i t of understanding  h a s i m p r o v e d t h i n g s : as y o u know, i t i s no l o n g e r i l l e g a l homosexual,  we  t o be  presses, charges f o r  she i s a h o o k e r o r n o t .  She  will  on t h a t b e f o r e h e r c a s e i s h e a r d .  a  51  I always r e c e i v e d a strong p o s i t i v e r e a c t i o n t o t h a t l a s t ment s i n c e i t h a s l o n g b e e n a v e r y who  sore  s p o t f o r s t r e e t women  seldom even b o t h e r t o p r e s s charges f o r t h a t  reason.  1  I went on:  "Hookers  They  sometimes I" e s t a b l i s h e d , I sometimes b r o u g h t  them f l o w e r s , c i g a r e t t e s , c h o c o l a t e  o r gum.  t e a t o o u r i n t e r v i e w s , and I f e l t she was r e l a t i o n s h i p between us.  brought flowers  recognized.  come o u t and w a n t t o t a l k a b o u t i t .  Once o u r r e l a t i o n s h i p was  hostess-guest  alone,  e l s e , where t h e y a r e  t r y i n g t o f o r m u n i o n s and t o g e t t h e i r p r o b l e m s  e v e n go on s t r i k e s  particular  h e r e w o u l d p r e f e r t o be l e f t  too, but i t i s not the case everywhere  They a r e t h e o n e s who  argu-  Bugsy always  brought  thus e s t a b l i s h i n g a  In response, I always  o r s o f t d r i n k s when i n v i t e d f o r d i n n e r .  I always  s t r e s s e d t h e p o i n t t h a t I h a d no r i g h t s and d e p e n d e d e n t i r e l y t h e g o o d w i l l a n d h o s p i t a l i t y o f my b y t h e s t a f f who added:  informants.  When  introduced  sometimes f o r g o t t o i n d i c a t e t h i s c l e a r l y ,  " I f y o u f e e l l i k e t a l k i n g t o me,  on  I  t h a t i s I"  I t c o u l d be s a i d t h a t I was: a t t e m p t i n g  to allow  my  T h e f o l l o w i n g e x c h a n g e i s somewhat t y p i c a l o f f e e l i n g s e x p r e s s e d by many i n f o r m a n t s when f a c e d w i t h t h e i m p l i c a t i o n t h a t p r o s t i t u t e s c a n n o t be r a p e d . ( I met t h e d e f e n d a n t i n 1 9 7 5 ) . x  D e f e n s e c o u n s e l : Had y o u had s e x w i t h a n y b o d y f o r money? D e f e n d a n t : I mean, what a r e y o u b r i n g i n g a l l t h i s up f o r ? I d i d n ' t a s k t o g e t b e a t up. I d i d n ' t ask t o get t r e a t e d l i k e that. J u s t b e c a u s e I was a w o r k i n g g i r l , he c a n go a r o u n d , p o i n t i n g guns and t r e a t i n g me l i k e t h a t ? ... Yes, I have been a w o r k i n g g i r l . T h a t ' s what you're a s k i n g I Yes, I admit t o t h a t . B u t t h a t d o e s n o t h a v e t o be r i g h t f o r h i m t o f o r c e me i n t o t h a t , and p u l l a g u n , and t h r e a t e n t o k i l l me, d o e s i t ? Does i t ? (Vancouver rape t r i a l transcript)  52  i n f o r m a n t s a s much s e l f r e s p e c t a n d f r e e d o m a s t h e y c o u l d h a v e i n these  surroundings,  good w i l l  and t h a t by s t r e s s i n g t h e i r h o s p i t a l i t y and  I acknowledged t h e i n e q u a l i t y o f t h e exchange o f d a t a -  f o r - a - d i s s e r t a t i o n f o r a few d o l l a r s ,  a bunch o f l i l a c s  f r o m my g a r d e n w i t h a l s o t h e same e f f e c t .  or roses  I t i s such an e a s y  p o s i t i o n t o assume t h a t I c a n n o t t r u t h f u l l y d e t e c t w h a t p a r t f r a u d u l e n c e a n d m a n i p u l a t i o n t a k e i n t h e f r o n t managed b y a r e s e a r c h e r e s p e c i a l l y when t h i s f r o n t i s m o s t n a t u r a l l y to  that researcher's personality.  a r g u e d t h a t i t was a c o n game.  T h u s , i t c o u l d p e r h a p s be  Having  assumed t h a t t h i s  w o u l d be a c c e p t a b l e , t h a t my r e c o g n i t i o n o f t h e i r and  suited  attitude  graciousness  c o u r t e s y w o u l d be a p p r e c i a t e d , t h i s became my game. A parenthesis i s necessary  w o r d "game".  t o e x p l a i n t h e meaning o f t h e  Of t h e d i f f e r e n t m e a n i n g s a t t r i b u t e d t o t h e w o r d b y  E r i c P a r t r i d g e i n h i s D i c t i o n a r y of the Underworld  (1950) , my  i n f o r m a n t s commonly u s e t h e f i r s t a n d t h e t h i r d d e f i n i t i o n s ; t h e s e c o n d a n d f o u r t h o n e s a r e known t o them b u t a r e s e e n a s A m e r i c a n o r more s p e c i f i c a l l y B l a c k A m e r i c a n o r " n i g g e r  talk."  Game 1.  Used a s a n o u n , t h e q u a l i t y o f h a v i n g m a s t e r e d o r h a v i n g the a p t i t u d e t o master technique o n e ' s own way t h r o u g h  f o r g e t t i n g money o r  t h e m a n i p u l a t i o n o f human  emotions.  2.  The Game - p r o s t i t u t i o n , a l s o c a l l e d t h e " p u s s y game."  3.  Any game i n w h i c h money and p e r s o n a l g a i n a r e t h e o b j e c t s , i n c l u d i n g a l l h u s t l e s a n d " l e g i t i m a t e " b i g money e n t e r prises  4.  High  game, e . g . "When y o u g i v e t e n c e n t s ' w o r t h f o r t w e n t y  53  c e n t s and  the  trick  t h i n k s he  got  thirty  cents'  worth."  I t i s a l s o a p p a r e n t t h a t some s t r a i g h t - s t r e e t e n c o u n t e r s can true  be  s e e n as  "games" i n a more o r t h o d o x way,  i n these encounters  since i t holds  that  a t l e a s t one o f t h e i n t e r a c t a n t s i s a w a r e o r c a p a b l e o f b e i n g made aware t h a t , i n r e a l i z i n g h i s a i m s i n an e n c o u n t e r , he must t a k e i n t o a c c o u n t t h e o t h e r s ' e x p e c t a t i o n s o f w h a t he e x p e c t s o f them, and v i c e v e r s a ( S c o t t and Lyman 1 9 7 0 : 9 5 ) . F u r t h e r m o r e , t h e s e e n c o u n t e r s may  a l s o become " f a c e  i n the words of Goffman, i n which " d e f e n s i v e " and  " p r o t e c t i v e " o b j e c t i v e s are  pant's i d e n t i t y against  (self-protective)  s o u g h t i n p r o t e c t i n g one  damage o r s p o i l a g e  games",  ( S c o t t and  partic-  Lyman  1970:97)-. They informants.  are  a l l aspects of the  The  i s a l s o s e e n as  game w h i c h a r e  game i s a l s o e n h a n c e d by s u c h my  many o f t h e  them i n t h e i r p r o f e s s i o n a l  their  f a m i l i a r to  my  awareness t h a t i t  s t r a i g h t p e o p l e who  interview  capacity.  BOUNDARIES Throughout most of the informants, the  two  In the  values  of the and  first  were d o u b l e : the  two  t h e way  c a s e , the  the  c u l t u r e s , and i t had  been  cultural  those created  by  s t r e e t i n f o r m a n t s and  the  defined.  s t r a i g h t - s t r e e t boundaries  c u s t o m a r y o p p o s i t i o n b e t w e e n s t r a i g h t and  were r e f l e c t e d i n the  t i o n was  w i t h most o f  s e t s o f b o u n d a r i e s emerged: t h o s e r e s u l t i n g from  confrontation  situation itself  i n t e r v i e w s and  contrasted  street  c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n of  s t r a i g h t researcher,  but  a l s o e s t a b l i s h e d b e t w e e n s t r a i g h t and  a second  opposi-  s t r e e t women.  54  In t h e second case, t h e type o f data linguistic  and d e a l t w i t h c o n f l i c t  s o u g h t was m o s t l y  s i t u a t i o n s : I had n o t  e x p r e s s e d any i n t e r e s t i n c o n f i d e n t i a l m a t t e r s o r , e x p l i c i t l y a t least, overt  i n occupational  ( i . e . sexual)  information.  Thus, t h e  introduction of the t o p i c of sexual practices i n our i n t e r -  v i e w s w e n t b e y o n d t h e b o u n d a r i e s o f t h e " s i t u a t i o n " a s i t was defined, presenting encounter as  a threat to the structure of the entire  (Goffman 1961).  I had a l s o e x p r e s s l y d e s c r i b e d  s t r a i g h t and a d e f i n i t e b e h a v i o u r and v o c a b u l a r y  f r o m me.  Consequently, I c l e a r l y transgressed  my  were  term e l i c i t e d  informant, expected  expected  personal  b o u n d a r i e s when I o n c e i n a d v e r t e n t l y u s e d t h e w o r d " b l o w The  myself  job".  a nervous and embarrassed g i g g l e from t h e  who may n o t h a v e m i n d e d " f r e n c h i n g " , b u t p r o b a b l y " o r a l s e x " f r o m a m i d d l e age a n d m i d d l e c l a s s woman, o r  e v e n " f e l l a t i o " , i f s h e knew t h e w o r d . R e s p e c t f o r t h e e s t a b l i s h e d b o u n d a r i e s was o f t e n r e f l e c t e d i n the informants' say  anthing  modesty.  M o s t o f them a p p e a r e d c a r e f u l n o t t o  w h i c h m i g h t p r e s u m a b l y s h o c k me.  What m i g h t a p p e a r  t o me t o be o u t l a n d i s h s e x u a l p r a c t i c e s , f o r i n s t a n c e , w o u l d be r e f e r r e d t o as "something s p e c i a l " . - a n d s a i d s o - t h a t I was v e r y and  On t h e w h o l e , t h e y  conventional  saw a s e x t r a o r d i n a r y e x p e r i e n c e s  i n sexual  believed matters  w h i c h w e r e t o them  ordinary.  " L i k e , f o r y o u , " s a i d J o , " s o m e t h i n g m i g h t be d i f f e r e n t , b u t f o r us,  i t ' s normal." When p r e s s e d  - a s , f o r i n s t a n c e , when t r y i n g t o d e f i n e f o r  me t h e d i f f e r e n c e b e t w e e n " p e r v e r t s " , " f r e a k s " , " w e i r d o s "  and  55  " n u t s " - B u g s y g a v e me e x a m p l e s b u t o b v i o u s l y d i d n o t e n j o y so.  By t h e same t o k e n , when I v o l u n t e e r e d  drawn from a n o t h e r e.g.  informant's  doing  an e x a m p l e , a l w a y s  text, to confirm a d e f i n i t i o n -  " I f he w a n t s t o w a t c h y o u p e e i n a g l a s s , o r i f he w a n t s y o u  t o p e e on h i s f a c e , t h a t ' s h a r m l e s s e n o u g h , b u t i s he l i k e l y t o t u r n ' d a n g e r o u s a s w e l l a n d t r y t o h u r t y o u ? " - i t was r e c e i v e d w i t h w h a t a p p e a r e d t o be some e m b a r r a s s m e n t . I n a s t o r y r e l a t e d by B u g s y , h e r o l d man a s k e d : we d o i n g ? " woman. cribed  when s h e t o l d h i m t h a t s h e h a d s e e n h i m w i t h  F o r my b e n e f i t , s h e e x p l a i n e d : "So I t o l d h i m !  another I des-  i t r i g h t down t o a tee.'" t h e s i n g l e e x c e p t i o n t o t h e  otherwise  verbatim  r e t e l l i n g o f t h e whole d i a l o g u e t h a t had t a k e n  place during t h e i r quarrel.  Another time,  d e t a i l an e n c o u n t e r w i t h a s a i l o r , " I p i c k e d h i m up a s a t r i c k . and  "What w e r e  we d i d o u r t h i n g " .  she r e l a t e d  s k i p p i n g over  We w e n t t o my g i r l  I n t h e same m a n n e r , J u l i e  this  i n some passage:  f r i e n d ' s house s a i d : "You  p i c k up a t r i c k a n d y o u go t o h i s h o t e l room, a n d d u r i n g t h e course  o f w h a t e v e r may be h a p p e n i n g o r t u r n i n g o u t ..."  o f euphemisms was s u c h t h a t she o f t e n c o n f u s e d t h a t , t o spare ask  Her use  me e n t i r e l y a n d  h e r i n h e r e f f o r t s t o s p a r e me, I p r e f e r r e d n o t t o  f o r clearer explanations. Another example o f a c e r t a i n s e x u a l modesty w h i c h I o f t e n  n o t i c e d i n my y o u n g e s t i n f o r m a n t s '  d e a l i n g s w i t h me was t h e  manner i n w h i c h B u g s y a n d Dee showed me t h a t t h e y w e r e i n v o l v e d in a lesbian relationship.  They h a d b o t h b e e n c a l l e d t o my  o f f i c e t o g e t h e r : t h e i r names f o l l o w e d e a c h o t h e r on t h e l i s t and  56  I had  asked the c o u n s e l l o r whether they got  interviewed all  together.  r i g h t , they're  r e l a t i o n s h i p by This Dee  first  She  had  friends."  sitting  clue having  simply  a n s w e r e d : "Yes,  could  be  i t will  be  They i m m e d i a t e l y e s t a b l i s h e d  i n f r o n t o f my been r e c e i v e d  d e s k and  holding  their  hands.  in a matter-of-fact  fashion,  t h e n l i t a c i g a r e t t e w h i c h B u g s y s o m e t i m e s t o o k away f r o m  mouth o r h e r before  h a n d and  f r o m w h i c h she  g i v i n g i t back t o her.  t h e d e s k i n f r o n t o f Dee, stood  as due  t o the  gesture  so t h e i r  the  nature  t r u s t and  s h a r i n g was  s c a r c i t y of c i g a r e t t e s .  dominant i n d i v i d u a l  intimacy not  This  her  r e s t of the introduced  not  second c l u e having Dee  to anything  What makes t h e  undera  intimate  Dee  being  quite  any  other  denoted  type of  a  relation-  been a c c e p t e d , t h e y p r o c e e d e d i n her  g r i n n i n g and Dee  Throughout  and the  They a l s o  s t r e s s i n g the word  explained  s e x u a l l y and  to  hard c h a i r  i n t e r v i e w B u g s y m a s s a g e d Dee's b i g t o e s .  about her b i g  on  Moreover, t a k i n g  l e g s t o l e t them r e s t on B u g s y ' s l a p .  t h a t a r o u s e d one  package  i n t h i s r e l a t i o n s h i p (whatever  s a t b a c k more c o m f o r t a b l y  the word " n i c h y " ,  her  times  t o be  l i k e a much more  j u s t i f i a b l e by  t h a t I w o u l d ask what i t meant.  nichy  a half f u l l  o f i t m i g h t have b e e n ) , Bugsy's g e s t u r e  t h e n e x t one: lifted  or three  t h a n r e c e i v i n g a h a l f smoked c i g a r e t t e .  obviously  ship.  d r e w two  T h e r e was  c i g a r e t t e away f r o m someone l o o k s  the  on w e l l and  so  that i t referred  B u g s y l a u g h e d : "Dee  is  toe!" i n c i d e n t m e a n i n g f u l i s t h a t i n none o f  f o l l o w i n g i n t e r v i e w s d i d they ever touch each other assume t h a t t h e w h o l e p e r f o r m a n c e o n l y  served  again  as a t e s t .  their  and The  I  57  only other  a l l u s i o n to t h e i r r e l a t i o n s h i p occurred  c u s s i o n on t a t t o o s , when B u g s y showed me initials later, lady"  had  been t u r n e d  her  i n t o Dee's i n i t i a l s .  in jail, had  I felt  I had  When, two  t h e q u e s t i o n was  not  e x p l i c i t about her  I e n d e d my  a personal  future plans with  months an  "old  committed a s m a l l breach of e t i q u e t t e  never s a i d anything  knowledge of the s i t u a t i o n ;  dis-  e x - o l d man's  I asked Bugsy what were t h e advantages o f h a v i n g  s i n c e she  her  how  during a  one.  first  hand  sentence to i n d i c a t e t h a t She  then t a l k e d f r e e l y  of  Dee.  A p o s s i b l e e x p l a n a t i o n o f t h i s m o d e s t y may  be  found i n  B r a n d y ' s s t a t e m e n t : " I f someone g i v e s me  f i f t y bucks, I lose a l l  modesty.  But  i f someone's n o t  shit,  modest."  But  I also believe that their  discuss e x p l i c i t l y their due  to the  g i v i n g me  frequent  d i f f i d e n c e to was  f a c t t h a t i n them l i e s What i s deemed t o be  s t r e e t women.  P r o s t i t u t i o n Papers, M i l l e t t describes  d i s o r d e r l y a r g u m e n t s b e t w e e n f e m i n i s t s and  t u t e s , i n the course  the  i s n a t u r a l l y enough a  t o p i c o f c o n f r o n t a t i o n b e t w e e n s t r a i g h t and i n t r o d u c t i o n t o The  mainly  us.  Their r e s p e c t i v e sexual behaviour  and  really  s e x u a l t r a n s a c t i o n s w i t h me  e s s e n t i a l d i f f e r e n c e between  shrill  I'm  o f w h i c h was  finally  In  her  some  prosti-  heard  t h e a c c u s a t i o n , so l o n g b u r i e d i n l i b e r a l good w i l l o r r a d i c a l r h e t o r i c ... The r e j e c t i o n and d i s a p p r o v a l w h i c h t h e p r o s t i t u t e s h a v e s e n s e d f r o m t h e b e g i n n i n g , and w i t h t h e u n e r r i n g i n s t i n c t of t h e u n c o n s c i o u s have d i r e c t e d a l l t h e i r energy toward exposing ( M i l l e t t 1973:25). 2  T h i s r e s e n t m e n t r e s e m b l e s t h e one B l a c k s and I n d i a n s when f a c e d w i t h w h i t e radical rhetoric". 2  sometimes e x p r e s s e d by " l i b e r a l good w i l l o r  58  This  cry:  "You're s e l l i n g  in effect a triple  it,  I could t o o but I don't",  s t a t e m e n t , i s a l l t h e more i n t e r e s t i n g s i n c e  feminists are often the f i r s t  t o maintain  resemble p r o s t i t u t e s and buy w i t h husband's f i n a n c i a l  sexual  favours  or duties  their  s u p p o r t and t h e s e c u r i t y i t b r i n g s , o r t h a t  s t r a i g h t women r e p a y men f o r t h e p l e a s u r e e n t e r t a i n e d and f l a t t e r e d them.  that wives c l o s e l y  of being  wined,  dined,  i n t h e o n l y way t h a t i s e x p e c t e d o f  Whereas t h i s a r g u m e n t i n t h e f e m i n i s t s ' m o u t h i s m e a n t t o  s t r e s s t h e s e x u a l and s o c i a l  s u b j e c t i o n o f a l l women, i n t h e  p r o s t i t u t e s ' mouth i t s i m p l y  becomes a way t o p u t down s t r a i g h t  women a n d show t h a t t h e y h a v e l i t t l e righteous women. it  3  reason t o f e e l  self  ( s i n c e i t i s assumed t h e y do) a n d s u p e r i o r t o s t r e e t U n d e r s t a n d a b l y , when f e m i n i s t s do t a k e  i s n o t w e l l accepted by p r o s t i t u t e s .  Or v i c e  up t h e a r g u m e n t , versa.  I f some r e l u c t a n c e was u s u a l l y shown when r e f e r r i n g t o explicitly  sexual  - occupational i n t h i s context  - matters, i t  must a l s o be s a i d t h a t c o a r s e n e s s was s o m e t i m e s u s e d a s a weapon (defensive, r e t a l i a t i v e or aggressive,  d e p e n d i n g on t h e i n t e r -  view s i t u a t i o n ) .  as such, and w h i l e I  I t was a t l e a s t f e l t  a c c e p t e d t h e c u s t o m a r y s t r e e t p u t down o f t h e " i g n o r a n t " as a g e n e r a l i z e d a n t a g o n i s t i c g e s t u r e ,  straight  I apprehended t h e  "A h u s t l e r i s a n y woman i n A m e r i c a n s o c i e t y . I was t h e k i n d o f h u s t l e r who r e c e i v e d money f o r f a v o r s g r a n t e d r a t h e r t h a n t h e t y p e o f h u s t l e r who s i g n s a l i f e t i m e c o n t r a c t f o r h e r t r i c k . Or t h e k i n d o f h u s t l e r who c a r e f u l l y r e a d s women's m a g a z i n e s a n d l e a r n s what i t i s p r o p e r t o g i v e f o r e a c h d a t e , d e p e n d i n g o n how much money h e r d a t e o r t r i c k s p e n d s o n h e r ( T e r k e l 1 9 7 4 : 5 7 ) . " 3  59  voluntary coarse affront.  s e x u a l remark o r s u g g e s t i o n  as a p e r s o n a l  I n f a c t , b o t h were e q u a l l y d i r e c t e d a t c h a l l e n g i n g a  s t r a i g h t woman's s e l f p e r c e p t i o n a s a l i b e r a l a n d person.  The s t e r e o t y p i c d e s c r i p t i o n o f t h e s t r a i g h t women's  h a n g ups * s e r v e d t o make any p e r s o n a l 1  lenge  understanding  reference a hostile  chal-  a n d an a t t e m p t t o f o r c e t h e i s s u e , v e r y much a s i n t h e  passage d e s c r i b e d by Kate But  Millett.  i t i s p o s s i b l e t h a t t h i s c h a l l e n g e was o n l y a r e s p o n s e  t o w h a t may h a v e b e e n s e e n a s an u n f a i r e x c u r s i o n o u t s i d e t h e parameters o f t h e i n t e r v i e w s i t u a t i o n as t h e y had been d e f i n e d . On t h e w h o l e , h o w e v e r , b y n e v e r p r o f e r r i n g a n y s o c a l l e d good w i l l  o r r a d i c a l r h e t o r i c t o my i n f o r m a n t s ,  the embarrassment o f t h e i r having  I spared  t o " s e t me s t r a i g h t . "  liberal us both When  our  r e s p e c t i v e , y e t s i m i l a r , p o s i t i o n s h a d t o be d i s c u s s e d , i t  was  o f t e n done t a c t f u l l y  a n d somewhat  ironically.  In t h e f o l l o w i n g e x t r a c t , f o r i n s t a n c e , Brandy around a popular prostitutes."  statement:  She s a i d :  she d i d n o t say:  switched  " A l l wives a r e  " A l l husbands a r e t r i c k s " ;  furthermore,  when s h e c o m p a r e d u s a n d s a i d t h a t we a c t i n s i m i l a r ways a n d manipulate  o u r men i n i d e n t i c a l  f a s h i o n , s h e d i d n o t compare u s  as p r o s t i t u t e a n d s t r a i g h t woman, b u t s i m p l y a s women: s h e s p o k e a s an " o l d l a d y "  ( r a t h e r than  as a p r o s t i t u t e ) t o a w i f e ;  A s B u g s y e x p l a i n e d : " I t was m a i n l y a s e x p r o b l e m b e t w e e n them. "The same o l d t h i n g a l l t h e t i m e ! " T h a t ' s what J o e s a i d . He s a i d he c o u l d n ' t h a n d l e i t . He s a i d s h e r e f u s e d t o do i t i n a d i f f e r e n t way, b e c a u s e s h e d i d n ' t know how. She was s c a r e d . She a l w a y s h a d t h e Mommy image i n h e r h e a d : "Don't do t h a t l " That's a naughty g i r l ! " 4  60  You l o o k t h r o u g h t h e c e n t u r i e s , t h e y s a y t h e woman's b e e n t i e d t o h o u s e w o r k and r a i s i n g k i d s . But she's a l s o manipul a t e d t h a t guy t o go o u t and s l a v e h i s a s s , b r i n g home t h e p a y c h e c k , f e e d h e r , t a k e h e r o u t , w i n e and d i n e h e r . And I t h i n k t h a t now women a r e c a u g h t i n t h e i r own t r a p . They m a n i p u l a t e a l i t t l e t o o good! Because I t a l k e d t o a l o t o f p e o p l e and t h e y ' l l s a y : "But how c a n y o u t u r n a t r i c k ? " And I ' l l s a y : "You g u y s t u r n a t r i c k e v e r y t i m e y o u f u c k y o u r wives!" And t h e y s a y : "We d o n ' t t u r n ..." And I s a y s : " Y e s , y o u do! Y o u ' r e b u y i n g t h e g r o c e r i e s f o r t h e week, you're c l o t h i n g her. And i f s h e ' s n o t i n t h e mood t o g e t f u c k e d t h a t n i g h t , y o u ' l l s a y : " W e l l , l e t ' s go t o a p a r t y , d e a r ! " and you r e l a x h e r w i t h b o o z e and g i v e h e r a g o o d t i m e , and t h e n y o u g e t h e r i n b e d . And so e v e r y man i s a trick!" I t ' s true! Women h a v e m a n i p u l a t e d men and now t h e y ' r e b a l k i n g because t h e y ' r e stuck i n the k i t c h e n ! You t a k e a g o o d l o o k i n g woman o r a g o o d l o o k i n g man, and t h e y can g e t a l o n g anywhere. I f t h e y h a v e a n y t h i n g on t h e b a l l , t h e y u s e t h e i r l o o k s t o p l a y on o t h e r p e o p l e . I used t o do i t when I was y o u n g e r . I was c u t e when I was a k i d , so I w o u l d j u s t p u c k e r up and t h r o w a few c u t e t e a r s and I ' d g e t w h a t I w a n t . When I g o t o l d e r I had a good s h a p e , so a l l I ' d h a v e t o do i s w i g g l e my a s s p a s t a guy and I g o t w h a t I w a n t e d , y o u know. Or, i f y o u r h u s b a n d ' s h o r n y , and y o u want a c o a t o r s o m e t h i n g , y o u ' r e gonna be a s n i c e as y o u c a n , u n t i l you g e t t h a t c o a t . And t h e n y o u ' l l go b a c k i n t o y o u r r o l l e r s and no make-up. And y o u w a n t s o m e t h i n g e l s e , so o u t come t h e r o l l e r s and on comes t h e make-up! I ' v e done i t a l l my l i f e , and a l l my g i r l f r i e n d s do i t . Maybe t h e y d o n ' t r e a l i z e t h e y ' r e d o i n g i t , b u t t h e y ' r e d o i n g i t ... You p r o b a b l y done i t ! If  boundaries  t r a n s g r e s s e d , and plicity  were u s u a l l y m a i n t a i n e d , t h e y were a l s o  t h e r e was  o f t e n an i m p l i c a t i o n o f f e m a l e  d u r i n g our i n t e r v i e w s .  w h e r e a s t h e S t r e e t T r i c k s t e r was  I t was  more o r l e s s i m p l i e d t h a t ,  b e y o n d my  e x p e r i e n c e , I would  d e f i n i t e l y g u e s s w h a t t h e F e m a l e T r i c k s t e r was know where and when t o  com-  up t o , and  would  laugh.  I v e r y much d o u b t t h a t a m a l e r e s e a r c h e r w o u l d h a v e r e c e i v e d t h e same d a t a .  A f t e r our r e c i p r o c a l l y t e n t a t i v e  t u r e s o f t h e b e g i n n i n g had  finally  t h e y t o l d me  a woman, t h e y w o u l d h a v e s p a r e d  b e c a u s e I was  gelled  ges-  into familiarity,  what him  61  b e c a u s e he was a man.  E v e n i f t h e w o r d s h a d b e e n t h e same, t h e  i n t o n a t i o n and t h e g r i n s w o u l d have been d i f f e r e n t .  And i f  t h o s e had been t h e r e , t h e n t h e message t h e y c a r r i e d w o u l d been d i f f e r e n t .  have  To b o r r o w G e e r t s ' w a r n i n g ( 1 9 7 3 : 1 5 - 1 6 ) , o u r  f i c t i o w o u l d have d i f f e r e d  a n d a man's " m a k i n g " w o u l d n o t h a v e  b e e n t h e same a s m i n e . THE DATA The w o r k done w i t h t h e i n f o r m a n t s f e l l  basically  into  t h r e e c a t e g o r i e s : e l i c i t a t i o n o f d e f i n i t i o n s and d e s c r i p t i o n s t h r o u g h q u e s t i o n s and answers; c o l l e c t i o n o f spontaneous a n e c d o t e s ; and taxonomic Some women w e r e i l l whole w i l l i n g  classification. a t e a s e a n d moody, a l t h o u g h on t h e  t o t a l k ; o t h e r s were h e l p f u l and p a i n s t a k i n g l y  i n f o r m a t i v e ; o t h e r s a g a i n were f r i e n d l y and v i v a c i o u s s p e a k e r s . A f e w o f them went t h r o u g h a l l the research.  t h r e e s t a t e s o v e r t h e months o f  The i n f o r m a n t s a n d I n a t u r a l l y a d o p t e d a f o r m o f  communication best s u i t e d t o t h e i r p a r t i c u l a r t a l e n t s , t h e r e l a t i o n s h i p we h a d f o r m e d a n d t h e i r mood o f t h e moment.  Bugsy,  f o r i n s t a n c e , who c o u l d r a m b l e o n f r o m one s t o r y t o a n o t h e r w i t h good humour, a good  sense o f t i m i n g and a s a r c a s t i c t u r n o f mind,  s a t w i t h g l a z e d e y e s when I a s k e d h e r t o s o r t o u t a n d c l a s s i f y c a r d s : w i t h i n a f e w m i n u t e s , h e r boredom h a d made t h e a t m o s p h e r e o f t h e room u n b e a r a b l e .  Dee a n d S u g a r , on t h e o t h e r h a n d ,  duti-  f u l l y performed t h e tedious c l a s s i f i c a t i o n over a p e r i o d of s e v e r a l s e s s i o n s , o f t e n p u z z l i n g a t what t h e y d i s c o v e r e d and s a y i n g they had never "thought about i t l i k e t h a t b e f o r e . "  Julie,  62  whose i n q u i s i t i v e n e s s was a l w a y s e v i d e n t , a p p e a r e d  equally  i n t e r e s t e d i n p r o v i d i n g d e f i n i t i o n s and d e s c r i p t i o n s , s p e c u l a t i n g o n t h e d i f f e r e n c e s b e t w e e n t h e two c u l t u r e s a n d d i s c u s s i n g the system o f communication To  start the f i r s t  i n f o r m a n t s was s t i l l  a n d e x c h a n g e b e t w e e n t h e i r members.  i n t e r v i e w s , when t h e p e r s o n a l i t y o f t h e  unknown t o me, I a s k e d them a l l t o name a n d  d e s c r i b e t h e p e o p l e t h e y saw o n t h e s t r e e t . and d e s c r i b e d , a r o u g h c l a s s i f i c a t i o n "street people" "square Johns"  (traffickers,  As t h e s e w e r e named  a l r e a d y took p l a c e i n t o  u s e r s , h o o k e r s , e t c . ) and t h e  (shoppers, t r i c k s ,  etc.).  As t h e groups  f u r t h e r s u b d i v i d e d (e.g. d i f f e r e n t types o f t r i c k s , u s e r s , e t c . see Appendix terization  were  hookers,  B ) , more d e f i n i t i o n s f o l l o w e d , c h a r a c -  and s t e r e o t y p e s were e x p r e s s e d and r e l a t i o n s h i p s were  defined. Some i n f o r m a n t s n e v e r c o n f i n e d t h e m s e l v e s t o s t r a i g h t answers.  In fact,  i t was t h e m e a s u r e o f B u g s y s t i r e d n e s s when 1  she d i d , a n d I w o u l d t h e n p u t an e n d t o t h e f o r m a l i n t e r v i e w . She,  a n d a t l e a s t two o t h e r s , r e g u l a r l y s u b s t i t u t e d a n a n e c d o t e  for a definition.  I f I a s k e d a q u e s t i o n on t h e p o s s i b l e t y p e o f  r e l a t i o n s h i p b e t w e e n a "good c o p " a n d a s t r e e t woman, f o r i n s t a n c e , o r on t h e way t o h a n d l e d r u n k e n o f t e n took t h e form o f a s t o r y . difficult  tricks,  an  answer v e r y  I assume t h a t t h e y f o u n d i t  t o a n s w e r my q u e s t i o n s w i t h g e n e r a l i z a t i o n s  t o an i n t e r p r e t a t i o n o f t h e c u l t u r e ' s s o c i o - e c o n o m i c  amounting environment.  An a n e c d o t e , r e f e r r i n g t o o n e i n c i d e n t i n w h i c h t h e q u e s t i o n a s k e d found one answer, e s t a b l i s h e d  instead the informant's  63  c u l t u r a l competence and h e r a b i l i t y crete situation.  to deal with a d e f i n i t e ,  To an a b s t r a c t s t a t e m e n t  s u b s t i t u t e d a concrete statement  con-  on r e l a t i o n s h i p s , she  on s p e c i f i c  interactions.  From  t h e sum o f t h e s e s i t u a t i o n s d e s c r i b e d a t l e n g t h a n d r e p e a t e d l y through the  s t r e e t g o s s i p emerge t h e a p p r o v e d b e h a v i o u r a l l i m i t s o f  group. Some i n f o r m a n t s a p p e a r e d t o f e e l u n c o m f o r t a b l e  interviewing resembles  format  o f q u e s t i o n s and answers, perhaps because i t  t o o much p o l i c e  correctional  staff.  with the  interrogations or interviews with  They w e r e i n s t e a d e n c o u r a g e d t o t a l k  freely  o f t h e i r e x p e r i e n c e on t h e s t r e e t , o f w h a t t h e y p e r c e i v e d t o b e o c c u p a t i o n a l and p e r s o n a l p r o b l e m s , handle  t h e s e , and they u s u a l l y responded t o t h i s r e q u e s t by  retelling successful  s t o r i e s d e p i c t i n g p r o b l e m a t i c s i t u a t i o n s and u s u a l l y outcomes.  Whether o b t a i n e d through way  a n d how t h e y a t t e m p t t o  o f answering  one i n f o r m a n t ' s u s u a l  questions or another's  specific  anecdotal  intent to relate  a p a r t i c u l a r t a l e , part of the data consists of a c o l l e c t i o n of stories.  Some o f t h e s e s t o r i e s ,  through  t h e sheer  context ofthe  s t r e e t ' s u s u a l means o f l i v e l i h o o d a n d s u r v i v a l a n d t h e i n f o r mants' s e l f - p e r c e p t i o n , a r e v e r s i o n s o f t r i c k s t e r  tales,  d e s c r i b i n g how t h e " s t r a i g h t " t r i c k o r m a r k , whose i n t e n t i s t o exploit  " s t r e e t " women, a r e i n f a c t t r i c k e d  r o b b e d ) b y them.  (manipulated o r  They a l s o d e s c r i b e how i n f o r m a n t s come, s u c -  c e s s f u l l y o r not, t o terms w i t h problems a r i s i n g illegality  of their a c t i v i t y  from t h e  as p r o s t i t u t e s and drug a d d i c t s as  64  t h e y e n c o u n t e r members o f t h e n a r c o t i c s and m o r a l i t y  squads.  A l w a y s , t h e y a t t e m p t t o t r i c k t h o s e o u t t o t r i c k them. t h e y d e s c r i b e how t h e women's g o o d f a i t h  Finally,  i s sometimes d e c e i v e d  by t h e "bad" t r i c k s who r o b and b e a t them, a n d how t h e y meet a situation, a situation While t h i s  first  f o r which they are always  such  prepared.  group of s t o r i e s d e s c r i b e s the i n t e r -  a c t i o n , a l w a y s o f an e x p l o i t a t i v e n a t u r e , b e t w e e n members o f t h e two c u l t u r e s , o t h e r s t o r i e s e s t a b l i s h some o f t h e p a r a m e t e r s  of  i n - g r o u p i n t e r a c t i o n and d e s c r i b e a p p r o p r i a t e b e h a v i o u r and sanctions f o r transgressing i t s guidelines. A l i n g u i s t i c s a n a l y s i s went a l o n g w i t h t h e c o l l e c t i o n o f stories. itly  Words i n t u i t i v e l y deemed t o be s i g n i f i c a n t , o r e x p l i c -  s a i d t o be so by t h e i n f o r m a n t s t h e m s e l v e s , w e r e e x t r a c t e d  f r o m t h e t e x t s and c l a s s i f i e d  i n two w a y s : a l p h a b e t i c a l l y ,  with  t h e i r d e f i n i t i o n and o f t e n a m p l e i l l u s t r a t i o n o f u s a g e i n c o n text:  e i t h e r a d h o c e x a m p l e s p r o v i d e d by t h e women a s t h e y  d e f i n e d t h e terms, o r e x t r a c t s from t h e s t o r i e s  illustrating  s p e c i f i c meanings and a p p r o p r i a t e c o n t e x t s ; and t a x o n o m i c a l l y , i n t o domains such as " s t r a i g h t s " , "cops", e t c .  "tricks",  "hookers",  "addicts",  T h i s c l a s s i f i c a t i o n was done by t h e i n f o r m a n t s a s  t h e y r e v i e w e d some 2 0 0 c a r d s b e a r i n g t h e w o r d s o f t h e g l o s s a r y ( A p p e n d i x A) a n d s o r t e d them i n t o a s e m a n t i c g r o u p i n g t h a t s e n s e " t o them.  "made  F u r t h e r s o r t i n g took p l a c e w i t h i n each c a t e g o r y ,  as words were d i s c u s s e d and t h e terms were o r d e r e d a l o n g v e r t i c a l d i m e n s i o n s o f g e n e r a l i z a t i o n and h o r i z o n t a l d i m e n s i o n s o f d i s crimination.  None o f my i n f o r m a n t s h a d done t h i s t y p e o f  65  semantic a n a l y s i s before,  y e t they proceeded w i t h  great  assur-  S p r a d l e y a n d Mann's c o c k t a i l w a i t r e s s e s  (1975:  ance. Much l i k e  6 1 - 6 2 ) , i t a p p e a r s t h a t p r o s t i t u t e s and d r u g a d d i c t s who w o r k o n the as  s t r e e t operate with a basis  several sets of categories:  f o r the formal  o p e r a t e and o t h e r s s o c i a l networks.  some  serving  s t r u c t u r e of the s e t t i n g i n which  understandable only  i n terms o f t h e i r  they  specific  I n t h e f o l k taxonomy e s t a b l i s h e d by t h e i n f o r -  mants, p e o p l e a r e c l e a r l y  i d e n t i f i e d by t h e i r  behavioural  a t t r i b u t e s , and s o c i a l i z a t i o n p a r t l y t a k e s t h e form o f l e a r n i n g the  c a t e g o r i e s , n e t w o r k s among them, a n d r u l e s f o r o p e r a t i n g  w i t h i n these The  networks.  t e x t s and t h e taxonomy b o t h r e f l e c t t h e  emic v a l u e s ,  and both c u l t u r e s a r e d e s c r i b e d  terms o f s t r e e t emics. ronmental devices attempting ations.  informants'  and e v a l u a t e d i n  These d a t a d e a l w i t h p h y s i c a l a n d e n v i -  f o r a d j u s t i n g t o , coping  t o get the better of problematic  The d e f i n i t i o n s a n d s t o r y e x c e r p t s  w i t h , and even o r dangerous  were anonymously  a v a i l a b l e t o t h e i n f o r m a n t s a n d t h e i r comments s e r v e d and  reliability The  as v a l i d i t y  checks.  culture's artifacts,  such as " r i g s "  f o r " f i x i n g " , make-  s h i f t apparatus f o r t a t t o o i n g i n j a i l ,  containers  quantities of heroin,  from t h e s y r i n g e  available,  situ-  etc. are - apart  e a s i l y disposable,  to carry  and u s u a l l y o b j e c t s w i t h  - easily another  q u i t e innocent f u n c t i o n : a c h i l d ' s b a l l o o n , a broken tooth a sewing needle, a b o t t l e cap, a f i l t e r  t i p o r some  small  cotton  brush,  66  b a t t i n g , a spoon.  They show a d e g r e e o f i n g e n u i t y b u t , b e c a u s e  o f t h e i r n e e d t o be i n c o n s p i c u o u s , e a s i l y a n d a n o n y m o u s l y carded,  t h e y have n o t g i v e n r i s e t o any t y p e o f a r t .  dis-  With t h e  e x c e p t i o n o f t a t t o o i n g , o n l y t h e v e r b a l a r t s have d e v e l o p e d i n the c u l t u r e : t h e performance o f g o s s i p , t h e o r a l d i s p l a y o f status, and  j o k i n g and s w e a r i n g ,  t h e t r a n s m i s s i o n o f common k n o w l e d g e  p r a c t i c a l experience, the verbal manipulation of t r i c k s or  m a r k s , s e r v e a s a means o f p e r s o n a l a n d c u l t u r a l a source  o f common a n d i n d i v i d u a l p r i d e .  s u r v i v a l and as  67  CHAPTER THREE STREET TALK: RAPPING, CONNING AND Rapping,  c o n n i n g and b u l l s h i t t i n g a r e ways t o t a l k .  a c t s s e r v e many p u r p o s e s :  they are used  amuse, c a j o l e , c o e r c e , s e d u c e , impress.  BULLSHITTING  to insult,  of the importance  The  intimidate,  a p p r a i s e , g r e e t , subdue o r  As t h e i n t e r l o c u t o r s and t h e p u r p o s e s  manners o f s p e e c h .  Speech  informants c l e a r l y  v a r y , so do  i n d i c a t e an  the  awareness  o f v e r b a l t r a n s a c t i o n s and t h e b e l i e f t h a t t h e y  can e x p e r t l y dominate t h e s e . A f e m a l e p r o s t i t u t e d r u g a d d i c t on t h e s t r e e t - a and  a hype - c o u l d i n t h e c o u r s e o f a day  h e r pimp, h e r mark, h e r g i r l j u n k i e s , her connection  t a l k t o h e r o l d man  f r i e n d , other hookers,  masochist  The  ( t r a f f i c k e r ) , a r i p o f f , c o p s on  t r i c k s alone might i n c l u d e a drunk,  Her  narcs,  a talker,  a l e r t n e s s , her a b i l i t y  t h e i r o u t c o m e , and  p a r t she p l a y s i n i t s h a p e h e r s t y l e o f women I met  a l l lived,  s h o p l i f i n g and t h e p e r h a p s  her  generally  speaking her p r e c i s e understanding of her environment  The  a  to evaluate  and t h e i r n e e d s a s w e l l as t h e i r e x p e c t a t i o n s o f h e r ,  a n t i c i p a t i o n o f s i t u a t i o n s and  wits:  the  or a weirdo, a l l r e q u i r i n g a d i f f e r e n t type of v e r b a l  m a n i p u l a t i o n on h e r p a r t . people  or  other  b e a t , members o f t h e m o r a l i t y s q u a d p o s i n g a s c u s t o m e r s , her t r i c k s .  hooker  and  the  communication.  l a w f u l l y o r u n l a w f u l l y , by s l i g h t l y more  their  "professional"  LEAF  68 O M I T T E D  IN  PAGE NUMBERING.  p. fc>% cWs  w.tf=f -e/Aisf.  69  boosting, rehashing,  1  Welfare,  2  p r o s t i t u t i o n , robbing  l i v i n g o f f a mark, ( d e s c r i b e d by J o as a c o m b i n a t i o n and  " h o o k i n g " ) , B.  known as  & E.,  3  "paper h a n g i n g " ) ,  f o r g e r y , w r i t i n g bad  cheques  (also  W h a t e v e r t h e means o f their  T a l k i n g a t r i c k out of sex, f o r i n s t a n c e , i s  more a d v a n t a g e o u s t h a n g o i n g t o b e d w i t h h i m .  all  "conning"  t h e women make s u r e t h a t t h e s e a r e t u r n e d t o  g r e a t e s t advantage.  talked  of  or the o c c a s i o n a l w a i t r e s s i n g , des-  c r i b e d by B r a n d y a s b e i n g a "good s t a l l " . livelihood,  tricks,  I f he c a n a l s o be  i n t o g i v i n g e v e n more money f o r t h e same l a c k o f  the b e t t e r .  I f , on t h e same b a s i s , he  p r o f i t a b l e mark, t h i s "READING" AND All  i s a real  CONNING THE  services,  c a n be t u r n e d i n t o  a  success.  MARK  t h e women b o a s t o f h a v i n g a mark.  The  little  given  him  i n t e r m s o f c o m p a n i o n s h i p o r s e x , t h e amount r e c e i v e d f r o m  him  (apartment,  c l o t h e s , money, c a r ) a r e a l l t o p i c s o f  t i o n where t h e women's t a l e n t a t c o n n i n g  i s appraised  to  conversaand  enjoyed. In j a i l ,  a m a r k ' s l e t t e r s a r e shown t o f r i e n d s , and  v i s i t s are t a l k e d about.  The  his  f a i t h f u l n e s s o f marks i s l e g e n d a r y  " T h a t s when y o u go t o t h e s h o p and s h o p l i f t s something, right? You go b a c k and y o u make l i k e y o u ' v e b o u g h t i t b u t y o u ' v e l o s t t h e p r i c e t a g . And y o u g e t t h e r e f u n d , t h e money, i n s t e a d " (Jo) . 1  D e e o n c e j o k e d t h a t t h e day " h o o k e r s ' day o f f " . 2  the  1  the Welfare  c h e q u e comes i n i s  T h e i n i t i a l s r e f e r t o a r t i c l e 306 o f t h e C a n a d i a n C r i m i n a l C o d e : B r e a k i n g and E n t e r i n g . U n t i l r e c e n t l y , t h i s o f f e n c e was a t y p i c a l l y m a s c u l i n e o n e , b u t f e m a l e a d d i c t s h a v e now s t a r t e d t o commit i t . 3  70  and much t o t h e women's c r e d i t :  i t i s proof of t h e i r  conning  ability. I n t h i s c h a p t e r , I do n o t make any woman's mark and  a c o n a r t i s t ' s mark.  d i s t i n c t i o n between a  The  t e c h n i q u e used f o r  " r e a d i n g " a mark i s r e p u t e d t o be t h e same i n b o t h c a s e s , and c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s o f b o t h m a r k s a r e a l s o t h e same, as we see.  From a " s t r a i g h t " p o i n t o f v i e w , t h e y may  d i f f e r e n t p e o p l e , but from the  later  a p p e a r t o be  " s t r e e t " , a mark i s a mark.  she i s a l s o a p e r f e c t " s t r a i g h t man" enacted, g i v i n g the expected  will  i n the o r a l  cues t o which  the  two He  or  performance  the a r t i s t w i l l  reply  w i t h a d i s p l a y of v e r b a l mastery. Snow, a s k e d  i n what a r e a o f s t r e e t a c t i v i t i e s  be an e x p e r t , a n s w e r e d : " M a n o e u v e r i n g p e o p l e g i v e me  money".  And  Jo added "Speech.  she  felt  to  into a position  to  Being able to  talk".  R e f l e c t i n g upon t h e q u a l i t i e s t h a t make a g o o d c o n a r t i s t , e x p l a i n e d t h a t "Seventy Conning,  f i v e p e r c e n t , I'd say, a r e good  talkers.  y o u more o r l e s s h a v e t o t a l k a l o t , and y o u h a v e t o s e t  an i m p r e s s i o n on t h e  person".  I personally experienced t h i s a b i l i t y on t h e p e r s o n " , w h i c h which  Julie  a l l my  t o " s e t an  informants b e l i e v e they possess  i s an e s s e n t i a l p a r t o f c o n a r t i s t r y .  w i t h the a b i l i t y  to e l i c i t  impression and  I t goes t o g e t h e r  f r o m t h e i n t e r v i e w e r , who  i s in this  i n s t a n c e a s s i m i l a t e d t o a mark, t h e n a t u r e o f h i s o r h e r needs i n o r d e r t o s a t i s f y t h e s e i n t h e i n f o r m a n t s ' own Bruce  way.  Jackson n o t i c e d the e v o l u t i o n of h i s i n t e r v i e w i n g  technique with h i s informants, petty c r i m i n a l s , addicts, tutes,  s e e i n g i n i t an a c h i e v e m e n t  prosti-  o f c o m p e t e n c e on h i s p a r t .  He  71  d e s c r i b e s t h e c u s t o m a r y l o s s o f s e n s i t i v i t y and  gain of e x p e r t i s e  which causes the researcher t o stop conversing w i t h people start  i n t e r v i e w i n g i n f o r m a n t s , b u t he  informant's technique  apparent  and  a l s o d e s c r i b e s a type  cooperation which resembles the  of  manipulative  a p p l i e d t o marks.  W h i l e w o r k i n g on t h e s e m a n u s c r i p t s I n o t i c e d some d i f f e r e n c e s i n my own t e c h n i q u e s o v e r t h e y e a r s . In the e a r l y tapes ... I seemed t o t a l k a l o t . I o c c a s i o n a l l y g a v e o p i n i o n s . These w e r e o f t e n more c o n v e r s a t i o n s t h a n i n t e r v i e w s ... I l e a r n e d a l o n g t h e way t h a t t h e q u e s t i o n s y o u a s k s t r u c t u r e t h e s t a t e m e n t s y o u g e t , n o t o n l y i n f o r m b u t i n c o n t e n t and f o c u s , so I d e c i d e d t o a s k as few q u e s t i o n s as p o s s i b l e and t o make t h o s e as g e n e r a l as p o s s i b l e so t h e s p e a k e r c o u l d d e c i d e w h a t he c o n s i d e r e d i m p o r t a n t e n o u g h t o t a l k a b o u t . That i s n e c e s s a r y i f y o u want t o g e t w h a t he t h i n k s i m p o r t a n t r a t h e r t h a n w h a t he t h i n k s y o u t h i n k i s i m p o r t a n t ( J a c k s o n 1974: 9-10).  I n t h e f o l l o w i n g d i a l o g u e , w h e r e my l i n e d , Dee  describes this  questions are  under-  technique:  - I t ' s a l l h i s p e r s o n a l i t y . You w o r k on h i s w e a k n e s s e s . Somebody who l i k e s ... Who's a l w a y s w a n t e d a d a u g h t e r o r w h a t e v e r ... And t h a t ' s a w e a k n e s s w i t h h i m . So y o u l e t h i m more o r l e s s t a k e c a r e o f y o u . - W i l l y o u t r y t o c h a n g e y o u r ways j u s t t o be daughter? - No. You j u s t w o r k on t h a t p a r t o f h i m o f y o u as h i s d a u g h t e r . - W i l l you  c a l l him  special  like  a  and make h i m  think  names?  - No. I t n e v e r comes o u t r i g h t i n t h e o p e n , w h a t y o u ' r e g o i n g , b e c a u s e i t makes h i m s e l f c o n s c i o u s . You j u s t w o r k yourway around him t o get i t . - So, y o u h a v e t o ' t r y d i f f e r e n t a p p r o a c h e s b e f o r e know . ... - Before  y o u know w h i c h one  you  i s gonna w o r k !  - How much t i m e do y o u h a v e t o f e e l t h a t he c o u l d become a mark? I s i t s o m e t h i n g t h a t you c a n d e c i d e a t o n c e ?  72  - At once. You know w h e t h e r he i s . A f t e r s i t t i n g and h a v i n g a d r i n k w i t h h i m o r s o m e t h i n g ... You j u s t g e t t o know their personalities. L i k e , some p e r s o n a l i t i e s c a n be m a r k e d i n a l o t e a s i e r t h a n o t h e r s . You l i s t e n t o h i m t a l k and y o u g e t t o know w h a t he w a n t s . And t h e n , t h a t ' s what you work on. His weaknesses. J o and  Snow a d d e d a few p r e c i s i o n s t o Dee's d e s c r i p t i o n o f  the  method: - What s o r t o f " t a l k i n g t a l e n t " do y o u h a v e t o h a v e ? - Manipulation. - Yeah. be and  P u t y o u r s e l f t o t h e l e v e l t h a t y o u know t h e y want t o t h a t they are.  - Yeah. - W h i c h means t h a t y o u h a v e t o l i s t e n , - Oh,  yeah  - You  listen  - W e l l , you  ...  You  first  go by e a r , y o u and  s t a r t out  you t a l k  too?  know.  afterwards?  slow.  - Yeah. T h e y ' r e t a l k i n g t o y o u and y o u ' r e a n s w e r i n g them. Not g i v i n g y o u r s e l f away by t h e a n s w e r s . More o r l e s s t h a t y o u ' r e g o i n g a l o n g t h e m s e l v e s , m a k i n g them t h i n k , y o u know ... - U n t i l y o u h a v e enough t o go on t h a t y o u know w h a t t h e y want. V i n c e n t Swaggi, K l o c k a r s ' p r o f e s s i o n a l fence, would with these informants.  From c h i l d h o o d , he  agree  says,  h u s t l i n g t a u g h t me how t o r e a d p e o p l e . I was a g r e a t b u l l s h i t t e r , a good c o n . I c o u l d t e l l n i n e t i m e s o u t o f t e n who I c o u l d s e l l ( K l o c k a r s 1974:38). Two  o f B l u m ' s i n f o r m a n t s s t r e s s t h e d u a l and  a s p e c t o f i n f o r m a t i o n s e e k i n g and  self  complementary  revelation:  T h e r e ' s a c o n f o r e v e r y man. I ' l l j u s t a p p r o a c h a n y o n e and i t w i l l t a k e me j u s t f i f t e e n m i n u t e s t o l e a r n h i s i n t e r e s t s and h i s w e a k n e s s e s (Blum 1 9 7 2 : 3 0 ) .  73  The and  n a t u r a l t h i n g i s t o l e t t h e mark show y o u t h e n you j u s t go a l o n g ( 1 9 7 2 : 3 0 ) .  Con could  men  often  delight in describing  informants'  text.  l e s s customary t o give R e a d i n g con  and  t o w h a t e x t e n t he A p p e n d i x F was  ment on  his part  and  watching" the in  by  experience.  "hot  T.V.  He  game".  i n f o r m a n t may  story  wonder  standpoint reproduced  be  describes  how  Reading the  (1974:43), which serves t o c o n f i r m  d e a l : the merchandise i s indeed "hot".  the  he  story,  remembered: "So  you're l o o k i n g around l i k e there  t h i s c a s e , t h e mark was  may  victim's  The  and  a f r i e n d , w i t h much e m b a r r a s s -  g r a t i t u d e on m i n e .  i n j u c t i o n of Klockars' and  i s viewed from the  t o me  became t h e v i c t i m o f t h e  o v e r t o him  I t h o u g h t i t more i n t e r e s t i n g  i s e n t i r e l y fooled.  given  I  literature  men's d e s c r i p t i o n s o f t h e i r e x p l o i t s , one  the whole t r a n s a c t i o n  wants  "jobs".  from the  a m a r k ' s v e r s i o n o f s u c h an  how  in  successful  d r a w many i l l u s t r a t i o n s o f t h e i r s k i l l  o r f r o m my  what he  you  m i g h t be  the  come  cops  authenticity  of  I n t e r e s t i n g l y enough  a c t u a l l y p r e p a r e d f o r a con  job,  but  e n t i r e l y misjudged i t s nature. Street people b e l i e v e the  i n s i g h t t o a s s e s s p e o p l e and  m a n i p u l a t e them. this  t h e y do  self  Writers  who  possess a superior  s i t u a t i o n s and  have worked w i t h  intuition,  t h e power con  men  to  agree  with  evaluation.  When i t comes t o " p l a y i n g c o n " few p e o p l e c a n m a t c h t h e s k i l l and v e r s a t i l i t y o f a " r i g h t e o u s dope f i e n d " ( S u t t e r 1966: 211) . M i c h a e l A g a r s e e s h i s c o n f i d e n c e men,  whether j u n k i e s  or not,  as  Good i n t u i t i v e p s y c h o l o g i s t s w i t h p o i s e and a s e n s e o f authority. They must c o r r e c t l y ' r e a d ' t h e mark and i m m e d i a t e l y f o r m u l a t e a s t r a t e g y t o encourage h i s t r u s t (Agar 1973:46).  74  Maurer r e f e r s t o tion" The  "their high  (1940:1), t h e i r  con  artist  image and  a little  solid  " s u p e r b s e n s e o f human n a t u r e "  organiza(1940:2).  seems t o h a v e b e e n endowed w i t h o r a c q u i r e d  superhuman q u a l i t i e s . self  intelligence, their  Such a p e r f e c t m a t c h b e t w e e n a g r o u p ' s  the researcher's  uncomfortable,  almost  p e r c e p t i o n of the group l e a v e s  e s p e c i a l l y s i n c e the s e l f  t a l e n t o f t h a t g r o u p i s " t o s e t an  impression  me  professed  on t h e p e r s o n " ,  as  J u l i e put i t . My  often inarticulate  i t i v e p o w e r s and  informants  s a i d t h a t t h e y know.  knowledge i s almost l i m i t l e s s : they j u s t by  l o o k i n g a t him,  by  f u r t h e r e x t e n s i o n , w h a t any f u r t h e r , they she  knew how  w a n t e d and  how  man  she  i n t o words.  approaching i n the  crippled/has going  and,  man  street.  "He  do?."  meek."  they  wants  w a n t s , and  by  a  that  c o u l d t e l l what  they  to deal with  one  their  and  that  p a r t i c u l a r type  he  and can  s e l f - c o n s c i o u s , so  self confidence.  of  presumably, get i t . you're  They're u s u a l l y  S e v e r a l women a p p e a r e d t o - the  concur  square John's main  - are not the reason f o r t h a t p a r t i c u l a r  a p p e a r t o be p r e p a r e d  that  i s obviously ugly/repulsive/  s i n c e greed and/or s t u p i d i t y  characteristics  by  Brandy e x p l a i n e d  i s t h e o n l y way  "Well, they're  intu-  Questioned  something p h y s i c a l l y wrong w i t h him,  p r e t t y s t r a i g h t and  request,  covered  that experience  I suggested to her  k i n d e r t o them t o b u i l d t h e i r  with this:  i t I"  behaviour put  great  "know" w h a t a t r i c k  at a glance,  c o u l d not  out w i t h a working g i r l  What do y o u  field  square John wants.  t o a d a p t h e r own  a n t i c i p a t i o n s , but intuition  men  The  e x t e n s i o n what any  answered: " I j u s t f e e l to "read"  also claimed  to deal f a i r l y with  trick's him.  75  From B r a n d y a l s o , I e l i c i t e d o t h e r ing,  w e l l dressed  i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s : "A g o o d  g u y : more k i n k y ! "  The a p p a r e n t i n t e r p r e t a t i o n  h e r e i s t h a t , s i n c e he c a n " g e t i t " e l s e w h e r e , he w i l l require special services. old  bastards."  cabbies  look-  obviously  O l d men a r e u s u a l l y " p e r v e r t e d  dirty  "The g u y s i n t a x i s a r e t h e b e s t : t h e y p a y t h e  to find a g i r l . "  " I f they're  d r i v i n g a L i n c o l n , they're  c h e a p , t h e y d o n ' t w a n t t o s p e n t money: t h e money g o e s f o r t h e car!"  " I f they're  (The  d r i v i n g b e a t up c a r s , t h e y ' r e more g e n e r o u s . "  L i n c o l n d r i v e r s , d e s c r i b e d by Brandy, were r e c o g n i z e d  amusement by B u g s y and J u l i e Since  with  as t r u e t o f o r m ) .  i t may b e a s s u m e d t h a t s t r e e t w a l k e r s h a v e g a i n e d  some  f a m i l i a r i t y w i t h p h y s i c a l l y h a n d i c a p p e d , u n a t t r a c t i v e o r o l d men, as w e l l a s men c r u i s i n g t h e s t r e e t s i n a t a x i c a b l o o k i n g f o r "a good t i m e " , types  t h e y may h a v e a r r i v e d a t t h e i r d e f i n i t i o n o f s u c h  from s o l i d experience.  what p u z z l i n g . unusual aspect  B u t t h e L i n c o l n d r i v e r s a r e some-  B u g s y and J u l i e ' s amused r e c o g n i t i o n s t r e s s e d t h e of t h i s type  o f c u s t o m e r a n d may l e a d o n e t o  wonder w h e t h e r d e f i n i t i o n s may n o t r e s u l t f r o m s t r i k i n g b u t a l m o s t i s o l a t e d o c c u r e n c e s a s much a s f r o m a l e n g t h y of s i m i l a r encounters. stereotypes handling  the  W h a t e v e r t h e b a s i s on w h i c h t h e y  o b v i o u s l y c o n t r i b u t e handy g u i d e l i n e s  o f p e o p l e c a t e g o r i z e d as h a v i n g  From t h e r e a d i n g informants  characteristics.  o f such " c l u e s " as d e s c r i b e d by B r a n d y ,  For instance, i n h i s f i r s t  p r o s t i t u t e when he f i r s t described  these  rest,  f o r the proper  a p p e a r t o draw t h e g u i d e l i n e s o f t h e i r  t i o n a l behaviour.  repetition  became a t r i c k ,  a competent o p e r a t o r ,  occupa-  encounter with a  G.L. S t e w a r t  simply  a woman who knew h e r j o b a n d  76  could  " r e a d " a c u s t o m e r , a n d whose p e r f o r m a n c e may be i m p l i c i t l y  compared t o t h a t o f a mechanic j u d g i n g t h e p r o b l e m by l i s t e n i n g to  a c a r engine,  o r a v e t e r i n a r i a n t h e c o n d i t i o n o f an a n i m a l  f r o m t h e way i t h a n g s i t s h e a d : s i m p l e o c c u p a t i o n a l  experience.  What h a d I g i v e n h e r t o r e s p o n d t o , o t h e r t h a n p a s s i v i t y a n d nervousness? Toward t h e n e r v o u s n e s s s h e h a d d i r e c t e d b e h a v i o u r i n t e n d e d t o c a l m a n d r e l a x me, a n d t o t h e p a s s i v i t y she h a d r e s p o n d e d l o g i c a l l y and e f f i c i e n t l y ( " J u s t l i e t h e r e and g e t r a p e d " ) , p e r h a p s e v e n a s s u m i n g t h a t s e x u a l p a s s i v i t y and s u r r e n d e r w e r e my " t h i n g " . She h a d made t h e m o s t o f t h e c l u e s I had g i v e n h e r (Stewart 1972:270-271). " R e a d i n g t h e mark" i s a s k i l l mark h i m s e l f . at  deception  I t may be t h a t s t r e s s i n g t h e c o n a r t i s t ' s  o n c e he becomes aware o f t h e s i t u a t i o n .  image  (Goffman 1 9 5 2 ) .  c o n man's g u i l e i s s e e n b y b o t h p a r t i e s a s . c o m p l e m e n t i n g t h e  mark's g u l l i b i l i t y . is  He may  e n c o u r a g e d t o do s o b y t h e c o n man h i m s e l f t o f a c i l i t a t e h i s  r e c o v e r y and t h e p r e s e r v a t i o n o f h i s s e l f The  talent  i s a m a r k ' s way o f r e d u c i n g t h e p a r t p l a y e d b y h i s  own g u l l i b i l i t y , be  sometimes acknowledged by t h e  likely  But behind  t h e mark's b a c k , t h e con a r t i s t  t o p o i n t out t h e former's  greed which i t i s h i s  acknowledged t a l e n t t o i d e n t i f y and b a i t a p p r o p r i a t e l y . Some o f t h e c o n j o b s d e s c r i b e d i n t h e l i t e r a t u r e a r e c l e v e r l y engineered  and c o n v i n c i n g l y c a r r i e d o u t . B u t even t h e  seemingly  rougher,  c o a r s e r r a c k e t s o f my i n f o r m a n t s  succeed.  The r e a s o n  fortheir  the v i c t i m ' s ignorance,  success  appear t o  i s c l a i m e d t o be due t o  s t u p i d i t y o r greed.  Such a c h a r a c t e r -  i z a t i o n o f t h e square John a t l a r g e as i g n o r a n t , s t u p i d and/or greedy i s indeed  t h e one e l a b o r a t e d b y s t r e e t p e o p l e  on t h e b a s i s  o f w h a t t h e y p e r c e i v e t o be t h e c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s o f i n d i v i d u a l s t r a i g h t people  w i t h whom t h e y  interact fortheir  mutual  77  exploitation. R e s e a r c h e r s i n no way transform  the  escape the  i n t e r v i e w e r s ' n e e d s i n t o t h e i r own  cases, the  interviewers' d i f f i c u l t i e s  informants'  added r e s e n t m e n t a t b e i n g  tional  supervision.  By  eliciting  - or anthropologists  are  necessary responses to f u l f i l l  officers,  g o a l s , and  these,  work  the  ters'  i n t r u s i o n by  using  the  i n t e r v i e w e r s happy."  the  i n t e r v i e w as  i n f o r m a n t s and researchers' expressed. they are  are  probation  providing  inmates-con and  the  artists-  c o n t r o l and  pre-  exercise.  and  where i n m a t e s  I t w o u l d be  feel  s i m p l i s t i c however t o  n a i v e l y happy i n t e r v i e w e r s . informants'  Indeed,  view  cooperative the  verbal s k i l l s  They know t h a t , when e n q u i r i n g  t o e x e r c i s e them and  James, f o r i n s t a n c e , problem.  into verbal  i s often skills,  writes:  feel  t h a t a competent performance  researchers  i n h e r work w i t h  In the  on  attempt to minimize the e x p l o i -  some i n t e r a c t i o n b e t w e e n s e e m i n g l y  cause the  an  " s o p h i s t i c a t e d p h o n e y a n s w e r s w h i c h make  weariness of the  t h e i r p a r t may  she  correc-  f a c e d w i t h t h e d a n g e r t h a t t h e i r p r a c t i t i o n e r s may  challenged  of the  the  (1977:190) q u o t e s f r o m Maruyama  some o f t h e p r o b l e m s o f p r i s o n r e s e a r c h interviewers  I n some  or under  s u m a b l y , draw p r o f e s s i o n a l l e g i t i m a t i o n f r o m t h e  the  codes.  compounded by  in jail  informants t e s t t h e i r t a l e n t s at deception  e x p l o i t e d by  informants  whose r e a l p o w e r s a r e unknown -  i n d i c a t i o n o f t h e i r i n t e n t i o n s and  James, i n a r e c e n t  and  from them, whether t h e y  s o c i a l workers, psychologists, parole officers  stereotype,  to  "buy"  i t .  on  Jennifer  prostitutes, is well  i n t r o d u c t i o n t o an u n p u b l i s h e d  aware  report,  78  The i n f o r m a n t s know t h e r e s e a r c h e r ' s w o r l d and d e a l w i t h questions accordingly. With p r o s t i t u t e s t h i s problem i s compounded by t h e n a t u r e o f t h e " h u s t l i n g " b u s i n e s s . F o r e x a m p l e , a p r o s t i t u t e d e p e n d s f o r h e r s u c c e s s and s u r v i v a l on h e r a b i l i t y t o j u d g e p e o p l e and h a n d l e them - h e r a b i l i t y t o g i v e t h e c u s t o m e r w h a t he w a n t s w h i l e n o t d o i n g more t h a n she w a n t s . The p r o s t i t u t e i s t h u s s e l l i n g h e r a b i l i t y t o make t h e man f e e l he i s s a t i s f i e d . " C o n n i n g " i s an a r t o f t h e p r o f e s s i o n and t h e r e s e a r c h e r i s as l i k e l y a v i c t i m as t h e c u s t o m e r (James 1 9 7 1 : 4 ) . As James p o i n t s o u t , t h i s c o m m u n i c a t i o n a l s k i l l tial  f o r the p r o s t i t u t e ' s  survival.  In a s o c i a l  i s essen-  interactional  a n a l y s i s o f t h e f o l k l o r e o f a T e x a s Madam, D a v i s J o h n s o n the  importance of her informants' f e e l i n g that  stresses  " t h e i r most  impor-  t a n t w o r k i s m e n t a l and v e r b a l - t o r e m a i n i n c o n t r o l o f thems e l v e s and t h e i r  i n t e r a c t i o n s w i t h the customers"  (1973:219).  I c a n n o t e m p h a s i z e t o o much t h e i m p o r t a n c e o f w o r d s i n h e r life. B o t h she and t h e g i r l s t o l d us t h a t t h e p r o s t i t u t e ' s a r t i s much more m e n t a l and v e r b a l t h a n s e x u a l . Men a r e physically stronger; therefore, to maintain constant control a p r o s t i t u t e must u s e w o r d s e f f e c t i v e l y ... (She) c o n t r o l s her environment through v e r b a l m a n i p u l a t i o n s (1973:212). S T Y L I S T I C DEVICES As s k i l l e d stylistic the  v e r b a l p e r f o r m e r s , t h e i n f o r m a n t s r e s o r t t o many  d e v i c e s t o r e n d e r s p e e c h a c t s more e f f e c t i v e .  exaggeration of d e t a i l s ,  strike their faster.  to catch the l i s t e n e r s '  i m a g i n a t i o n , and p e r h a p s  One  is  attention,  s e r v e t o c o n v i n c e them  B u d g s y , f o r i n s t a n c e , i s somewhat g i v e n t o p r a c t i s e  w e l l known s t o r y t e l l i n g d e v i c e o f m a g n i f y i n g i n c i d e n t s . c a s e , numbers i n c r e a s e  the  In her  dramatically.  I f i x e d 3 c a p s and I h a d a 8 c o p e s c o r t home! c o p s o u t l o o k i n g f o r me! The n e x t t h i n g I knew, t h e r e was down t h e r e , l o o k i n g f o r me!  She  sent 8  6 n a r c b u l l s and 4 p o l i c e m e n  79  So, on t h e way up, I s e e t h e r e ' s 2 c o p c a r s i n f r o n t o f u s , 2 b e h i n d u s , and I'm u n d e r a r r e s t f o r s o l i c i t i n g ! Bugsy i s a G r a n v i l l e S t r e e t hooker ficker.  and a s m a l l t i m e  traf-  I know, she knows I know, I know she knows I know t h a t  8 c o p s , 6 n a r c b u l l s and  4 p o l i c e m e n , o r 4 cop c a r s would  n i t e l y n o t be m o b i l i z e d t o l o o k f o r h e r .  B u t she  i s also  defitelling  a good s t o r y t o an a p p r e c i a t i v e a u d i e n c e , a s t o r y w i t h a g o o d p l o t and  l o t s of a c t i o n , o b v i o u s l y c a l l i n g  t i o n s , a n d we  how  one  is.  One  artistic  prestige.  many i n s t a n c e s , s t a t u s i s e s t a b l i s h e d by  "bad"  propor-  a r e b o t h t o u n d e r s t a n d h e r f i g u r e s a s an  d e v i c e used t o e s t a b l i s h her In  f o r homeric  i s reminded  demonstrating  o f t h e usage o f bad  B l a c k j a r g o n , where i t e x p r e s s e s a l l t h e q u a l i t i e s o f  i n the daring,  c o o l , s e l f - a s s e r t i o n and n o n - c o n f o r m i t y d e n i e d t o t h e N e g r o d e f i n e d as "good" by W h i t e  society  ( M i l n e r 1972a"; M i l n e r  1 1 4 ) , and t h e p r e s t i g e c o n f e r r e d by s u c h s t a t e m e n t s  1972b:  i s obvious:  I'm b a r r e d f r o m N e w f o u n d l a n d f o r l i f e , b e c a u s e I p u l l e d a bank r o b b e r y t h e r e . And t h e y t o l d me t h e y w e r e d o i n g t h e i r f e d e r a l p r i s o n e r s a f a v o u r and s e n d me b a c k w h e r e I came f r o m ... They d i d n ' t w a n t me t o c o r r u p t t h e i r p r i s o n e r s ! (Dee) A t one  trial,  t h e y u s e d my  r e c o r d a s e x h i b i t A!  (Julie)  My r e c o r d ? The l a s t f i v e - s i x y e a r s , t h e r e ' s b e e n m o s t l y offences. And t h e r e ' s b e e n r o b b e r y w i t h i n t e n t t o k i l l . beat that. And a m u r d e r t h a t I b e a t . (Dee) A stylistic  drug I  d e v i c e e m p l o y e d t o make a p o i n t c l e a r w h i l e n o t  s t r e s s i n g i t i n an o b v i o u s manner i s t h e a s i d e .  I had  m y s e l f t o r e c o g n i z e i t and  understanding of  the context.  i t s importance  f o r my  to  F o r i n s t a n c e , J o e x p l a i n e d t o Snow and me:  g o i n g t o g i v e me  200 d o l l a r s  f o r one  hour.  T h a t was  up  train  "He  was  North".  80  The  l a s t remark appears i r r e l e v a n t t o the  telling girls  i t . Yet,  l i k e J o and  t h e i r time. might not since was  But,  the  explanation  Snow a r e up  not  was  paid  s t o r y as  200  North, t h i s could  a l s o present, the  d o l l a r s f o r one  going rates  In the  r e s t of the  t i m e con thieves. implied you  r o b b e d somebody.  R o b b i n g somebody i s n o t aside  ( e s p e c i a l l y , as  but,  we  might not  Snow e x p l a i n e d :  aside felt,  have  arrested  dumb b u t  Small  run method. - her  - r o b b i n g somebody you i n her  " I was  Somebody I know!"  a r t i s t s u s u a l l y p r a c t i s e a h i t and  i n the  I  i n an  Had  of  story.  same i n t e r v i e w ,  b e c a u s e I went and  provided  credibility.  Snow i n p a r t i c u l a r , d o u b t s a t t h i s p o i n t , we the  hour  v e r y w e l l b'e t r u e .  explanation  q u i t e necessary to e s t a b l i s h Jo's  believed  was  needed s i n c e , i n Vancouver,  have been k n o w l e d g e a b l e about the  Snow was  she  do  intonation  know and  c a s e , h e r mark) and  So  who  knows  is in a position  t o p r e s s c h a r g e s , i s v e r y dumb! To  give  a l a s t e x a m p l e , h e r e i s a s t o r y t o l d by  Bugsy:  I had t h i s l i t t l e . o l ' man, o n c e . And t h i s was c u t e ... He t o o k me o u t . He p a i d me j u s t f o r a s t r a i g h t , and h i s t i m e was up and he h a d n ' t e v e n g o t i t h a r d . And he w a s n ' t d r u n k , he had n o t h i n g t o d r i n k . And he s a y s : "Oh, d e a r ! " - he s a y s , "my t i m e ' s up!" L i k e , i t was him t h a t k e p t t h e t i m e ! I w a s n ' t e v e n l o o k i n ' ... B u g s y ' s p o s i t i v e and t r i c k was - she  - he  f e e l i n g s towards  her  e x p r e s s e d h e r e i n many w a y s :  c a l l s him  "dirty old - she  even p r o t e c t i v e  describes paid her  a  "little  o l ' man",  i n s t e a d of the  customary  man"; t h e w h o l e i n c i d e n t as  "cute";  " j u s t f o r a s t r a i g h t " , i . e . he  was  not  a  "weirdo",  81  a "freak" or a "pervert"; - t h e d i s a r m i n g l y q u a i n t "Oh, e x c l a m a t i o n i s "Oh, - h i s f a i l i n g was  of most  he  s h i t ! " o r "Oh,  n o t due  ( u n p r e d i c t a b l e ) and  dear!"  l e t s out, w h i l e her  usual  fuck!";  t o a l c o h o l ( d r u n k s c a n be  take forever to perform,  "flippy"  to the  irritation  prostitutes);  - b u t t h e g r e a t e s t p r o o f she g a v e o f h e r good mood i s t h a t i t was he  and n o t  have s a i d  she who  " k e p t t h e t i m e " , w h e r e a s she w o u l d  "Time's up!"  a t t h e end  of the twenty  m i n u t e s he  p a i d f o r ( i f n o t e a r l i e r , s i n c e he o b v i o u s l y was f i n i s h before that time). most d e c i s i v e l y sense of I had formulae of  little  expected  t u a t e d an e d i f y i n g  the crime".  used t o  o l ' man  and  to  express his  i n t h i s e s s e n t i a l l y o r a l c u l t u r e numerous  Other  set statements  consensus.  Indeed,  s t o r y w i t h " I f you  i t s echo " I f you  "Time's money". and  not going  had  propriety.  t o a n c h o r t h e s p e e c h and  p l a y " , and  a s i d e was  her approval of the l i t t l e  p o p u l a r t r a d i t i o n and  riddles  The  normally  Sue  c a n ' t pay,  into a context sometimes puncyou  c a n ' t do t h e t i m e , y o u  shouldn't  shouldn't  women a l s o m e n t i o n e d t h a t "Money's money"  But  I found t h e use  of pseudo aphorisms,  i n d i v i d u a l d e f i n i t i o n s more i n t e r e s t i n g .  do and  mock  T h e r e were  a l s o few o f t h e s e , b u t t h e y a d d e d s p i c e t o t h e s t o r y and s t r e s s e d i n d i v i d u a l c r e a t i v i t y i n the performance of v e r b a l Welfare The  i s the hooker's  day  off.  (Dee)  good j u n k i e i s s e l f - s u f f i c i e n t .  How c a n you t e l l c o f f e e ! (Bugsy)  a junkie?  By how  skills.  (Dee)  much s u g a r  she p u t s i n h e r  82  How  do y o u  know t h e n a r c s ?  When t h e d o o r comes i n . ' (Bugsy)  You w a n t a l i t t l e l o v e f o r a l i t t l e money f o r a l i t t l e l o v e . ( J u l i e )  money.  I want a  There i s n o t enough d a t a a v a i l a b l e t o a n a l y z e p e r s o n a l but to  the p a i r e d examples taken  indicate a respective predilection  aphorism  and  The  the pseudo  use  and  "hey? be  s i g n t h a t you necessary  B u g s y w o u l d seem  f o r the proverb,  frequently intersperse "like  l o c u t o r t o make t h e n e c e s s a r y  w h i c h may  and  speech h a b i t s are  them t o l e a v e a s e n t e n c e  "right?  Dee  styles,  the  riddle.  delivery itself  the informants and  f r o m Sue,  little  "you  know  suspended or t o f o r c e the  inter-  e f f o r t t o meet them h a l f way;  f o l l o w e d by a b r i e f  a n s w e r e d w i t h a f a i n t nod  o r a g r u n t , o r any  interlocutor  or  interrogative  a r e g o i n g a l o n g w i t h what i s b e i n g  p a r t i c i p a t i o n of the  characteristic:  said.  mimic  other The  i s r e q u i r e d and  the  e l i c i t a t i o n o f h i s o r her a p p r o v a l t u r n s the monologue i n t o  a  dialogue. Another c h a r a c t e r i s t i c  of  the informants'  r e p o r t i n g of past dialogues i n d i r e c t s t y l e . tional  a l t e r n a n c e of the  informants w i l l "he  says",  vivid ing  and  the  - he  style.  Beside  the  says" i n s e r t i o n s ,  b r e a k up a r e p o r t e d s e n t e n c e  "so, I says". lively  " I says  speech i s the convensome  s e v e r a l times  with  This c o n t r i b u t e s to the c r e a t i o n of a I found  i n t e r e s t of the audience,  i t a v e r y good d e v i c e f o r k e e p e v e n i f i t s l o w s down somewhat  the development of the s t o r y . I a s k e d him. I s a y s : "You w e r e o u t w i t h P e t e ' s o l d l a d y ? " He s a y s : "No" . I says:"You're a fuckin' l i a r ! " I s a y s , " I was s i t t i n ' i n the c a r next t o you," I s a y s , " I seen you!"  83  He s a y s : " W e l l , what w e r e we d o i n g ? " So I t o l d h i m ! I d e s c r i b e d i t r i g h t down t o a t e e ! He s a y s : "What w e r e y o u g o i n g a t t h e show?" I s a y s : "My mark t o o k me t o t h e show. I g o t p a i d 4 00 d o l l a r s t o go t o t h e show!" He s a y s : "Where's t h e money?" I says: " I spent i t ! " . He s a y s : "On w h a t ? " I s a y s : "Junk." He s a y s : "Oh, y o u d i d , d i d y o u ? " I s a y s : "Yeah!" He s a y s : " I g o t t a go s i c k , I g u e s ? " I s a y s : " W e l l , go g e t y o u r o t h e r s l u t t h e r e t o b u y y o u some!", I s a y s , " I f s h e c a n a f f o r d y o u , i f s h e c a n a f f o r d t o go t o b e d w i t h y o u , " I s a y s , " s u r e l y s h e c a n a f f o r d t o buy y o u a c a p o f j u n k ! " He s a y s : "Here we g o ! " So I s a y s : " F u c k i n ' r i g h t , h e r e we g o ! " , I s a y s , "Now, i f you d o n ' t m i n d , I'm b u s y . H i t i t ! " (Bugsy) It w i l l  be s e e n f u r t h e r o n t h a t B u g s y h a s a l s o d r a w n h e r e  neatly the l i s t and  very  o f r e c i p r o c a l d u t i e s a n d r i g h t s o f t h e " o l d man"  h i s "old lady". Such an exaggerated  form  i s obviously idiosyncratic  i nher  c a s e , b u t B u g s y i s a l s o , a n d b y f a r , t h e m o s t e n t e r t a i n i n g o f my informants.  I t t h i n k t h a t h e r e m p h a t i c u s a g e o f a v e r y common  m a n n e r i s m among a l l my r e s p o n d e n t s ,  a n d many p e o p l e  of similar  background, only c o n t r i b u t e s t o the v i v a c i t y o f her s t y l e , if  one c a n o n l y t a k e a l i t t l e T h i s speech form  t h e n " becomes " h e r e  of i t a t the time.  i s first  a n d now".  a temporal  The p a s t  distortion:  " t h e r e and  The p a s t i s t e l e s c o p e d i n t o t h e  p r e s e n t as t h e c o n v e r s a t i o n i s r e l i v e d : says".  even  "he s a i d " becomes "he  " I " i s f u r t h e r m o d i f i e d : not o n l y i s i t brought  into the present but i ti s e x t e r i o r i z e d  as a t h i r d p e r s o n : " I "  says. T h i s r e p o r t e d d i a l o g u e f o r m a l s o g i v e s an i m p o r t a n t  84  diachronic perspective of the s e l f .  The r e p o r t e d  b e t w e e n e g o - t h e n and a l t e r - t h e n i s p r e s e n t e d ego-now, who thus not  t o t h e r e s e a r c h e r by  a p p e a r s n o t o n l y as a r e p o r t e r b u t as a commentator,  i n a diachronic quality.  Even i f t h e r e p o r t e d d i a l o g u e d i d  i n v o l v e ego, h i s o r her presence  r e p o r t e r h i s presence now  dialogue  - and t o b o t h  i s assumed.  As a  i s e s s e n t i a l t o both events  interlocutors.  literal  - then  and  Ego's c r e a t i v i t y a s a  speaker  i s g i v e n i t s due s i n c e he i s i n c o n t r o l o f a l l s p e e c h e s : t h o s e  of  e g o - t h e n , ego-now, a l t h e r - t h e n a n d t h e r e s e a r c h e r drawn i n t o t h e p r e s e n t d i a l o g u e by t h e i n t e r r o g a t i v e mimic and t h e p r e s s u r e  to  p r o v i d e h i s o r h e r agreement. S i n c e much o f t h e d a t a i s i n t h e f o r m o f s t o r i e s , dotes, r e t e l l i n g of s p e c i f i c beginning common way  and e n d i n g  i n c i d e n t s , the mechanics of t a l e  are e a s i l y observable.  t o s t a r t a s t o r y i s "There's t h i s  o f m i n e , c o p up N o r t h ,  anec-  By f a r t h e most (guy I know, f r i e n d  t r i c k had a w i f e , e t c . ) " .  p e t e r s o u t , but f o r Bugsy and J u l i e ,  Often  the s t o r y  f o r i n s t a n c e , the phrase  was  as r e c o g n i z a b l e a s "once upon a t i m e " , and I a u t o m a t i c a l l y s t a r t e d my t a p e r e c o r d e r upon h e a r i n g i t . Story ending,  on t h e o t h e r h a n d , i s much more  Even Bugsy o f t e n found was such  i tdifficult  to conclude  elusive.  h e r t a l e s and i t  e x c e p t i o n a l l y t h a t she a r r i v e d a t a " c o n v e n t i o n a l "  ending  as i n a s t o r y a b o u t a t r i c k ' s w i f e , w h e r e t h e t r i c k  w i f e l i v e h a p p i l y ever a f t e r thanks  t o B u g s y ' s good  offices.  Most o f t h e t i m e , however, t h e a n e c d o t e s ended a b r u p t l y . may  and h i s  h a v e b e e n s e e n a s a s t y l i s t i c w e a k n e s s b y B u g s y who  This sometimes  85  s i g h e d a n d a d d e d "Fuck isfactory  or "Shit  as a formal i f unsat-  conclusion.  T h i s n e e d o f a comment o f s o r t s was o f t e n c r e a t e d b y my silence.  The f o l l o w i n g  i s a n e x a m p l e o f a more e l a b o r a t e e n d i n g  a l s o e l i c i t e d b y my f a i l u r e t o . r e s p o n d t o t h e n a t u r a l e n d i n g o f t h e s t o r y , w h i c h was: As s o o n a s y o u f i g u r e s you're mouth s h u t , I ' l deal!" I says friend!"  s a y you've g o t a cop f o r a f r i e n d , everybody a r a t . So I t o l d h i m " W e l l , y o u k e e p y o u r l k e e p m i n e s h u t . " He s a y s "O.K. Y o u g o t a " E i t h e r I got a d e a l o r you a i n ' t g o t a  O b v i o u s l y , t h e s t o r y c o u l d have ended t o e v e r y o n e ' s f a c t i o n , b u t because  of the lack of natural context  satis-  (where  s t o r i e s may be t o p p e d a t o n c e , o r a t l e a s t commented upon) a n d my f a i l u r e t o r e a c t , she h e s i t a t e d and went on i n a c o m p l e t e l y i r r e l e v a n t manner: He's n i c e ... He's t a l l ... He's d a r k a n d h e ' s b l o n d ... I h a d my h a i r b l e a c h e d w h i t e when I knew h i m . He s a y s "You l o o k l i k e one o f t h o s e Amazons". "Ooooh, g e t o f f t h e p o t ! " I says, " I g o t white eyes, I a i n ' t got pink eyes!" S h i t ... Finally,  the ending of a story w i l l  s o m e t i m e s become t h e  b e g i n n i n g o f a new o n e , t o l d o r n o t : And I s a y s " Y o u ' r e l u c k y , y o u know, b e c a u s e , " I s a y s , " ' c o s i f I was P e t e , " I s a y s , "You'd b e l o n g g o n e . Down a t t h e e n d o f t h e Bow R i v e r , a n d i f y o u ' r e e v e r l o s t i n t h a t , t h e y ' d n e v e r f i n d y o u , " I s a y s , " I t t o o k them two a n d a h a l f m o n t h s t o f i n d my b a b y s i s t e r ..." T h a t was a t C h r i s t m a s ... B u t t h a t ' s a n o t h e r s t o r y . (Bugsy) MANNERS OF SPEECH We h a v e e x a m i n e d t h e r e c o g n i z e d a r t o f c o n n i n g t h e mark; eliciting  t h e i n d i c a t i o n o f h i s d e s i r e s and needs,  then  finding  a s a t i s f a c t o r y b a l a n c e b e t w e e n t h e woman's r e l u c t a n c e t o g i v e a n d  86  t h e mark's g r e e d  to take.  t i o n s of speech such o f bona f i d e s ,  We  have a l s o examined v a r i o u s conven-  as s t a t u s g i v i n g i n f o r m a t i o n , e s t a b l i s h m e n t  acceptable exaggeration  - as opposed t o t h e  type  of exaggeration  t h a t s i m p l y b e t r a y s a l a c k of c u l t u r e competence,  such  c l a i m t o be  as J u l i e ' s  c a r r y i n g a .38.  i l l u s t r a t e p a r t of the c u l t u r e ' s v e r b a l  A l l these  serve  skills.  Many c a t e g o r i e s o f s p e e c h a c t s a r e r e c o g n i z e d by t h e m a n t s who  attach distinctive  f e a t u r e s , such as  i n t o n a t i o n , a p p r o p r i a t e s e t t i n g s and terms r e f e r r i n g an e x h a u s t i v e frequently  of terms,  but  form,  infor-  content,  p a r t i c i p a n t s , to various  t o manners o f e x p r e s s i o n .  list  to  The  following  a sample o f t h o s e  i s not  most  used.  Bullshitting T h e r e a r e two cribing first  meanings a t t a c h e d t o " b u l l s h i t t i n g " ,  v e r y d i f f e r e n t t y p e s o f s i t u a t i o n s and  one  r e f e r s t o the attempt  same c o n t e x t a s  "conning".  S w a g g i ' s c l a i m t h a t he was The  des-  purpose.  a t d e c e p t i o n and  The  i s used i n the  T h i s i s t h e u s a g e a l r e a d y met "a g r e a t b u l l s h i t t e r ,  a good  in con".  second meaning s i m p l y r e f e r s t o the type of s m a l l  encountered  i n many g r o u p s .  someone y o u  know, w h a t do you  - Small  I asked talk  J o and Snow:"When y o u  talk meet  about?"  talk.  - "How're y o u d o i n ' ? " , "Oh, f i n e " , " R i g h t " , " P r e t t y s l o w t o d a y , h e y ? " , " R i g h t ! " y o u know ... - "So  and  so g o t r i p p e d o f f by  ..."  - "You know who's g o t g o o d s t u f f ? " , r i g h t ? " , "Oh, y e a h ! "  "Oh,  yeah?  Is that  87  -  " I d i d some s t u f f t h e bullshit ...  - S t r e e t t a l k , you  other  know  day  t h a t was  dynamite!"  ... ( J o and  I had the  first  m i s u n d e r s t o o d , a t one  one.  Just  p o i n t , the  They i m m e d i a t e l y c o r r e c t e d  Snow)  second meaning f o r me:  - Oh, no ... W e l l , i t ' s n o t ... It's real! - I t ' s n o t b u l l s h i t t i n g . I t ' s j u s t ... - E v e r y d a y ' s h a p p e n i n g on t h e s t r e e t ... - Yes,  just small talk  In the next chapter, ting w i l l  be  examined  ...  Just b u l l s h i t t i n g ,  the nature  and  you  f u n c t i o n of  know  ...  bullshit-  separately.  Talking "Talking"  i s s e e n by my  excellence. I g e t e n o u g h by (Snow)  informants  as t h e h u s t l e  par  t a l k i n g t h a t I d i d n ' t h a v e t o go on  I t a l k t o W e l f a r e p r e t t y good!  Welfare.  (Snow)  I l i k e t a l k i n g to these people. T h e y ' r e so n a i v e , so when y o u l a y s o m e t h i n g on them, t h e y ' r e s h o c k e d ! ( J u l i e ) I j u s t t a l k t o them.  I s i t t h e r e and  I talk!  (Jo)  I p h o n e d h i m and I t a l k e d . A g a i n I t a l k e d ! So he w e n t down t o d r o p t h e c h a r g e s ... I t a l k e d t o him. P u t on my a c t ... He s a i d he's d r o p t h e c h a r g e s , you know. (Snow) N a t u r a l l y , i t has  other meanings.  t h e women t a l k  " t o s e t an  impression",  f o l l o w i n g one,  Snow t a l k s  i n order  In the  above e x a m p l e s ,  as J u l i e p u t  t o r e c e i v e an  informants  In  the  impression.  I ' l l t a l k f o r a few m i n u t e s i n t h e s t r e e t , you o f g e t t i n g an i d e a , y o u know. T h e n , I ' l l go. "Talking" i s a manipulative  i t .  know, t o s o r t Only then.  e x e r c i s e through which  o b t a i n or r e t a i n c o n t r o l of a s i t u a t i o n .  the  Whether i n  88  an e x p l o r a t o r y o r an a s s e r t i v e t r a n s a c t i o n , t h e i n t e r l o c u t o r s a r e seen as v e r b a l opponents  t o be  overcome.  Conning "Conning" a l s o i n v o l v e s t a l k i n g . l e s s have t o t a l k a l o t " ( J u l i e ) .  " C o n n i n g , y o u more o r  I t may a l s o i n f e r a s t r o n g e r  d e t e r m i n a t i o n t o d e c e i v e t h a n t h e one i m p l i e d i n s t r a i g h t ing" .  I f speech i s not always e x p l i c i t l y mentioned,  t h e l e s s p a r t o f t h e whole  "talk-  i t i s never-  performance.  C o n n i n g p e o p l e t o t h i n k t h a t y o u ' r e gonna go t o b e d w i t h them, k n o w i n g t h a t t h e y h a v e money. ( J o ) When I'm on t h e r o a d , I h a v e no i n t e n t i o n o f t r y i n g t o c o n them o u t o f money. (Snow) Some ( h e a v i e s ) a r e l i a r s , Similarly,  they con o t h e r people.  (Brandy)  " I ' d h i t h i m f o r some money" i m p l i e s t h e u s e o f  a verbal request. Rapping " R a p p i n g " may i n d i c a t e a c e r t a i n d e g r e e o f c l o s e n e s s between  t h e s p e a k e r s a s w e l l a s some s e r i o u s n e s s i n t h e t o p i c , a s  opposed  t o " b u l l s h i t t i n g " which o f t e n r e f e r s t o a  exchange.  J o makes i t c l e a r  u s u a l l y r a p s t o one's  superficial  i n t h e f o l l o w i n g exchange  t h a t one  friends:  There a r e o n l y t h r e e p e o p l e i n t h i s b u i l d i n g t h a t I r e a l l y r a p t o , o r s i t down a n d t a l k t o ... The r e s t , i t ' s v e r y casual. I r a p ( t o t h e s e p e o p l e ) b e c a u s e t h e y ' r e more r e a l . I know t h e r e ' s no t r i p s a n d no b u l l s h i t . U n l i k e p e o p l e i n t h e b l a c k g h e t t o (Kochman 1 9 6 9 ) , people a l s o use "rap w i t h " .  I n t h e f o l l o w i n g example,  street "rap with"  i s u s e d t o d e s c r i b e w h a t Kochman's i n f o r m a n t s w o u l d c a l l  "putting  89  t h e make" (Burling  (19 69:27) i n t h e c o n t e x t o f " r a p p i n g t o " a woman 1970:157):  I ' l l a l w a y s t e l l o t h e r g i r l s , i f I s e e h i m r a p p i n g w i t h them, or something. You know, j u s t a n y b o d y I'm r a p p i n g t o , I ' l l s a y "Hey, I met a r e a l l y w e i r d guy t o n i g h t . I f y o u h a p p e n t o see h i m , d o n ' t go n e a r h i m ! " (Jo) T e a s i n g and  Preaching  T h e s e two  t e r m s i n d i c a t e a manner o f s p e a k i n g  d e f i n i t e purpose.  as w e l l a s  They a r e i n f a c t s e l f e x p l a n a t o r y , b u t  u s u a l l y s p e c i f i e s t h e manner i n w h i c h  t h i s teasing or  a  Snow  preaching  were d o n e : And t h e y ' d come and p l a y p o o l w i t h u s , y o u know, t a l k t o u s , l a u g h w i t h us ... p l a y p o o l , t e a s e us ... o r e l s e we'd be a t a t a b l e and h e ' d be t e a s i n g u s , r i g h t ? "I'm gonna b e a t y o u guys a t p o o l ! " "O.K., Y o u ' r e o n ! " He u s e d t o s a y t o us "God! I t ' s t o o bad! I w i s h you g i r l s w o u l d s t r a i g h t e n up y o u r a c t , y o u know. You w o u l d be r e a l l y n i c e g i r l s i f y o u w o u l d n ' t be so c a r e f r e e , so c r a z y ! " Y e a h ... A l w a y s more o r l e s s p r e a c h i n g away "Why d o n ' t y o u guys smarten up?" Snow, i n t h e s e p a r t i c u l a r e x a m p l e s , u s e s t h e v e r b s as h a l f b i a l phrases, manner.  i . e . he  s a i d t e a s i n g l y , he  Snow i s a s e n t i m e n t a l woman who  g o o d t i m e s when she was Rupert  and  does not c a l l him was  concerned  - and  o f t e n t h i n k s b a c k on  the  i n Prince  or a narc  - who  So, n o t o n l y d o e s she  Other  l i k e d her  "name" t h a t  examples of  a  she  she a l s o c o n f i r m s t h e name by a d e s c r i p t i o n  c o u l d be u s e d as a d e f i n i t i o n .  She  p r e a c h i n g g i v e n t o h e r by  i t i s important to note t h a t  a p i g , or a b u l l ,  about her.  of speaking but  preaching  j u n k i e she h a s become downtown.  l i k e s t o l i n g e r on t h e t e a s i n g and l o c a l cop  in a  j u s t a r o u g h tomboy I n d i a n g i r l  and n o t t h e t h i e f  good n a t u r e d  said  adver-  and way  which  "preaching"  90  only  referred to various  examples were  s p e e c h e s made by  " d o - g o o d e r s " , and  no  given.  Hassling "Hassling"  a l s o r e f e r s t o a c o m p l e x a c t i o n p e r f o r m e d as  s p e e c h a c t , a c c o m p a n i e d by Since  i m p l i c i t l y threatening  i t i s a l w a y s p r a c t i s e d by  "assholes"  who,  behaviour.  by  definition,  abuse t h e i r power, i t s usage i s t h u s r e d u c e d t o s p e c i f i c tions  (narc  and  junkie encounters, f o r  a  situa-  instance):  They a l w a y s h a s s l e y o u , you know: "Oh, y e a h ? What's t h e s e marks a r e ? Don't g i v e me t h a t s t o r y ! " (Snow) They g i v e you a l o t o f h a s s l e , street. (Dee) "Hassling"  always takes p l a c e  power, s e l f - a s s u r a n c e action i s to defeat  These are  to get  the  off  the  between p e o p l e of uneven s t a t u s ,  or need, s i n c e the o b j e c t  of the  trans-  i n t e r l o c u t o r i n t o submission or  r e l i n q u i s h i n g of whatever the Making L i k e , P l a y i n g  t e l l i n g you  speaker wants from  the  him.  Like  aspects of the  "con"  or the  r e f e r s t o a complex s i t u a t i o n where t h e n e c e s s a r i l y mentioned but I s a i d " Y e s ? Me?", know ... (Snow)  i s nevertheless  you  "talk".  Again,  speech a c t i s  this  not  implied:  know, p l a y i n g l i k e  I've  never  ...  You go t o t h e s t o r e and s h o p l i f t s s o m e t h i n g , r i g h t ? You b a c k and you make l i k e y o u ' v e b o u g h t i t , b u t y o u ' v e l o s t p r i c e t a g . (Jo) I s a i d " I t h i n k I've got i t " . I know I had i t , p l a y i n g , y o u know, l i k e ... c a s u a l ... (Snow) Once m o r e , t h e y a r e  " s e t t i n g an  impression".  but The  I  was moves  you go the  91  described here a r e r e l a t i v e l y becomes more c o m p l e x ,  s i m p l e ones.  When t h e s i t u a t i o n  one may be " l a y i n g s o m e t h i n g "  f o r i n s t a n c e ) , o n someone: " T h e y ' r e  (a " t r i p " ,  s o n a i v e s o when y o u l a y  s o m e t h i n g on them, t h e y ' r e s h o c k e d "  (Julie).  A s e r i e s o f verbs i n d i c a t e t h e e m b a r r a s s i n g and h e s i t a n t context of p r o s t i t u t i o n  a n d t h e manner i n w h i c h i n f o r m a t i o n i s  sought and g i v e n : Sometimes, t h e y t r y t o beat around t h e bush t o f i n d o u t i f y o u ' r e a w o r k i n g g i r l , b e c a u s e he d o e s n ' t w a n t t o p u t h i m s e l f i n a p o s i t i o n t o a s k , a n d y o u ' r e n o t ... When y o u ' r e w a l k i n g a l o n g t o t h e h o t e l , y o u s o r t o f d r a g o u t what he'd l i k e and y o u d i s c u s s i t ... They u s u a l l y b r i n g up t h e s u b j e c t o f w h a t t h e y l i k e . ( J o a n d Snow; my e m p h a s i s ) To a s k , i n t h i s c o n t e x t , when done b y a man, i s s h o r t f o r "to ask a working g i r l usually  t o go o u t " .  f o l l o w e d by a d o l l a r  When t h e woman " a s k s " , i t i s  figure.  E v e n t s s u c h a s n o t i c i n g , b e l i e v i n g , s t o p p i n g (someone on t h e s t r e e t ) , e t c . when r e t o l d , c a n be i m m e d i a t e l y f o l l o w e d a n d w i t h o u t t r a n s i t i o n by d i r e c t All  o f a sudden,  speech:  t h e y n o t i c e you.  "HeyI  Who's t h a t ? " ( J o )  They b e l i e v e d me: " W e l l , y o u be on y o u r way!" (Snow) This s t y l i s t i c  s h o r t c u t , by naming t h e m e n t a l p r o c e s s o f t h e  speaker, r e e s t a b l i s h e s i n f a c t t h e l o g i c a l which l e d t o t h e spoken  sequence  of steps  sentence quoted by t h e i n f o r m a n t s .  The  s t r u c t u r e i s n a t u r a l l y n o t p e c u l i a r t o s t r e e t p e o p l e and s i m p l y r e f l e c t s an a w a r e n e s s speech  of the psychological context of various  acts. W h i l e , o n c e a g a i n , none o f t h e p r e v i o u s e x a m p l e s  a t t r i b u t e d o n l y t o t h o s e i n f o r m a n t s we c a l l  c a n be  "street people" i n  92  t h i s work, they a l l r e f l e c t t h e v i v a c i t y o f s t y l e , t h e v e r b a l skills  a n d e m p h a s i s o n s p e e c h p e c u l i a r t o a g r o u p who r e l y a l m o s t  e x c l u s i v e l y on o r a l means o f c o m m u n i c a t i o n a n d t r a n s m i s s i o n o f experience. SWEARING; I cannot evaluate since  I only  the incidence  o f s w e a r i n g on t h e s t r e e t ,  d e a l t w i t h women i n j a i l .  Many o f t h e women who  t a l k e d t o me, h o w e v e r , m e n t i o n e d t h a t t h e i r v o c a b u l a r y cruder  a n d more v i o l e n t i n j a i l .  Sue f e l t  was much  "dumb" when we w e n t  back o u t and s t a r t e d s w e a r i n g as she d i d i n j a i l ,  and Bugsy  that  Jo  "people looked"  ingly explained They assumed  that  a t h e r f o r t h e same r e a s o n .  disapprov-  " s w e a r i n g becomes a way o f l i f e i n h e r e " .  t h a t t h e f r u s t r a t i o n s o f l i f e i n j a i l was t h e c a u s e  o f t h e i r change o f  vocabulary.  Becker, analyzing that  felt  t h e u s a g e .of " f o u r  l e t t e r words"  notes'  " t h e w o r d t a k e s on t h e i m m e d i a c y o f t h e a c t i t s e l f " a n d  that u s u a l l y we u s e f o u r l e t t e r w o r d s i n s i t u a t i o n s where we h a v e no c o n t r o l , where we f e e l v a g u e a n d a i m l e s s - a s i n m i l i t a r y life. C o n t i n u a l c u r s i n g seems t o g i v e u s t a n g i b i l i t y , d e c i s i v e n e s s ; i t b r i n g s us b a c k s t r o n g l y i n t o t h e w o r l d (Becker 1971:94-95). F i f t e e n y e a r s a g o , when C o u t t s  (1961) was a m a t r o n i n t h e  same p r i s o n , The M a n u a l s p e c i f i e d t h a t swear i n t h i s  institution"  strongly believed  (Coutts  "a g i r l i s n o t a l l o w e d  1961:75)  a n d some m a t r o n s  t h a t c u t t i n g o u t " s t r e e t t a l k and f i l t h y  was a s i n e q u a non c o n d i t i o n o f r e h a b i l i t a t i o n a n d t r a i n i n g (1961:91).  to  talk"  93  If  one o f t h e f u n c t i o n s o f s w e a r i n g  i s t o b r i n g one "back  s t r o n g l y i n t o t h e w o r l d " , a s B e c k e r w r i t e s , i t s p r e v e n t i o n may c o n t r i b u t e t o c u t one o f f f r o m a w o r l d deemed u n s u i t a b l e . Although unusual  swearing  is still  f o r me t o o v e r h e a r  yell  t o another  your  f u c k i n g arm and y o u r  deterrent The  discouraged i n j a i l ,  from t h e o f f i c e  i t was n o t  I was l e n t one i n m a t e  " I f y o u go i n t o my room one more t i m e , I ' l l  break  f u c k i n g neck!" i n tones t h a t were  enough. v o c a b u l a r y l e n d s i t s e l f w e l l t o c u r s i n g , s w e a r i n g and  abusing people.  Kontrowitz  ( 1 9 6 8 ) , a c t i n g on t h e p r i n c i p l e  that  w h a t i s i m p o r t a n t enough t o be p e r c e i v e d i s a l s o named, f o u n d names g i v e n b y j a i l  inmates  184  t o homosexuals, p r o v i n g - i f i t  needed p r o v i n g a g a i n - t h e w e a l t h o f v o c a b u l a r y o f a d e v i a n t argot.  My i n f o r m a n t s g i v e names t o a number o f p e o p l e  possessing  s t r o n g l y n e g a t i v e c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s : a s s h o l e , j e r k , punk, p r i c k , goof, rat,  pest, pervert, weirdo, nut, freak, f l i p , pig, bull,  texts: and  e t c . To t h e s e , I c o u l d o n l y o p p o s e f r o m a l l t h e  "She's good p e o p l e " ,  "they're s o l i d " .  so r e m a r k a b l e agreed  r i p off, sadist,  "he's a f r i e n d " ,  I found  "he's a good  such a p a u c i t y o f p o s i t i v e  w i t h my e x a m p l e s a n d w e r e t h e m s e l v e s one h a t e d  surprised.  One  i n one's vocab-  Upon r e f l e c t i o n , h o w e v e r , t h e y c o u l d n o t a d d t o my  of positive  terms.  who  everyone and e v e r y -  t h i n g , a n d t h a t t h i s m i g h t v e r y w e l l be r e f l e c t e d  list  terms  t h a t I m e n t i o n e d i t t o some o f my i n f o r m a n t s  s u g g e s t i o n made was t h a t , i n j a i l ,  ulary.  shit",  brief  94  JOKING As w i t h s w e a r i n g , on t h e s t r e e t .  I t was  I cannot e v a l u a t e the i n c i d e n c e of j o k i n g w i t h B r a n d y , T i n y and  housed s e p a r a t e l y i n p r o t e c t i v e custody me  f o r d i n n e r t h a t I had my  exchanged.  and who  f i r s t experience  They w e r e m o s t l y  drug  S u g a r , who  r e l a t e d and  were  sometimes  of jokes  freely  o n l y became " j o k e s "  a s an a f t e r t h o u g h t , b e c a u s e d r u g  i s i n everybody's mind.  i n s t a n c e , I was  around a house p l a n t  f e e l i n g the d i r t  r e m a r k e d t h a t i t was i t i o n of  answered absentmindedly here",  l o o s e a t t h e w a i s t and  needle",  "Yeah, e v e r y t h i n g i s p r e t t y d r y  around  said,  mentioned t h a t her  she n e e d e d a n o t h e r  d o n ' t you  f i x them?  pair.  d e s c r i b e themselves  laughed. j e a n s were  too  A member o f  the  You're p r e t t y good w i t h a .  t h e n r e a l i z e d t h e p l a y on w o r d s and  G r e e t i n g s and  definTiny  A n o t h e r t i m e , T i n y had  "Why  and  "when t h e r e ' s no dope a r o u n d " .  t h e n , a c t u a l l y h e a r i n g w h a t she had  s t a f f asked  For  "pretty dry", forgetting a previous  "dry" as b e i n g  invited  everybody  laughed.  b r i e f e x c h a n g e s b e t w e e n women who  afterwards  as f r i e n d s o f t e n t a k e t h e  insults.  form of  Abrahams, i n h i s a n a l y s i s o f b l a c k t a l k i n g o f t h e s t r e e t p o i n t s out t h a t apparent  aggressivity  a c t i v i t y o r s t r e e t p l a y , and  i s an e s s e n t i a l p a r t o f j o k i n g  that f o r play to operate  success-  fully, t h e r e m u s t be a r e c o g n i z a b l e r e l a t i o n s h i p b e t w e e n i t and t h e r e a l world. One o f t h e s e v i t a l c o n n e c t i o n s i s t h a t f o r p l a y t o o p e r a t e s u c c e s s f u l l y , t h e r e must be a s e n s e o f t h r e a t a r i s i n g f r o m t h e ' r e a l ' and ' s e r i o u s ' w o r l d o f b e h a v i o r . The t h r e a t o f i n c u r s i o n s f r o m t h e r e a l w o r l d must be c o n s t a n t . T h a t i s , i n t h e most s u c c e s s f u l k i n d s o f p l a y , t h e most c o n s t a n t m e s s a g e must be t h e d e e p l y a m b i v a l e n t one: t h i s i s p l a y - t h i s i s not p l a y . With j o k i n g a c t i v i t y (which  95  a c c o u n t s f o r most p l a y i n g i n t h e s t r e e t w o r l d ) t h i s p a r a d o x i c a l m e s s a g e i s v e r y commonly c a r r i e d o u t b y t h e u s e o f t h e same a g g r e s s i v e , h o s t i l e f o r m u l a i c d e v i c e s f o u n d i n u s e i n r e a l a r g u m e n t s - i . e . t h i s i s p r e c i s e l y w h a t one f i n d s i n t h e B l a c k s t r e e t w o r l d - so much so t h a t t h e p a s s e r b y o f t e n h a s a h a r d time d i s c e r n i n g whether j o k i n g o r a r e a l argument i s t a k i n g p l a c e (Abrahams 1 9 7 4 : 2 4 5 ) . The  f o l l o w i n g e x a m p l e s p r o v i d e d by B r a n d y i l l u s t r a t e  w e l l Abrahams' p o i n t . handle  such  very  She a l s o i n d i c a t e s how c a r e f u l l y one m u s t  a situation.  I have t h i s f r i e n d t h a t ' s h a l f I n d i a n . I c a l l h e r "Hey, y o u f u c k i n ' waggon b u r n e r ! " a n d she c a l l s me " P u e r t o R i c a n c u n t ! " and p e o p l e who s e e u s t o g e t h e r t h i n k w e ' r e gonna f i g h t . But w e ' r e f r i e n d s a n d we know j u s t how f a r we c a n g o . Jokes  a r e a l s o used t o r e l i e v e t e n s i o n i n p r o b l e m a t i c  situations.  I n t h e n e x t example Brandy quotes a guard  whom s h e  c o n s i d e r s t o be a " r e a l g e n t l e m a n " a n d d e s c r i b e s a f i g h t had  started playfully:  which  s h e a n d h e r f r i e n d knew "how f a r " t h e y  c o u l d go, as i n t h e p r e v i o u s c a s e , b u t had j u s t reached t h e critical  limit:  She was h o l d i n g me l i k e t h a t , s e e , a n d I was h o l d i n g h e r . She w o u l d n ' t l e t me go b e c a u s e s h e knew I w o u l d h i t h e r , a n d I w o u l d n ' t l e t go b e c a u s e I knew s h e ' d h i t me. And we w e r e g o i n g l i k e t h a t , a n d i t w a s n ' t f u n n y anymore. So he s a y s : "You g u y s want some m u s i c so y o u c a n d a n c e ? " W e l l , i t was s o f u n n y t h a t we b r o k e u p ! They b r o k e up l i t e r a l l y  b e c a u s e t h e y b r o k e up l a u g h i n g f i r s t , a s  a f a c e s a v i n g d e v i c e t h o u g h t f u l l y p r o v i d e d by t h e g u a r d . A n o t h e r t y p e o f j o k e - o n l y used i n t h e d a t a c o l l e c t e d by s t r e e t people  when t a l k i n g t o members o f t h e o t h e r c u l t u r e - i s  a > d i r e c t c h a l l e n g e t o t h e l a t t e r ' s assumed s e l f It  takes t h e form o f a d e n i a l o f having  righteousness.  committed a r e p r e h e n s i b l e  o r u n l a w f u l a c t i o n , g i v i n g a s an a l i b i - t h a t one was i n f a c t , a t  96  t h e same t i m e , b u s y c o m m i t t i n g an e q u a l l y r e p r e h e n s i b l e o r u n l a w ful  action. J u l i e ( r e l a t i n g an e x c h a n g e b e t w e e n h e r s e l f a n d a p o l i c e m a n ) : " A r e y o u a u s e r ? " And I s a y s : " H e l l , n o ! I'm an a l c o h o l i c ! " I w a s n ' t s o l i c i t i n g when he b u s t e d me my way t o s c o r e ! (Bugsy)  ...  I n f a c t , I was on  He c o u l d n ' t h a v e b e e n t r a f f i c k i n g when t h e y s a i d he d i d , b e c a u s e a t t h a t t i m e he was p a s s i n g b a d c h e q u e s ! ( J u l i e ) The  pause  t h a t f o l l o w e d , s o b r i e f a s t o be b a r e l y  a b l e , was a c u e t o l a u g h t e r , a p p r e c i a t e v e l y r e c e i v e d . acknowledged  t h e " n a u g h t i n e s s " o f t h e remark  c e r t a i n l y d i d was t o r e s p o n d t o a n o f f e r o f f r i e n d l y  matrons  (1961:134) m e n t i o n s  a r e sometimes drawn.  I  and, presumably,  a p p e a r e d t o condone t h e n a u g h t i n e s s o f t h e i n t e n t i o n .  Coutts  notice-  the complicity into  What I complicity. which  W i t h them t h e s i t u a t i o n i s  n a t u r a l l y d i f f e r e n t ; b u t , a s a s q u a r e J o h n , I was e x p e c t e d t o f e e l u n c o m f o r t a b l e a t seeming approved.  t o condone t h a t o f w h i c h I d i s -  B u t , once more, t h e " d e f i n i t i o n o f t h e s i t u a t i o n " and  o u r r e l a t i o n s h i p were such t h a t I c o u l d n o t a l l o w t h e j o k e t o pass w i t h o u t acknowledging i t .  Moreover,  I had a l s o  labelled  m y s e l f an a n t h r o p o l o g i s t , one f o r whom t h e r e was n e i t h e r n o r " w r o n g " , o n l y what "worked" h a d t o be t e s t e d ,  "right"  a n d what d i d n o t ; a n d t h a t , t o o ,  I presume.  The o n l y j o k i n g b e h a v i o u r I p e r s o n a l l y o b s e r v e d among inmates t h e m s e l v e s t o o k t h e form o f o n e - l i n e r s and come-backs, which w i l l  be c o n s i d e r e d f o r t h e i r v a l u e a s s t a t u s m a r k e r s  next chapter.  i n the  97  ARGOT AND  COMPETENCE  I t i s a t once a p p a r e n t t h a t s t r e e t p e o p l e speak a language all  t h e i r own, a l t h o u g h , when s p e a k i n g t o s q u a r e J o h n s  street  p e o p l e u s e t h e l a t t e r ' s t e r m s i n o r d e r t o be u n d e r s t o o d .  The  i n f o r m a n t s ' g e n e r a l c o m p l i a n c e a n d t h e i r u s a g e o f a common l a n g u a g e make i t a t t i m e s e a s y t o o v e r l o o k t h e d i f f e r e n c e o f terms.  I n t h e q u e s t i o n s I a s k e d Dee, my f i r s t  informant, f o r  i n s t a n c e , I used such terms as " h e r o i n " and " n i g h t c l u b " . answered w i t h  " h e r o i n " and " c l u b " .  " h e r o i n " and " n i g h t c l u b " .  Dee  I n my n o t e s , I r e p o r t e d  One d a y , s h e u s e d  "policeman".  I was  s u r p r i s e d a n d a s k e d : "Do s t r e e t p e o p l e u s e t h e w o r d  'policeman'?.  " O n l y when t a l k i n g t o s q u a r e J o h n s " , s h e r e p l i e d .  "What o t h e r  w o r d s do s t r e e t p e o p l e u s e when t a l k i n g  t o square Johns?  e v e r s a y ' h e r o i n ' among t h e m s e l v e s , f o r i n s t a n c e ? " h a d t o go o v e r a l l my n o t e s a n d c h e c k them.  o t h e r women o n l y s a i d  Naturally, I  I n the case o f  " n i g h t c l u b " , i t was s i m p l y a c a s e o f i n a t t e n t i o n : the  Do t h e y  Dee a n d a l l  "club", which i s q u i t e l o g i c a l ,  since  b i c y c l e clubs, sports clubs, e t c . , are meaningless i n t h e i r s t y l e and t h e o n l y p r o f e s s i o n a l l y r e l e v a n t club".  life-  "club" i s the "night  They s i m p l y a v o i d e d what t h e y saw a s a r e d u n d a n t  form,  w h i l e I a u t o m a t i c a l l y i m p o s e d my v o c a b u l a r y . The difficult the  a c q u i s i t i o n o f t h i s s e c o n d l a n g u a g e , made t o a p p e a r o r beyond t h e comprehension  o f the average person, i s  key t o a p r e s t i g i o u s i n s i d e r s ' world.  J o and I were  a b o u t t h e t y p e o f c o n v e r s a t i o n s h e a n d an o r d i n a r y s q u a r e l i k e me c o u l d h a v e i f we met o n t h e s t r e e t c o r n e r i n  talking John  98  c i r c u m s t a n c e s w h i c h w o u l d make s u c h a c o n v e r s a t i o n p o s s i b l e .  She  e x p l a i n e d : " W e l l , y o u w o u l d n ' t u s e t h e same w o r d s a s I w o u l d , t a l k i n g t o a n o t h e r p e r s o n on t h e s t r e e t . different  ...  P r o b a b l y you wouldn't  Hence, t h e need  T h a t w o u l d be a  catch the point  little  ..."  f o r h e r t o come t o my l e v e l o f i g n o r a n c e t o be  understood. I o n c e a s k e d Snow i f t h e s t r a i g h t p e o p l e who s p e n d a certain  l e n g t h o f t i m e w o r k i n g i n " a r c a d e s " , p o o l rooms, b e e r  p a r l o u r s p a t r o n i z e d by r o u n d e r s and o t h e r s t r e e t p e o p l e , were n o t e v e n t u a l l y a b l e t o u n d e r s t a n d them. maybe t h i n g s l i k e  " f a r out!  ...  She s a i d d o u b t f u l l y :  But t h a t ' s a l l . "  "Oh,  I f the i n f o r -  m a t i o n i s l i k e l y t o be e r r o n e o u s , t h e a t t i t u d e p r o b a b l y r e f l e c t s w e l l t h e s u p e r i o r i t y f e l t by s t r e e t p e o p l e i n h a v i n g a d i f f e r e n t , commonly s h a r e d a n d b o n d i n g  language.  C e r t a i n terms have seeped  i n t o t h e g e n e r a l language t o  facilitate  p r o f e s s i o n a l and p e r s o n a l t r a n s a c t i o n s between t h e  two g r o u p s  ("trick",  "bull", to  etc.).  "mark", " f r e n c h " ,  " c o n " , " o l d man",  "pig",  T h e s e t e r m s , a c o n c e s s i o n o f s o r t s , a r e deemed  be s o e l e m e n t a r y t h a t a n y o n e who d o e s n o t u n d e r s t a n d them -  l i k e Boots' " E n g l i s h duke",  f o r i n s t a n c e - i s t h o u g h t t o be  " r e a l l y s t u p i d , o r something". An  (see Appendix  i n t e r e s t i n g p o i n t made by P o l s k y  D)  (1969)  i s that the  s p e c i a l language d e v e l o p e d by a s o c i a l l y d e v i a n t group i s n o t d e v i s e d , c o n t r a r y t o g e n e r a l b e l i e f , a s t h e means o f p r o t e c t i o n which s e c r e c y would p r o v i d e . to  do s o b e c a u s e  At f i r s t  g l a n c e , i t would  appear  i t has s p e c i a l terms f o r every p r o c e s s o f t h e  99  c r i m i n a l a c t i v i t y concerned, f o r d i s t i n g u i s h i n g o u t s i d e r s i n s i d e r s , and r e q u i r e s a competence n o t a c h i e v e d But  Polsky  and Maurer  (1940),  from  by o u t s i d e r s .  the only l i n g u i s t Polsky c r e d i t s  w i t h common s e n s e o n t h i s p o i n t , r e c o g n i z e t i c s t h e mark o f p r o f e s s i o n a l a f f i l i a t i o n H a l l i d a y , however, sees as " a r g o t s "  i n these c h a r a c t e r i s and p r o b a b l y  no more.  t h o s e l a n g u a g e s whose  f e a t u r e s a r e "no more t h a n t h e t e c h n i c a l a n d s e m i t e c h n i c a l f e a t u r e s o f a s p e c i a l r e g i s t e r " , b u t names " a n t i - l a n g u a g e s " languages o f a n t i - s o c i e t i e s ) "the p r o f e s s i o n a l jargons with  the a c t i v i t i e s of a criminal counterculture"  (i.e.  associated  ( H a l l i d a y 1976:  571) . This  s o - c a l l e d secret language i s i n f a c t r e l a t i v e l y  to acquire. cover.  P o l i c e m e n know i t ,  O t h e r r o u n d e r s know i t .  easy  e v e n t h o s e who do n o t w o r k u n d e r Some s o c i a l  scientists  probably  know i t . Polsky's of  seeing  and Maurer's main argument a g a i n s t t h e v a l i d i t y  a protective device  i n c r i m i n a l argot  i s that i t i s  u s e d b y t h e s p e a k e r s o n l y when among t h e m s e l v e s , when from o u t s i d e r s i s n o t r e q u i r e d  (Polsky 1969:99), s i n c e i t s usage  when among o u t s i d e r s w o u l d i m m e d i a t e l y l a b e l deviants  secrecy  i t s speakers as  (Maurer 1940:284).  Halliday  (1976:572) q u o t e s a s t u d y  where t h e q u e s t i o n  o f why w h a t he c a l l s  on C a l c u t t a u n d e r w o r l d "anti-languages"  was a s k e d o f 400 " c r i m i n a l s a n d a n t i - s o c i a l e l e m e n t s " . r e s p o n d e n t s , 158 e x p l a i n e d e n t l y agreeing  with  i t a s " t h e need f o r s e c r e c y " ,  t h e common b e l i e f .  a r e used Of t h e appar-  More i n t e r e s t i n g l y , 132  100  saw  i t s use I do  o f f e r s the  "as not  believe that this  s p e c i a l language of t h e i r s  s m a l l t i m e c r i m i n a l s f r o m whose g r o u p my  a r e d r a w n any are not  communicative force or v e r b a l a r t . "  protection against  a f f e c t e d by  t h e n e e d f o r and  the  police.  The  informants  square Johns  i t s i n c e t h e y s e l d o m u n d e r s t a n d i t . What  the  f u n c t i o n of such a language, then?  believes quite simply  t h a t t h i s type of  are  Polsky  argot  d e v e l o p s p a r t l y t o p r o v i d e a s h o r t h a n d way o f r e f e r r i n g t o t e c h n i c a l p r o c e s s e s b u t p a r t l y a l s o as an e l a b o r a t e l y i n v e n t i v e , r i t u a l i s t i c , o f t e n r a t h e r p l a y f u l way o f r e i n f o r c i n g g r o u p i d e n t i t y o r "we f e e l i n g " ( 1 9 6 9 : 9 9 ) . M a u r e r a l s o e x p l a i n s t h e n e e d s f o r t h i s common l a n g u a g e : C r i m i n a l g r o u p s o r mobs work o u t s i d e t h e l a w and c o n s e q u e n t l y c o u n t v e r y l i t t l e upon i t f o r p r o t e c t i o n . T h e r e i s a v e r y s t r o n g s e n s e o f c a m a r a d e r i e among c r i m i n a l s , a h i g h l y d e v e l o p e d g r o u p - s o l i d a r i t y , w h i c h i s f u r t h e r i n c r e a s e d by i n t e r n a l " o r g a n i z a t i o n " and by e x t e r n a l p r e s s u r e s f r o m b o t h t h e u p p e r w d r l d and t h e p r e d a t o r y u n d e r w o r l d . A common l a n g u a g e h e l p s t o b i n d t h e s e g r o u p s t o g e t h e r and g i v e s e x p r e s s i o n to the strong f r a t e r n a l s p i r i t which p r e v a i l s among them. T h i s i s t r u e o f t h e e n t i r e u n d e r w o r l d , w i t h t h e p a r t i a l e x c e p t i o n o f p r o s t i t u t e s . On t h e o t h e r h a n d , e a c h s p e c i f i c trade or p r o f e s s i o n develops a f e e l i n g of mutual e x c l u s i v e n e s s among i t s members; t h i s f e e l i n g s p r i n g s f r o m the f a c t t h a t t h e y a r e a l l c r i m i n a l s , t h a t t h e y have a c o m m o n a l i t y o f l i f e - e x p e r i e n c e , t h a t t h e i r t r a i n i n g and b a c k g r o u n d a r e somewhat s i m i l a r , t h a t t h e y f a c e i d e n t i c a l mechani c a l p r o b l e m s w h i c h m u s t be s o l v e d w i t h somewhat s i m i l a r t o o l s and t e c h n i q u e s , and t h a t c e r t a i n p r o f e s s i o n a l a t t i t u d e s o r " e t h i c s " must be r e c o g n i z e d i f t h e mob i s t o p r o s p e r (194-0 :283-284) . Maurer's reference  to the p r o s t i t u t e s i s r a t h e r  Does he mean t h a t p r o s t i t u t e s a r e b e c a u s e t h e y do  not  turns out,  (even  partially)  h a v e a common l a n g u a g e ; b e c a u s e t h i s common  l a n g u a g e , i f t h e y h a v e one, o r b e c a u s e t h e y do  exceptional  ambiguous.  not  does not  share a strong  he means a l l t h r e e  h e l p b i n d them as a g r o u p ; fraternal  i n a previous  feeling?  article  (1939)  As i t and  101  g i v e s t h e f o l l o w i n g r e a s o n s f o r t h e l a c k o f a r g o t he f o u n d among prostitutes: They l a c k t h e s o p h i s t i c a t i o n t o make a n d a c q u i r e a n a r t i f i c i a l language f o r themselves (p. 5 4 6 ) . She n e v e r d e v e l o p s a s e n s e o f t r a d e , o r g r o u p gang m o r a l e (p. 5 4 7 ) .  s o l i d a r i t y , of  The p r o s t i t u t e s e l l s a s t a n d a r d s e r v i c e a n d d e p e n d s h e a v i l y on s i m p l e c o m m e r c i a l g o o d - w i l l ... T h e r e i s n e i t h e r i n c e n t i v e toward a c l a s s i f i c a t i o n o f her patrons nor a psychol o g i c a l a p p r o a c h b a s e d on s u c h a c l a s s i f i c a t i o n ( p . 5 4 9 ) . There it  i s a p r o s t i t u t e a r g o t , a n d J e n n i f e r James a m p l y p r o v e s  ( 1 9 7 2 a ; 1972b; 1 9 7 2 c ) .  She a l s o i n s i s t s  i n a l l h e r w o r k on  the  s t r e n g t h o f t h e commitment t h a t p r o s t i t u t e s h a v e t o make t o  the  "fast l i f e "  ted  on them b y t h e l a r g e r c o m m u n i t y .  because  p a r t p l a y e d b y a common  o f t h e m o r a l and l e g a l  sanctions  inflic-  She i s a l s o c l e a r on t h e  language:  A c c e p t a n c e i n t h e p r o s t i t u t e s o c i a l o r g a n i z a t i o n depends t o a g r e a t e x t e n t on t h e a b i l i t y t o c o m m u n i c a t e i n t h e a r g o t . The newcomer l e a r n s t h e r u l e s a s s h e p l a y s t h e game ... I f she h a n d l e s h e r game w e l l a n d c a n c o m m u n i c a t e i n t h e a c c e p t a b l e manner, s h e c a n f u n c t i o n a s a member o f t h e s o c i a l o r g a n i z a t i o n (1972b:103). U n l i k e Maurer,  James a l s o d e s c r i b e s a f a i r l y  supportive  milieu  w h e r e t h e p r o s t i t u t e a l w a y s knows some p e o p l e w i l l i n g t o o f f e r her s h e l t e r , b a i l h e r out of j a i l , move away o r l e a v e h e r p i m p Maurer one.  welcome h e r i f s h e d e c i d e s t o  (1972b:104).  sees t h e p r o s t i t u t e s '  l o t as e s s e n t i a l l y a p a s s i v e  I t stands t o r e a s o n , however, t h a t i f t h e s t r e e t w a l k e r  wants t o s u r v i v e she has t o handle v a r i o u s s i t u a t i o n s  i n the  c o n t e x t o f h e r o c c u p a t i o n , a n d h a s b e e n l e d t o name a n d c l a s s i f y a v a r i e t y of customers.  James' i n f o r m a n t s r e c o g n i z e f i f t e e n  102  d i f f e r e n t types of t r i c k s , me  fifteen  out  with"  and  " t h o s e you  Appendix  s h o u l d s t a y away f r o m . "  B).  In h i s a r t i c l e , Maurer w r i t e s which applies  strictly  t o the  c o l l e c t e d o v e r two  tricks,  M a u r e r s a r g u m e n t s may  the  choice  ing  i n a "call-house",  of three  possible  on  develop p r o f e s s i o n a l essential The  i n the low  In her  or  the  The  defensive  ...  also missing  B e t w e e n M a u r e r and a t t h e more r e c e n t  the  domains of the  for  the  Jargon. by  from the  (and)  sisters).  describes  In these,  see  the  I c e b e r g S l i m ' s Pimp. h o o k e r s as  The  first  denies  M o r e o v e r , he  prostitutes'  Story  con-  bonds w h i c h  life.  y e a r s have e l a p s e d .  If  we  James, e s p e c i a l l y i n  very strong  B o o k , and  to  the  criminal world  "stable sisters"  The  they  (1939:547).  t i g h t e n i n g of the  t e r m s e l i c i t e d by the  had  never permitted  status".  James, t h i r t y  pimp and  same p i m p ) , we  p i m p s and  street".  s t a t u s of p r o s t i t u t i o n i n the  the  four  some f o r t y y e a r s  of c r i m i n a l a r g o t s "  t i n u e s , p o l i c e o p p r e s s i o n and  look  stable  into  i n d e p e n d e n c e , w h i c h a p p e a r s t o be  formation  of  l i v i n g i n a b r o t h e l , work-  "working the  them " a l l c l a i m t o t r u e p r o f e s s i o n a l  ensues, are  classified  p r o s t i t u t e s he  s e t ups:  vocabulary  d i s s e r t a t i o n , James  p i m p s and  wrote h i s a r t i c l e .  argot  appears to c o n s i s t  have been v a l i d  1  were " p e r p e t u a l l y  "the  h u n d r e d t e r m s w h i c h she  (streetwalkers,  when he  that  profession  l e s s than f i f t y words" (1939:546).  ago,  gave  1  C h a p t e r S i x and  domains  Mine a l s o  d i f f e r e n t types of t r i c k s , grouped i n t o those " i t s a l l  r i g h t t o go (see  f o u r o f them " f r e a k s " .  (women w o r k i n g  i n f l u e n c e of  o f My  Milner  Life  Black  ( 1 9 6 9 ) , known  & Milner  (19 72)  make  103  abundantly c l e a r t h e i n f l u e n c e over t h e conduct and language o f p r o s t i t u t i o n which t h e i r American pimps.  s t y l e and p r e s t i g e have earned t h e B l a c k  E v e n my C a n a d i a n i n f o r m a n t s , w h o , u s u a l l y deny  t h a t t h e y u s e s u c h t e r m s t h e m s e l v e s , know them n e v e r t h e l e s s a n d c h a r a c t e r i z e them: " T h a t ' s N i g g e r t a l k " , l i k e that".  "The B l a c k g u y s c a l l i t  I n J a m e s , we s e e t h e e n r i c h m e n t o f p r o s t i t u t e a r g o t  p a r t l y due t o t h e c o n t r o l e x e r c i s e d b y a g r o u p w i t h a t h r i v i n g and c o l o u r f u l l a n g u a g e o f i t s own. The g r o w i n g v i s i b i l i t y  o f s t r e e t p r o s t i t u t i o n has a l s o  i n c r e a s e d p o l i c e i n t e r f e r e n c e a n d c o n t r o l a n d , b y t h e same t o k e n , the  tightening of the streetwalkers'  a common i n s i d e r s '  language.  r a n k s , c r e a t i n g t h e need f o r  The d e s i r e o f p r o s t i t u t e s t o p r o -  f e s s i o n a l i z e t h e i r o c c u p a t i o n has g i v e n r i s e t o such  organiza-  t i o n s a s t h e West C o a s t COYOTE ( C a l l O f f Y o u r O l d T i r e d or  t h e B r i t i s h PUSSI  Ethics)  ( P r o s t i t u t e s U n i t e d f o r S o c i a l and S e x u a l  I n t e g r a t i o n ) , not t o mention t h e French p r o s t i t u t e s '  strike of  Summer 19 75. In  t h e c a s e o f my own i n f o r m a n t s , t h e r e i s a n a d d e d  factor,  one w h i c h d i f f e r e n t i a t e s them f r o m James' s t r e e t w a l k e r s a n d f u r t h e r l i n k s them t o an " i n s i d e r s ' g r o u p " : a l t h o u g h s h a r i n g t h e technical  skills  o f p r o s t i t u t i o n and t h e problems  theoccupation  e n t a i l s , my i n f o r m a n t s a r e a l s o d r u g a d d i c t s , a n d J a m e s  1  are not.  Hers were d e l i b e r a t e l y chosen as such i n t h e S e a t t l e j a i l . same c h o i c e w o u l d h a v e b e e n i m p o s s i b l e f o r me i n t h e B r i t i s h  The  104  Columbia P r o v i n c i a l J a i l : were, f i r s t Their tude.  Their  prostitute.  and foremost, argot  junkies.  i s t h a t o f t h e j u n k i e , as w e l l as t h e p r o s t i -  lifestyle  i s t h a t o f the j u n k i e as w e l l as t h e  P r o s t i t u t e s score  when t h e y b u y d o p e . usual  t h e i n m a t e s who w e r e a l s o p r o s t i t u t e s  4  succession  when t h e y g e t a t r i c k ,  Turning a t r i c k ,  junkies  s c o r i n g and f i x i n g  i s the  o f e v e n t s f o r t h e j u n k i e hooker; s o l i c i t i n g and  scoring f o r the ordinary  prostitute.  The s h i f t  emphasis o f t h e success o f t h e "score" addict streetwalker  o f meaning and  from t h e non a d d i c t t o t h e  i srevealing of the t o t a l l y  different  outlook  o f t h e t w o t y p e s o f women. I a l s o think that another relevant point addict p r o s t i t u t e only  shares her argot  and  w i t h pimps  and  sex r o l e s ) , making v e r y  inferior  with  i s t h a t t h e non  other  prostitutes  ( t h e two e x t r e m e s i n terms o f o c c u p a t i o n  status  c l e a r h e r own p o s i t i o n a s t h e m o s t  o n e , w h e r e a s t h e j u n k i e p r o s t i t u t e who u s u a l l y  shares her argot  with her equals,  other  trafficks  j u n k i e s , males and  f e m a l e s , among whom h e r own s t a t u s i s n o t d e p e n d e n t on s e x o r occupation, An  argot  b u t on w h e t h e r s h e h a p p e n s t o h a v e h e r o i n  which introduces  f o r sale.  her into a b a s i c a l l y equalitarian  ^ T h i s was e s p e c i a l l y t r u e a t t h e t i m e t h e r e s e a r c h was c o n ducted. The p o l i c e w e r e w a i t i n g f o r t h e d e c i s i o n o f a Supreme Court appeal b e f o r e making f u r t h e r a r r e s t s , and simple soliciting c h a r g e s were n o t l a i d o v e r a p e r i o d o f s e v e r a l months. Thus, p r o s t i t u t e s who w e r e i n c a r c e r a t e d a t t h e t i m e h a d b e e n a r r e s t e d and s e n t e n c e d on a d r u g o r r o b b e r y c h a r g e . Sentences f o r s t r a i g h t s o l i c i t i n g a r e u s u a l l y s h o r t e n o u g h t h a t women " d o i n g t i m e " f o r i t were soon r e l e a s e d . But the l i k e l i h o o d of f i n d i n g non u s i n g p r o s t i t u t e s i n j a i l w o u l d h a v e b e e n m i n i m a l a t a n y other time.  105  g r o u p may be s e e n a s more d e s i r a b l e t h a n o n w h i c h r e s t r i c t s h e r to a permanently lowly p o s i t i o n .  M o r e o v e r , a d e a l e r i s someone  whose s e r v i c e s a r e h i g h l y p r i z e d b y s t r e e t p e o p l e , w h i l e a p r o s t i t u t e ' s a r e o n l y a p p r e c i a t e d , and v e r y a m b i g u o u s l y s o , a t t h a t , by h e r s t r a i g h t c u s t o m e r s . the higher.  The p r e s t i g e o f t h e f o r m e r i s b y f a r  And s o i s t h e a r g o t o f t h e s u b c u l t u r e .  I f o u n d among my i n f o r m a n t s a s o r o r a l f e e l i n g , b o n d s among members o f t h e same g r o u p .  the t i g h t  However, t h i s  feeling  e x i s t s b e c a u s e t h e women s e e t h e m s e l v e s a s s t r e e t p e o p l e , prostitutes.  T o w a r d s non a d d i c t p r o s t i t u t e s , t h e i r  more r e s e r v e d a n d q u i t e a m b i v a l e n t .  feelings are  T h i s l a t t e r group  " s t r e e t " b e c a u s e o f t h e i r common l i f e s t y l e a l s o as " s t r a i g h t " because o f t h e i r v a l u e s .  n o t as  i s seen as  and e x p e r i e n c e , b u t The d o u b l e d i c h o t o m y  p r e s e n t - f u t u r e and f r e e d o m - s e c u r i t y , w h i c h w i l l be d i s c u s s e d l a t e r and which p o l a r i z e s  " s t r e e t " and " s t r a i g h t " , a l s o d i v i d e s  u s e r a n d n o n - u s e r among p r o s t i t u t e s . A l l my i n f o r m a n t s language.  f e e l p r i d e i n and j e a l o u s y o f t h e i r  The two f o l l o w i n g e x a m p l e s come f r o m  Julie:  So, w e ' r e g e t t i n g c l o s e t o w h e r e I'm g e t t i n g o f f , a n d he s a y s " W e l l , w o u l d y o u l i k e t o do a t r i c k ? " And I s a y s : "Do_ a t r i c k ? " , I s a y s , " d o n ' t y o u mean t u r n a t r i c k ? " And he s a y s : "Oh, y e a h ! That's i t ! That's i t ! " And I s a y s : "Do a t r i c k ..." And I j u s t l a u g h e d ... I mean, w h a t k i n d o f a t r i c k d i d he w a n t me t o d o ? A f t e r I s c o r e d , I g o t b a c k t o h i m and I s a i d "O.K., now y o u ' v e g o t t o g e t me a r i g ! " I d o n ' t know what he was t h i n k i n g a b o u t ... " r i g " ... He s a i d : "Oh he s a i d "Ah ..." He was a t r u c k d r i v e r , t o o . He s a i d : "Oh, my r i g ' s a t ..." I s a y s : "Hey! I'm s u r e y o u d o n ' t u s e h e r o i n ... You j u s t d o n ' t a p p e a r t o be t h e t y p e . " S o , he s a y s : "What's t h i s r i g business?" S o , I s a y s : " W e l l , y o u h a v e t o go t o a  106  d r u g s t o r e a n d g e t me an o u t f i t , "Oh J E E E E Z U S 1 " Whereas i n t h e second  a syringe."  example, J u l i e  t h e p l a y on w o r d s and t h e t r u c k d r i v e r ' s (shown b y h e r own e x a g g e r a t e d  5  And he s a y s :  i s merely  amused by  lack of sophistication  use o f s t r a i g h t t e r m s ) , she o p e n l y  s n e e r s a t t h e f i r s t man's a t t e m p t  at talking  l i k e a rounder.  Not  o n l y d o e s he b e t r a y h i s i g n o r a n c e o f t h e a r g o t , b u t he i s d e s p i c a b l e b e c a u s e he t r i e s able person. trick"  t o pass h i m s e l f o f f as a knowledge-  Moreover, the degrading  i s n o t l o s t on J u l i e ,  i m p l i c a t i o n o f "doing a  f r o m whom " t u r n i n g " o n e , on t h e  i  o t h e r hand, i s m e r e l y b u s i n e s s . i n both  I n t h i s s e n s e , he i s i g n o r a n t  languages.  The boundaries  p o s s e s s i o n o f a common l a n g u a g e  establishing the  o f a c o m m u n i t y a n d i n d i c a t i n g m e m b e r s h i p i n a common  c u l t u r e s t r e n g t h e n s t h e b o n d s b e t w e e n g r o u p members a n d i s v a l u e d because o f i t . '  In the present case, v e r b a l s k i l l s  are a l l the  more v a l u e d a s t h e y a r e some o f t h e c u l t u r e ' s f e w n o n - v i o l e n t weapons f o r e x e r c i s i n g c o n t r o l o v e r b o t h i n s i d e r s and o u t s i d e r s .  T i g h t e r c o n d i t i o n s now p r e v a i l , c o m p a r e d t o t h e s i t u a t i o n d e s c r i b e d i n S t o d d a r t (1968:3-4) w h e r e a s m a l l e n v e l o p e c o n t a i n i n g "an i n e x p e n s i v e h y p o d e r m i c n e e d l e , s y r i n g e , a n d a b o t t l e c a p " c o u l d be o b t a i n e d i n a d r u g s t o r e f r o m t h e same a r e a f o r 53C b y a s k i n g f o r an " o u t f i t " o r a " m a c h i n e " [now " r i g " ] , much a s , a f e w y e a r s l a t e r , k i t s o f a i r p l a n e g l u e and p l a s t i c bags were e a s i l y a v a i l a b l e from g r o c e r y s t o r e s . 5  107  CHAPTER FOUR NATURE AND FUNCTION OF BULLSHITTING Bullshitting  i s the mainstay  of street talk.  I t has  a l r e a d y b e e n e x a m i n e d i n i t s two a s p e c t s : a c o n , a t r i p , tale  a  tall  - a n d t h e s m a l l t a l k b e t w e e n p e o p l e who s h a r e enough u n d e r -  s t a n d i n g o f t h e same l a n g u a g e a n d t h e same c u l t u r e t o c o n v e r s e i n an e a s y . m a n n e r .  I t i s i t s d u a l o r combined n a t u r e and i t s  f u n c t i o n t h a t we a r e g o i n g t o c o n s i d e r i n r e l a t i o n mants' a p p r e h e n s i o n  of their  environment.  to the infor-  I t sl i m i t s are not  easy  to define since b u l l s h i t t i n g  will  s e e t h a t b e s i d e i t s t w o m a n n e r s o f e x p r e s s i o n , i t h a s two  different  i s both c o n t e n t and form.  We  g o a l s : t o d e c e i v e and t o i n s t r u c t .  I never witnessed e i t h e r aspect o f b u l l s h i t t i n g being formed i n t h e s t r e e t c o n t e x t .  However, i n t h e e x c h a n g e s  per-  which  t o o k p l a c e between.my i n f o r m a n t s a n d m y s e l f , a m i l d f o r m o f b u l l s h i t t i n g was f o r e v e r p r e s e n t . i t s double I  aspect which  found  folkloric proverbs  s i n c e as w e l l as j e s t s ,  o r aphorisms,  its  interesting  t o o r g a n i z e my d a t a i n t o  t o me. recognized  jokes, t r i c k s t e r  s o much o f i t was t h e r e p e t i t i o n  say and t h e p a s s i n g o f g o s s i p . tional  i t was t h e b l e n d i n g o f  was p a r t i c u l a r l y  i t difficult  genres,  In fact,  But gossip i t s e l f  tales,  of hear-  i s a conversa-  genre, w i t h i t s standard c a s u a l s t o r y - t e l l i n g  p a t t e r n s and  f o l l o w i n g o f some o f t h e d i c t a t e s o f c o n v e r s a t i o n s u c h a s t h e  108  need t o appear spontaneous THE  NATURE OF I  (Abrahams 1 9 7 0 : 2 9 9 ) .  BULLSHITTING  f o u n d many s i m i l a r i t i e s b e t w e e n my  "bullshitting"  and  the  informants' casual  " t a l k i n g t r a s h " of Cothran's  t h e O k e f e n o k e Swamp Rim o f G e o r g i a .  informants i n  " T r a s h " i s d e s c r i b e d as  r a n g i n g from s m a l l t a l k about t h e weather t o d i s c u s s i o n of r e s p e c t i v e m e r i t s of brands some t e a s i n g , " l o a f i n g and genres  joke t e l l i n g  As street? chapter.  of p i c k u p t r u c k s , i n t e r s p e r s e d w i t h and y a r n s p i n n i n g .  l y i n g behavior", comprised  but u n i f i e d  i n i t s context  I t i s d e f i n e d as  of a v a r i e t y of  (Cothran  folkloric  1974:342).  s m a l l t a l k , w h a t e v e n t s d o e s b u l l s h i t t i n g c o v e r on J o and Sue  the  the  Snow a l r e a d y g a v e us an e x a m p l e i n t h e p r e v i o u s  a l s o d e s c r i b e s two  other aspects of s t r e e t g o s s i p :  W e l l , someone comes up f r o m t h e s t r e e t and s a y s " I saw so and s o , and t h e y ' r e d o i n g r e a l l y w e l l . ' " (You know, t h e y ' r e s t a y i n g o f f t h e d r a g and n o t u s i n g , o r t h e y ' r e n o t d r i n k i n g t o o much, o r t h e y ' r e n o t t a k i n g p i l l s , o r w h a t e v e r t h e i r weakness i s , t h e y ' r e n o t i n d u l g i n g i n i t too o f t e n ) . You t a l k w i t h j u s t p e o p l e you r u n i n t o , a c q u a i n t a n c e s . P e o p l e r u n s t o r i e s a b o u t somebody e l s e , y o u know. Mostly t h e y t a l k about bad t h i n g s . I f i t ' s something about a f r i e n d o f y o u r s , t h e y c a n ' t w a i t t o s p r e a d t h e b a d news. L i k e , i f t h e y know y o u r o l d man i s g o i n g o u t w i t h somebody e l s e , t h e y c a n ' t w a i t t o t e l l you! You g e t i t r e a l l y bad i n h e r e , more t h a n on t h e s t r e e t . You know, p e o p l e l i k e i n s t i g a t i n g , i n here. She  a l s o confirmed the range  t i o n e d t o me mentioned  by J u l i e ,  and  o f c i r c u l a t i o n a l r e a d y men-  the continuum  b e t w e e n s t r e e t and  jail  by a l l t h e i n f o r m a n t s :  S t o r i e s spread l i k e w i l d f i r e . T h e y ' l l s t a r t i n the s t r e e t , and t h e y ' l l be i n h e r e , and b a c k i n t h e s t r e e t w i t h i n a week ... u s u a l l y w i t h a l i t t l e b i t a d d e d h e r e , a l i t t l e b i t a d d e d t h e r e ... Some t i m e y o u ' l l e v e n h e a r a b o u t them i n  109  C a l g a r y o r E d m o n t o n , o r b a c k E a s t , y o u know. l o t o f s t o r i e s about back E a s t .  I've heard a  J o h a d a l r e a d y i n d i c a t e d t h a t w a r n i n g s w e r e an i m p o r t a n t part of street talk.  T h i s i s c o n f i r m e d by S u e :  S t o r i e s l i k e t h a t (about bad t r i c k s ) , t h e g i r l s t e l l thems e l v e s , w a r n i n g p e o p l e a g a i n s t t h e guy i n c a s e h e ' s c r e e p i n g a r o u n d h e r e ... You w a n t t o k e e p y o u r d i s t a n c e f r o m them. Or p e o p l e s e l l i n g b a d d o p e , y o u know, y o u w a r n p e o p l e a b o u t it. Bugsy,  i n h e r i n i m i t a b l e s t y l e , g i v e s o t h e r examples o f  bullshitting: Sure t r a v e l s f a s t ! "Oh, d i d y o u know s o a n d so r o b b e d a t r i c k l a s t n i g h t ? " o r " D i d y o u know so a n d so f u c k e d so a n d s o ' s o l d man?" Some p r e t t y g o o d t h i n g s , t o o : "Hey, d i d y o u know B u g s y was on e s c a p e ? " "Far out!" J u l i e , who h a d a s t r a i g h t u p b r i n g i n g a n d i s now m a r r i e d w i t h a c h i l d w h i l e v e r y much b e l o n g i n g on t h e s t r e e t , a d d s y e t another dimension to s t r e e t  talk:  You s e e e a c h o t h e r , and t h e r e ' s a l o t t o t a l k a b o u t , a n d w h a t ' s g o i n g on now ... Y o u go b a c k o v e r w h a t ' s b e e n h a p p e n i n g , a n d t a l k a b o u t , y o u know, a l o t o f t h i n g s . And i t ' s n o t j u s t w h a t ' s h a p p e n i n g downtown t h a t y o u t a l k a b o u t , b e c a u s e some p e o p l e h a v e met o t h e r p e o p l e ' s f a m i l i e s , a n d y o u know, b e i n g i n t h e homes a n d h a v e d e a l i n g s w i t h t h e m , maybe g r o w i n g up w i t h them ... So i t ' s n o t j u s t g o i n g down t h e r e t o t a l k a b o u t w h a t ' s g o i n g a r o u n d ... In J u l i e ' s terms, a l o t of t h i n g s , being " l a i d " shitting. shitting,  i n these t a l k s .  Moreover,  "trips"  and o t h e r s , a r e  Thus b u l l s h i t t i n g b l e n d s w i t h  t h e y a l s o b u l l s h i t t e d w i t h me a b o u t  bull-  bull-  an e v e n t w i t h i n a n e v e n t , a n d r e - e n a c t e d t h e s t r e e t -  s t r a i g h t c o n f r o n t a t i o n w h i c h f o r m s t h e d i d a c t i c c o n t e n t o f many of the s t o r i e s . The  s t o r i e s t o l d a r e o b v i o u s l y o f a more e l a b o r a t e n a t u r e  t h a n t h e d i a l o g u e s r e p r o d u c e d f o r me b y J o , Snow o r B u g s y .  They  110  a r e a b o u t an e v e n t  (a bad t r i p ,  a f r e a k y o u go o u t w i t h , y o u r o l d  man g o i n g o u t w i t h s o a n d s o ' s o l d l a d y , b e i n g h a s s l e d o r busted). and  These n a r r a t e d e v e n t s , above and beyond t h e g r e e t i n g s  c h i t - c h a t which  a c t as f e e l e r s  f o r r e c o g n i t i o n and  acknowl-  edgement o f i n c l u s i o n , a r e t h e d e p o s i t o r y o f t h e c u l t u r e ' s wisdom. Abrahams n o t e s t h a t i n t h e b l a c k s p e a k i n g c o m m u n i t y , t h e r e are three b a s i c types o f s t r e e t - t a l k  events:  t h o s e i n t e n d e d p r i m a r i l y t o p a s s on i n f o r m a t i o n , t h o s e i n which i n t e r p e r s o n a l m a n i p u l a t i o n o r argumentation i n v o l v i n g a d i s p l a y o r w i t s i s g o i n g on, and those i n which p l a y i s t h e p r i m a r y component o f t h e i n t e r a c t i o n (1974:246). Although  t h e l a s t type of event  i s not developed  here t o  t h e l e v e l o f t h e v e r b a l a r t f o r m d e s c r i b e d b y Abrahams  (1974),  Kochman (1970) a n d M i l n e r & M i l n e r (1972) , a l l t h r e e a r e p r e s e n t and  easily recognizable. I do n o t t h i n k t h a t I was s t r e t c h i n g t h e l i m i t s o f t h e  g e n r e when I d e c i d e d , f o r t h e p u r p o s e o f t h i s w o r k , t o i n c l u d e all  talk.  What was n o t good humoured i n c l u s i v e b u l l s h i t t i n g was  deceitful exclusive bullshitting.  A c c o r d i n g t o my  definitions,  my i n f o r m a n t s w e r e e i t h e r b u l l s h i t t i n g w i t h me o r b u l l s h i t t i n g me.  I n s o d o i n g , t h e y p r a c t i s e d i n t h e l a t t e r what t h e y  preached  i n the former. THE FUNCTION OF BULLSHITTING The w o r l d e m e r g i n g f r o m t h e s t o r i e s t h e y t o l d me i s one o f t r e a c h e r y a n d v i o l e n c e , where f r i e n d s a r e f e w , e v e n i f a c q u a i n t a n c e s a r e many.  With  the l a t t e r ,  i ti s important t o e s t a b l i s h a  Ill  tenuous network of s m a l l favours rendered cop  and  r i p o f f warnings;  The  and  a l s o of  f a v o u r s and w a r n i n g s  and  owed; o f  tricks,  bullshitting.  a r e p r e s t a t i o n s , a s Mauss u s e s  the  w o r d t o s i g n i f y t h i n g s g i v e n i n an a p p a r e n t l y v o l u n t a r y , d i s i n t e r e s t e d and and  spontaneous manner, w h i l e b e i n g i n f a c t  interested.  The  e c o n o m i c s and  a r e i n d e e d b a s e d on t h i s  are  p o l i t i c s of s t r e e t  sytem of p r e s t a t i o n s .  a l s o p a r t o f t h e same s y s t e m ,  The  survival  Bullshitting is  s i n c e many o f t h e t h i n g s e x c h a n g e d  "courtesies, entertainments, r i t u a l "  b u l l s h i t t i n g e v e n t s w o u l d be  obligatory  (Mauss 1 9 6 9 : 2 ) , t o  assimilated.  d i s c o n n e c t e d s m a l l t a l k and t h e r e t e l l i n g o f  e x c h a n g e o f news, g o s s i p o f e s c a p e ,  "shit",  s e r v e as an  o f t h e s t r e e t c o m m u n i t y by  s t a n t l y d i f f e r e n t i a t i n g b e t w e e n s t r a i g h t o u t s i d e r s and insiders.  By t h e same t o k e n , t h e y p r o v i d e c o n v e n i e n t  exo-stereotypes.  events,  b u s t i n g , h a s s l e s , bad  and g o o d m a r k s , g o o d " j u n k " and b a d d e f i n i t i o n of the boundaries  which  tricks ongoing constreet  endo-  and  They a l s o s e r v e as a means o f s o c i a l i z a t i o n  r e d e f i n i n g e a c h t i m e t h e r i g h t s , d u t i e s , and  by  sanctions for trans-  g r e s s i o n s f o r s t r e e t p e r f o r m e r s , t h u s r e a f f i r m i n g t h e b o n d s among them.  T h i s i s o f t e n done t h r o u g h  personal-experience  t h e t y p e o f s t o r i e s s o m e t i m e s q u a l i f i e d as tions officers, f a c t and t h e two  fiction  "lies"  stories,  by t h e c o r r e c -  t h e t y p e o f s t o r i e s where t h e i n t e r w e a v i n g o f "proves  so smooth t h a n one  c o u l d not  s t r a n d s e v e n i f i t w e r e i m p o r t a n t t o do  so"  separate (Cothran  1974:346). In the f i n e balance  a c h i e v e d i n t h e s e s t o r i e s between  fact  112  and  fiction,  the part played  f a c t and f i c t i o n as  by each i s d i f f i c u l t t o a s s e s s .  But  a r e e q u a l l y r e l e v a n t , a n d one w o u l d h a v e t o go  f a r as Cothran,  f o r whom  what a c t u a l l y t o o k p l a c e was d e c i d e d l y l e s s s i g n i f i c a n t t h a n w h a t i s a l l e g e d , i m a g i n e d , o r w i s h e d t o h a v e h a p p e n e d ... A fantasy i s neither true or false. Rather, i t has a p a r t i c u l a r degree o f e x p e r i e n c e d r e a l i t y o r u n r e a l i t y , as p r e s c r i b e d b y s o c i e t y o r by a d e v i a n t i n d i v i d u a l (Cothran 1974 :343) . Bullshitting, coordinates The the  l i k e myths, f a i r y t a l e s o r r i d d l e s ,  sets the  of the universe.  o c c u p a n t s o f my i n f o r m a n t s '  S t r e e t and t h e S t r a i g h t .  universe are divided  into  M o s t p e o p l e f i t n e a t l y i n t o one  g r o u p , some l o i t e r o n t h e m a r g i n o f one g r o u p w i t h t h e i r tions or i n t e r e s t s i n the other.  affilia-  B u t , on t h e w h o l e , t h e c h a r a c -  t e r i s t i c s o f t h e l a r g e c a s t o f people found i n t h e t a l e s a r e polarized  i n t o two c o n t r a s t i n g g r o u p s , w i t h o p p o s i t e  experience  and a t t r i b u t e s .  Two o p p o s i t e f r e e and l i v i n g life and  full  values,  groups a r e i d e a l l y represented.  i n the present  of t h r i l l s  a n d f o r now, l i v i n g  and f r a u g h t w i t h d a n g e r , f u l l  c l e v e r n e s s , and t h e " s t r a i g h t " ,  sacrificing  security i n a doubtful future, l i v i n g petty duties, f u l l  a life  o f g r e e d and i g n o r a n c e .  The  "street",  an e x c i t i n g of generosity  excitement f o r  o f d r u d g e r y and I n such a  simplistic  u n i v e r s e , o n e ' s a l l e g i a n c e s a r e made c l e a r a n d s o i s o n e ' s s e n s e of  duty. If  the  the experienced  r e a l i t y does n o t always c o r r e s p o n d  i d e a l r e p r e s e n t a t i o n , the lesson remains n e v e r t h e l e s s .  t h e model i s seen as t r u e , even i f i t i s r e c o g n i z e d  to And  t h a t some  p e o p l e do n o t c o n f o r m t o i t , e v e n i f t h e n o n - u s e r p r o s t i t u t e h a s  113  s t r a i g h t values, i f the s t r a i g h t a c t i v i t i e s and square  John.  fence i s i n v o l v e d i n c r i m i n a l  t h e s t r e e t r i p o f f i s as greedy The  exceptions r e i n f o r c e the r u l e ,  i n d e e d p e r c e i v e d as e x c e p t i o n s . named: " a c e y - d u c e y s " As tinuity  w i t h "a f o o t i n and  since they  then" p o s i t i o n s . an u n d e n i a b l y  C o m p a r i s o n s b e t w e e n " t h e n " and "good o l d d a y s "  Stoddart's informants  less s t r i c t era.  f o l l o w i n g statements e x p l i c i t comparison  the are  a foot out". and  i s g i v e n by t h e r e m i n i s c e n c e s o f l o n g t i m e  between the p o l e s of the  s t u p i d as  I n some c a s e s , t h e y a r e a l s o  i n most s o c i e t i e s , a s e n s e o f t e m p o r a l  i n the c u l t u r e .  and  cultural  participants  "now"  the  con-  oscillate  " i t was  tougher  (1968:89) l o o k b a c k upon  Since the f u n c t i o n of the  i s to e n l i g h t e n the u n i n i t i a t e d  1  two  observer,  i s made w i t h c o n t e m p o r a r y c o n d i t i o n s .  might w e l l have been o m i t t e d from o l d t i m e r s street  and  They  r a m b l i n g s when among  people.  A l o t o f t h i n g s changed s i n c e they s t a r t e d u s i n a l l that f u c k i n ' e l e c t r o n i c e q u i p m e n t t o h e l p them p i n c h g u y s . T h e y ' v e g o t e v e r y t h i n g g o i n ' f o r them, now, y'know. 1  M o s t g u y s a r o u n d now d o n ' t know w h a t i t u s e d t o be l i k e b e f o r e t h e y s t a r t e d r e a l l y c r a c k i n g down. I t u s e d t o be t h a t y o u c o u l d j u s t s c o r e a c a p o f dope and go home and f i x w i t h no w o r r i e s . I t ' s n o t l i k e t h a t now. None o f t h e p r e s e n t i n f o r m a n t s w o u l d h a v e known t h e removed s i t u a t i o n d e s c r i b e d a b o v e , t h e G o l d e n Age tion  i n V a n c o u v e r , as i t w e r e .  w e r e p h y s i c a l l y more v i o l e n t , and  " c h o k e d " and  drug  control  officers  " o l d t i m e r s " such as Brandy  r e c a l l o c c a s i o n s w h e r e p e o p l e , and  were " t h r o t t l e d " ,  addic-  They l o o k b a c k upon t i m e s when  t h e c o n f r o n t a t i o n s b e t w e e n d r u g a d d i c t s and  Sue  of drug  twice  o f t e n they  "punched".  and  themselves,  When a c o m p a r i s o n  with  114  present times i s e x p l i c i t l y provided, "hassling" forms  i s mentioned  and one  s i t u a t i o n has n e c e s s a r i l y t i o n of the h o s t i l e  i n i t s many  does not get t h e i m p r e s s i o n t h a t improved.  In every case, the  f o r c e s a t work s e r v e t o s t r e n g t h e n  the  descripgroup  solidarity. The  d i a c h r o n i c , h i s t o r i c p e r s p e c t i v e i s complemented  t a l e s of elsewhere, i n which  " t h e r e " i s compared w i t h  B o t h S t o d d a r t ' s i n f o r m a n t s (p. 89) w h e r e i s d i f f e r e n t , and  (b) l o c a l  and m e t h o d s . dimensions expanding  Spatial continuity  "here".  and m i n e a g r e e d t h a t r e s i d e n t s are i n the  e n v i a b l e p o s i t i o n , u s u a l l y because o f law enforcement  (a)  else-  less policies  i s t h u s a l s o p r o v i d e d , and  serve t o a f f i r m the concept of a drug a d d i c t beyond the immediate  by  both  community  c o n f i n e s o f t h e p r e s e n t and  one's  "corner". The  historic  and g e o g r a p h i c e v a l u a t i o n o f t h e n a t u r e  q u a l i t y of the s t r e e t a d d i c t ' s environment t a n t t h a t t h e r e i s no  i s a l l t h e more  f o r m a l a p p r e n t i c e s h i p on t h e  Bryan  1965),  skills  a r e l e a r n e d as t h e y a r e  impor-  street.  U n l i k e c r i m i n a l occupations p r a c t i s e d o f f the s t r e e t 1973,  and  (Letkemann  practised.  S o m e t i m e s , a d v i c e i s g i v e n , b u t i t i s u s u a l l y done when p e o p l e work together. The  s u p p o s e d l y s t r o n g bonds w h i c h u n i t e s t r e e t p e o p l e  t o be much more a u n i f i e d real  fraternal  feeling.  t h e same v a l u e s and  seem  f r o n t a g a i n s t the s t r a i g h t world than a They u n d e r s t a n d one  lifestyle.  a n o t h e r , and  B u t t h e y a l s o l e a v e one  f r e e t o l e a r n t h e r u l e s o f t h e game on t h e i r own,  share  another  by t r i a l  and  115  e r r o r , e v e n i f e r r o r must mean b e i n g b u s t e d , b e a t e n up o r r i p p e d off. I made a n a t t e m p t my  informants  t o f i n d out what t y p e o f c o a c h i n g  r e c e i v e d a t the beginning of t h e i r c a r e e r .  started at thirteen.  " I t was  my  b i r t h d a y " , she  w a n t e d t o g e t d r u n k , so I t u r n e d a t r i c k . " met  " t h i s one  or  help  Bugsy  e x p l a i n e d , "and  Soon a f t e r w a r d s ,  she  girl".  Her and me u s e d t o go on d o u b l e t r i c k s a l l t h e t i m e . And t h e s e two g u y s t h a t we a l w a y s w e n t w i t h , c o n t i n u a l l y ... I mean we w e n t w i t h them a b o u t t h r e e t i m e s a week. T h i s one guy, t h e guy I was a l w a y s w i t h , w a n t e d t o s i t and w a t c h t h e o t h e r two. And C o n n i e , she knew a l l t h e p o s i t i o n s . And I was w a t c h i n g h e r and I u s e d t o a s k h e r a b o u t them. In be  J u l i e ' s e x p e r i e n c e , however, the s i t u a t i o n  is likely  to  somewhat d i f f e r e n t : You c a n w o r k w i t h a n o t h e r g i r l ... They u s u a l l y d o n ' t w a n t to because i t might cut i n t o t h e i r b u s i n e s s . Y o u n g , t o o ... I t ' s a l w a y s a new f a c e c o m i n g up ... And y o u d o n ' t w a n t t o t a k e t o o much o f a c h a n c e on h e r , b e c a u s e y o u r e a l l y d o n ' t know h e r . A t t h e age  idea". all  o f f i f t e e n , J o met  ("They j u s t t o l d me  right.  somebody " t h a t g a v e h e r  t h a t t h e y knew t h i s guy  An o l d e r b u s i n e s s m a n .  and  He w a n t e d t o g i v e me  he  an was  fifty  dollars.") T h e n , a l l o f a s u d d e n , i t was t h e r e , and i t was and i t was j u s t l e f t t o my own d i s c r e t i o n . It  happening,  i s c e r t a i n l y up t o e a c h i n d i v i d u a l t o a c q u i r e  competence i n w h i c h e v e r What must be  manner he o r she  c a n c o n t r i v e t o so  a c q u i r e d r a p i d l y , h o w e v e r , and  h a v e some c o n t r o l , i s t h e k n o w l e d g e n o t  technical  over which  t o endanger the  so.  others group.  Some p e o p l e t a l k t o o much. L i k e , when I f i r s t h i t t h e s t r e e t , I d i d that a l l the time. I t a l k e d t o o much, y o u know, n o t r e a l i z i n g w h a t I was d o i n g . U n t i l I got t o l d ,  I  116  y o u know. "Hey, s e t t l e down! Keep y o u mouth s h u t when t h e b u l l s are around!" I n e v e r r a t t e d o u t on a n y b o d y b u t I was t a l k i n g when t h e r e w e r e b u l l s c l o s e b y , c l o s e enough t o l i s t e n , a n d n o t r e a l i z i n g w h a t I was d o i n g . So, I g o t i t a l l s t r a i g h t e n e d o u t , a n d now when I s e e a b u l l , I s h u t my m o u t h , no m a t t e r w h a t I'm t a l k i n g a b o u t , I j u s t s h u t r i g h t up! (Bugsy) But p a t i e n c e i s r e p u t e d the pace i s f a s t and p e o p l e  t o be s h o r t on t h e s t r e e t ,  are watchful.  d e p i c t i n g t h e w o r l d and i t s o c c u p a n t s , behaviour  Bullshitting,  and d e s c r i b i n g s a n c t i o n s f o r t r a n s g r e s s i o n , p r o v i d e s a  i n d i c a t i o n of the c u l t u r e ' s expectations.  tool,  f l e x i b l e and a d a p t a b l e and l e i s u r e o r r e n d e r e d  i n content  than the s e l f ,  and f o r m ,  expendable w i t h as need be.  f o c u s i n g on o t h e r s r a t h e r  i s s e e n b y Abrahams a s a " t e c h n i q u e  i n g community c o n t r o l t h r o u g h (1970:291).  I t i s a didactic  a s c o n c i s e and s t r i k i n g  G o s s i p , a form of b u l l s h i t t i n g  it  by  establishing rules of  clear  time  where  f o r maintain-  the elucidation of public morality"  Among t h e V i n c e n t i a n s w h e r e he o b s e r v e d  it,  he  saw  as a means 'of m a i n t a i n i n g i n a s m a l l c o m m u n i t y "some k i n d o f  c o m m u n i t y - h e l d p u b l i c image i n t h e f a c e o f i n t e r n a l c o n f l i c t s and external pressures  from the c i t y "  (291).  Although  saw g o s s i p a s " p o t e n t i a l l y d i s r u p t i v e " b o t h individual  life,  they recognized i t s v i t a l  h i s informants  t o communal  and  a d v a n t a g e : i t g a v e "a  sense o f community i d e n t i t y and i n v o l v e m e n t "  (293).  THE DIDACTICS OF STREET TALK In- t h e b r i e f p a r a g r a p h had w i t h h e r o l d man,  where Bugsy t o l d o f t h e q u a r r e l she  s h e d e s c r i b e d ' t h e r e c i p r o c a l d u t i e s o f an  o l d man and h i s o l d l a d y .  To t h e newcomer t o s t r e e t  o r g a n i z a t i o n , she gave s e v e r a l p o i n t e r s :  social  117  1 I a s k e d h i m , I s a y s "You w e r e o u t w i t h P e t e ' s o l d l a d y ? " He s a y s "No". I says "You're a f u c k i n ' l i a r ! " I s a y s , " I was s i t t i n ' i n t h e c a r n e x t t o you," I s a y s , " I seen you!" He s a y s " W e l l , w h a t w e r e we d o i n g ? " So I t o l d h i m ! I d e s c r i b e d i t r i g h t down t o a t e e ! He s a y s "What w e r e y o u g o i n g a t t h e show! 2 I s a y s "My mark t o o k me t o t h e show, I g o t p a i d 400 d o l l a r s t o go t o t h e show!" He s a y s "Where's t h e money?" 3 I says " I spent i t ! " He s a y "On w h a t ? " I says "JunkI" He s a y s "Oh, y o u d i d , d i d y o u ? " I s a y s "Yeah!" 4 He s a y s " I g o t t a go s i c k , I g u e s s ? " 5 I s a y s " W e l l , go g e t y o u r o t h e r s l u t t h e r e t o buy y o u some!" I s a y s , " I f she can a f f o r d y o u , i f she c a n 6 a f f o r d t o go t o b e d w i t h y o u , " I s a y s , " s u r e l y s h e 7 can a f f o r d t o buy you a cop o f j u n k ! " He s a y s " h e r e we go!" 8 So I s a y s " F u c k i n ' r i g h t , h e r e we g o ! " I s a y s , "Now, 9 1.  i f y o u d o n ' t m i n d , I'm b u s y .  Hiti t ! "  The o f f e n c e i s d o u b l e : h e r o l d man h a s b e e n o u t  out"  ("going  i s a euphemism f o r h a v i n g s e x u a l r e l a t i o n s ) w i t h a g i r l  was e q u a l l y u n f a i t h f u l  s i n c e s h e was somebody's o l d l a d y .  l a d y owes p e r s o n a l f i d e l i t y withstanding.  The d a n g e r  who  An o l d  t o h e r o l d man, m a r k s and t r i c k s  not-  and t h e s a n c t i o n was a l s o d o u b l e a n d ,  i n a n o t h e r p a r t o f t h e s t o r y , t h e r e was a f r e e f o r a l l , w i t h  Pete  b a s h i n g B u g s y ' s o l d man a n d s h e s p l i t t i n g t h e l i p o f P e t e ' s o l d lady.  Moreover,  Bugsy and P e t e spend  t h e r e s t o f t h e day  t o g e t h e r a n d he b o u g h t h e r dope d u r i n g t h a t t i m e , p r o b a b l y u s i n g his  o l d l a d y ' s money t o do s o .  deeply f e l t her!  T h i s was f a i r  payment f o r B u g s y ' s  g r i e v a n c e : "He was t a k i n g my money and s p e n d i n g i t on  B u y i n g h e r b e e r and s h i t !  1  And he was d o i n g i t b e h i n d  One o f t h e many names f o r h e r o i n . The two m o s t u s e d b y my i n f o r m a n t s a r e " j u n k " a n d " s t u f f " . !  my  commonly  118  back and e v e r y t i m e I asked him about i t , 2.  he s a i d n o , he w a s n ' t ! "  H e r o l d man's f e e b l e a t t e m p t a t s u g g e s t i n g  t h a t s h e may  h a v e b e e n a s g u i l t y a s he was c r u s h e d , a n d B u g s y ' s v i r t u e a n d p r o f e s s i o n a l i n t e g r i t y were t r i u m p h a n t l y w o r k i n g and b e i n g proportions,  well paid  forit,  I would suspect).  e s t a b l i s h e d : s h e was  too!  (Bugsy's u s u a l  homeric  Her answer a l s o r e v e a l s t o t h e  newcomer t h a t t h e mark h a s t o p a y f o r t h e s m a l l e s t h i s d u t y , a n d some women w o u l d p r o b a b l y  favour:  i t is  argue t h a t i t i s h i s  privilege. 3.  N o r m a l l y , B u g s y w o u l d s p e n d t h e money b y s c o r i n g f o r b o t h  o f them. he  Yet, nothing  has been s a i d about i t ,  and t h e f a c t t h a t  h a d t o a s k shows t h a t he was n o t e x p e c t e d t o s h a r e h e r d o p e .  4.  This  i s t h e key remark.  B u g s y was p a y i n g  i n f i d e l i t y by n o t p r o v i d i n g f o r h i s needs.  him back f o r h i s  He h a d f a i l e d  d u t y t o h e r : f a i t h f u l n e s s a n d s p e c i f i c u s e o f h e r money. did not perform hers: the  in his So s h e  b r i n g i n g h i m t h e money s h e h a d e a r n e d o r  dope s h e h a d s c o r e d .  He t h e n h a d t o go s i c k  (do w i t h o u t h i s  fix),  w h i c h i s no s m a l l p u n i s h m e n t and w e l l b e f i t t i n g t h e c r i m e .  5.  One c o u l d p e r h a p s assume t h a t b y b e i n g  unfaithful,  Bugsy's  o l d man h a s s p o i l t t h e i r r e l a t i o n s h i p a n d t r e a t e d h e r , r e t r o actively,  as i t were, l i k e a s l u t .  I am n o t s u r e  that there i s  room f o r s u c h r o m a n t i c c o n c e i t i n B u g s y ' s a n g e r : i t was m o s t l y her 6.  p r i d e w h i c h was h u r t . This  d o e s n o t mean t h a t t h e o t h e r  B u g s y ' s o l d man's f a v o u r s .  I t may h a v e b e e n meant a s an i n s u l t  s i n c e she was c o m p a r i n g h i m t o a p i m p . that the "other  g i r l was p a y i n g f o r  I t may a l s o h a v e . m e a n t  s l u t " m i g h t a s w e l l assume a l l t h e  119  r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s o f an o l d 7.  To  the  added the  i n j u r y o f n o t b r i n g i n g dope t o h e r o l d man,  i n s u l t o f i m p l y i n g t h a t he was  F o r an o l d t i m e r a c c u s i n g him 8.  l i k e B u g s y , t h i s was  of s n i f f i n g  B u g s y ' s a n g e r was  a f f o r d t o be 9.  The  lady.  o n l y a one-cap a d d i c t .  a l m o s t as  insulting  as  glue! so w e l l  self righteous  f o u n d e d t h a t she  could  even  about i t .  whole scene took p l a c e a t Bugsy's p l a c e o f work, i n  f r o n t of a bar,  and  e v e n f u r t h e r by  s t r e s s i n g the  w h a t she was  the  l a s t r e m a r k was  s u p p o s e d t o do:  Another important the  Bugsy  meant t o h u m i l i a t e  f a c t t h a t she, she was  l e s s o n was  him  a t l e a s t , was  doing  working.  g i v e n by B u g s y a t t h e end  of  tale: When I was f i n i s h e d w i t h h e r , she d i d n ' t l o o k t o o h o t ! She had two b l a c k e y e s and h e r n o s e was s p l i t a l l o v e r h e r f a c e , h e r mouth was a l l b l e e d i n g , and t h e c o p s w a l k e d i n j u s t as I finished. "What h a p p e n e d h e r e ? " And I l o o k a t h e r , as t h o u g h t o s a y "Oh, h e y , s a y s o m e t h i n g ! " , you know. And she s a y s " I was a l i t t l e b i t d r u n k and I w a l k e d i n t o t h e d o o r as she was o p e n i n g i t . " And t h e cop s a y s "And you d i d n ' t know she was b e h i n d t h e d o o r , I g u e s s ? " I s a y s "No. I didn't know she was i n t h e b a t h r o o m . I don't watch the bathroom," I s a y s , "I'm i n h e r e t o g e t t i n g ( s i c ) d r u n k , I a i n ' t h e r e t o w a t c h i n g no c a n , t o s e e who goes i n and who comes o u t ! " He s a y s " Y e a h " , and he s a y s t o h e r " Y o u ' r e s u r e t h a t ' s a l l t h a t ' s h a p p e n e d ? " And she s a y s " Y e a h " , and t h e n she l o o k e d a t me! And t h a t was i t ! And t h e y l e f t . This  last  i s the only time the g i r l  "Yeah" and  by t h e  t h e l o o k she  l a t t e r , but  a s p l i t n o s e and i n v o l v e the  the  has  acted properly.  gave Bugsy were t h o r o u g h l y  listener  Her enjoyed  l e a r n s at once t h a t a b l a c k  eye,  a b l e e d i n g mouth do n o t g i v e a n y o n e t h e r i g h t  cops i n what i s , a f t e r a l l ,  a w e l l deserved  ment f o r a t r a n s g r e s s i o n t o t h e o l d m a n - o l d l a d y c o d e o f  to  punishbehaviour.  120  The but  l i s t e n e r a l s o l e a r n s t h a t cops a r e n o t e n t i r e l y  t h a t i t d o e s n o t m a t t e r i f t h e y do n o t b e l i e v e y o u as l o n g a s  t h e y do n o t "have s o m e t h i n g o n " y o u . man's s u s p i c i o n s , h i s d i s b e l i e f about i t a r e e v i d e n t . of c o r r o b o r a t i o n given 1.  gullible,  In t h i s case, the p o l i c e -  and h i s i n a b i l i t y  Y e t , he h a d t o l e a v e  from Pete's o l d l a d y .  about one's d e a l i n g s  with  "They" c a n ' t do a n y t h i n g  t o do s o m e t h i n g  because o f t h e l a c k  Three p o i n t e r s  are thus  the police:  unless  someone r a t s o u t o r  provides  proofs. 2.  A united  3.  Cops' f r u s t r a t i o n , w h i l e not  f r o n t must be p r e s e n t e d , w h a t e v e r t h e s i t u a t i o n . i s dangerous; t h i s i s  apparent i n t h e s t o r y , b u t t h e cumulation o f such s t o r i e s  eventually and  enjoyable,  leads  to. t h e same comment made b y Dee, J u l i e , J o  Snow i n v a r i o u s  forms:  - You've b e a t e n them s o many t i m e s ... - They d o n ' t l i k e t h a t ! They d o n ' t l i k e t o be b e a t , s o t h e y ' l l show y o u ! - They h o l d a g r u d g e ... ( J o a n d Snow) And  t h e n , t h e y become " d i r t y "  (Dee).  I n t e l l i n g me t h e s t o r y , i t was p r o b a b l y n o t B u g s y ' s i n t e n tion to describe  f o r me h e r o l d man's d u t y t o h e r s e l f and h e r  duty t o him, nor the sanctions Yet, the  which f o l l o w a t r a n s g r e s s i o n .  s h e h a s done s o - a n d d o e s s o when s h e t e l l s street.  What a c t u a l l y t o o k p l a c e  t h e s t o r y on  b e t w e e n them i s i r r e l e v a n t  t o t h e b u l l s h i t t i n g e v e n t she p e r f o r m e d i n t h e r e t e l l i n g o f i t . What s h e s a i d t o o k p l a c e  i s a l l t h a t m a t t e r s , s i n c e i t makes  sense i n terms o f t h e s t r e e t r u l e s o f b e h a v i o u r .  It isa  121  competent s t o r y . She she  has a l s o  "laid  was a good e a r n e r a n d t h a t s h e was t o u g h .  been e s t a b l i s h e d was  i n t h e course of previous  that  I t had a l r e a d y  i n t e r v i e w s t h a t she  o n t h e w h o l e a b e t t e r e a r n e r t h a n I a n d t h a t s h e was t o u g h e r  than I .  Now, o n c e a g a i n ,  t o u g h n e s s and s m a r t n e s s go  s o m e t h i n g o n " me a t t h e same t i m e :  the exciting street qualities of  ( i t t a k e s w i t s t o be p a i d  t o t h e show) w e r e p i t t e d a g a i n s t  whose g r o u p I r e p r e s e n t e d . the  400 d o l l a r s t o  t h e wishy-washy square Johns  I n t h i s c a s e , as o f t e n happened i n  n a r r a t i v e s , a s t r e e t woman who p r i d e d h e r s e l f o n h e r " s m a r t -  n e s s " when d e a l i n g w i t h dealing with  s q u a r e J o h n s , h a s shown " t o u g h n e s s " when  h e r own k i n d .  Milner  recognizes  those a l t e r n a t i v e s  s t r a t e g i e s i n t h e way b l a c k men d e a l w i t h w h i t e s o c i e t y : " t h e devious 1972  (trickster)  b:115).  and t h e open c o n f r o n t a t i o n  (bad m a n ) " ( M i l n e r  A t h i r d p e r s o n l i s t e n i n g t o B u g s y t e l l i n g me t h e  s t o r y w o u l d have g o t t h e d o u b l e message o f s t r e e t s o c i a l ization  ( d u t i e s and s a n c t i o n s )  organ-  ic  and s t r e e t - s t r a i g h t c o n f r o n t a t i o n .  H a v i n g two i n f o r m a n t s a t t h e same s i t t i n g p r o v i d e d  me  with  a double bonus: 1.  They g a v e e a c h o t h e r  a knowledgeable audience, thus  check-  i n g t h e i r tendency t o b u l l s h i t u n c o n t r o l l a b l y about so called "facts". 2. '  They p r o v i d e d  each other  w i t h an a p p r e c i a t i v e a u d i e n c e i n  f r o n t o f whom t o e n a c t t h e s t r e e t - s t r a i g h t c o m m u n i c a t i o n and  exchange i n t e r a c t i o n .  Instead ally  o f h a v i n g two p e o p l e p r e s e n t a t o n c e , I  occasion-  g a v e an anonymous t r a n s c r i p t t o one o f t h e women, a s k i n g h e r  122  t o check a d e t a i l or g i v e her c r i b e d i n the For 38."  des-  story.  i n s t a n c e , J u l i e had  When J o and  p a r t i c u l a r racket  Snow r e a d she  o n c e t o l d me  and  favoured,  t e m p t f o r someone who criminal  o p i n i o n of the proceedings  had  status than her  i n s u c h an u n r e a l i s t i c  "packed  commented on J u l i e ' s they could not  so o b v i o u s l y r e a l one,  and  t h a t she  hide  s t o r y of their  h i n t e d a t a much  and  who  unbelievable  had  manner.  a a  con-  higher  m o r e o v e r done Julie's  so  claim  d i d n o t make s e n s e . - She s a y s she c a r r i e s a 38  c a r r i e d a 38, y o u know ... Someone who i s n o t g o i n g t o do p e t t y t h i n g s l i k e t h a t !  - T h a t ' s h e r e , i s n ' t i t ? How, i n t h e S t a t e s , I'd have t o say y e s , b u t h e r e , no I I ' v e n e v e r met a n y b o d y i n t h i s c i t y , any woman t h a t ' s c a r r i e d a gun ... A l l the d i f f e r e n t scenes t h a t I've been t h r o u g h i n the p a s t y e a r s , I've n e v e r met a woman who w a l k e d a r o u n d p a c k i n g g u n s . Was she a hype? -  Yes.  - W e l l , now, y o u c o u l d n ' t t a k e t h a t r i s k , b e c a u s e t o o o f t e n y o u g e t i n a r e g u l a r r u n o f t h e m i l l h a s s l e and g e t t i n g p u l l e d o v e r and t h e r e ' s no p l a c e w h e r e y o u c o u l d p u t a 381 When t h e y s t o p y o u , y o u know, t h e y m i g h t g e t you t o o p e n y o u r c o a t , y o u r p u r s e , you know. T a k e y o u r c o a t and y o u r s w e a t e r o f f and l o o k a t y o u r s l e e v e s . Now, w h e r e a r e y o u gonna h a v e a gun t h a t t h e y ' r e n o t g o i n g t o see i t ? E s p e c i a l l y a hype! A f t e r J u l i e had had  f i n i s h e d t e l l i n g me  rather treacherously,  "Wasn't i t d a n g e r o u s ? " . a l w a y s p a c k e d a 38!"  about her  racket,  asked a t y p i c a l square John And  t h i s was  escaped her.  My  I  question:  when h e r  unfortunate  question  called  for  "I an  outrageous answer, outrageous from the p o i n t of view of the  logic  Of  a  competent s t r e e t behaviour.  As  J o and  s m a l l time female hype, whatever her  Snow p o i n t e d  out,  r a c k e t o r h u s t l e , does  not  123  "pack a 38". ous  Experience  f o r h e r t o do  so.  B u t my  a t t r i b u t e s , ignorance safety,  shows t h a t i t i s u n p r a c t i c a l and  of s t r e e t customs, concern  f e a r o f danger and  activities  q u e s t i o n , s t r e s s i n g my  excitement,  them, e l i c i t e d  r e a c t i o n o f t h e w i l d and  j o k e a t my  e x p e n s e and  S i n c e i t was  assumption t h a t  d a n g e r o u s gun  packing  street  street  simply t r e a t e d the statement  now  d i r e c t e d a t them and  became a t o n c e s u s p i c i o u s and  R e a d i n g t h e s t o r y and  no  i t as  l o n g e r a t me  rejecting  racket.  having  t o judge i t ,  h u s t l e r ) a l w a y s p a c k e d a 38"  i n t e l l i g e n c e and  they  saw  s t r e e t , her  I was background.  a statement  s a n c t i o n would probably  d i s m i s s a l she  as an i n s u l t t o  c o m p e t e n c e as s t r e e t p e o p l e .  f o o l i s h e n o u g h t o make s u c h  the  w o u l d be  t h e w h o l e g r o u p knew me, be h e s i t a n t t o a s k me, Apart  their been the  office unobtrusively into  i n v i t a t i o n s to lunch or  present, never suggest  as i n P r o t e c t i v e c u s t o d y ,  s i n c e she w o u l d t h e n  f r o m Dee  Julie  traf-  h a v e b e e n t h e same t o t a l  v e r y seldom a l l o w e d t o recede  w h e r e more p e o p l e  Had  t o h e r p e e r s , on  s u f f e r e d i n a b s e n t i a i n my  I could only accept  refu-  the  " I (a V a n c o u v e r h y p e , s t r e e t h o o k e r , s m a l l t i m e  f i c k e r and  ,  story  they dismissed i t e n t i r e l y ,  her  a  at i t s face  A l l of J u l i e ' s  s i n g t o g i v e h e r t h e b e n e f i t o f t h e d o u b t and p l a u s i b i l i t y o f h e r t a l e and  hustler.  Snow f a i l e d t o see  t h e y e v e n t o o k umbrage a t t h e b u l l s h i t .  the group.  f o r one's  from J u l i e the e q u a l l y s t e r e o t y p e d  I n c o l d t y p e , h o w e v e r , J o and  statement  "straight"  a r e a l l f r a u g h t w i t h d a n g e r and v i o l e n c e , a l m o s t  exaggerating  value.  danger-  i n h e r g r o u p and  them.  the  dinner Unless  a woman w o u l d  i m p o s e my  presence  Brandy i n h e r s ,  my  on  124  i n f o r m a n t s were n o t l e a d e r s .  They w e r e e i t h e r l o n e r s o r r a t h e r  meek i n d i v i d u a l s , i n no p o s i t i o n I b e l i e v e t o i m p o s e me o n o r t o a s k me w i t h o u t t h e i r t a c i t c o n s e n t . enough t o w a r r a n t a p r e v i o u s  I was n o t i m p o r t a n t  consultation with  t h e group about  it,  e i t h e r , s i n c e i t w o u l d t h e n h a v e made t h e i n v i t a t i o n a  one  and t h e meal a s p e c i a l o c c a s i o n .  t h e women w e r e n o t p a r t i c u l a r l y knowledge t h e i r This  sessions  with  Moreover, I b e l i e v e  lunch  me.  B u g s y a n d Dee a s k e d me  once, and I a c c e p t e d t h e p r o t e c t i v e c u s t o d y three  t i m e s and t o l u n c h  once.  e n a b l e d me t o w i t n e s s t h e e x c h a n g e o f o n e - l i n e r s several occasions.  The c h a l l e n g e ,  and come-backs  s u c c e s s f u l l y met b y Dee.  of a  contest  s p e a k e r was t a k e n up  I t also established the f i r s t  s p e a k e r ' s s t a t u s a s one t e n t a t i v e l y e q u a l t o Dee's. mild  The l a t t e r ' s  come b a c k s i g n a l l e d h e r a c c e p t a n c e o f t h a t s t a t u s  g i v i n g h e r t h e l a s t word.  t h e y were  answer " S o r r y , i t  or the establishment  ( G o f f m a n 1 9 7 1 : 1 7 8 - 1 7 9 ) , i s s u e d by t h e f i r s t and  These  status.  "Up y o u r s ! " , Dee g a v e t h e d r a w l i n g  won't f i t ! "  group's  To me, a n u n i n i t i a t e d s p e c t a t o r ,  u s e f u l i n d i c a t i o n s of the speaker's To  that  s i t u a t i o n n a t u r a l l y r e d u c e d my o p p o r t u n i t i e s t o s e e  i n v i t a t i o n t o dinner  on  formal  i n t e r e s t e d i n making p u b l i c  p e o p l e i n t e r a c t more o r l e s s n o r m a l l y . for  others  while  I t a l s o s e t t h e mood o f t h e i n t e r -  change. In t h e case o f Brandy and Sugar, t h e f o r m e r ' s untopped and s l i g h t l y malevolent one-liners of her s t a t u s .  I had a l r e a d y  simply  c o n f i r m e d by a p p r e c i a t i o n  s e e n a n i n d i c a t i o n o f i t when  125  Sugar, the cook  and p e r s o n i n c h a r g e o f t h e m e a l s ,  w i t h Brandy  before i s s u i n g her i n v i t a t i o n s .  h e r , Brandy  w o u l d make s u c h r e m a r k s  always  checked  When t h e f a n c y t o o k  a s : "Sugar, c r o s s your  legs,  i t ' s drafy i n here!"  These remained  s c r u p u l o u s l y unanswered, i n  deference t o Brandy's  r e c o g n i z e d l e a d e r s h i p i n terms o f j a i l  s t r e e t e x p e r i e n c e , a s w e l l as i n t e r m s o f s h e e r "Moreover," s m e l l s and  Brandy  scornfully explained later,  she knows  personality. " i t ' s true !  complacent stories  and,  She  it."  The m e a s u r e o f t h e s t r e e t i s c o n s t a n t l y t a k e n . i s dangerous  and  lest  Life there  i t s h o u l d be f o r g o t t e n and p e o p l e become  and c a r e l e s s , r e m i n d e r s a r e g i v e n i n t h e f o r m o f  s u c h a s t h e one  B u g s y s p o n t a n e o u s l y t o l d me  w e l l as a s t e r n w a r n i n g t h a t i t i s unwise  one  day.  As  t o have d e a l i n g s w i t h  t h e b i g g u y s and t o r i p o f f o n e ' s b u s i n e s s a s s o c i a t e s , i t i s a n i c e p i e c e o f f o l k l o r e m e t i n g o u t h o r r o r and humour i n an  almost  unbeatable combination. - D i d y o u know a b o u t H a r r y B. b e i n g k i l l e d ? Who was s t r a n g l e d w i t h a p a i r o f women's p a n t y h o s e ? Last year? And H u r s t ? T h a t ' s a n o t h e r guy. -  Porky?  - Yeah, P o r k y ! W e l l , t h e r e was t h o s e t h r e e , H a r r y , and P o r k y , a n d R o c k y ... T h e y a l l go i t , t h e same t h r e e . H a r r y was t h e one who was s t r a n g l e d i n h i s m o t h e r ' s b a c k yard. And R o c k y , t h e y f o u n d h i s b o d y , and i t t o o k them 2  ^ S i n c e my s t a t u s was a m b i g u o u s , a t o t a l o u t s i d e r , y e t u n d e r t h e a p p a r e n t a u s p i c e s o f t h e A u t h o r i t i e s , no amount o f k n o w l e d g e o r i g n o r a n c e shown by me was a c t u a l l y s u r p r i s i n g . Thus B u g s y f o u n d i t n a t u r a l t h a t I s h o u l d know a t o n c e t h e n i c k n a m e o f a j u n k i e k i l l e d the y e a r b e f o r e (the e t h n o c e n t r i c assumption t h a t s u c h k n o w l e d g e may w e l l be s h a r e d by e v e r y o n e w o u l d n o t p l a y i n t h e c a s e o f an o r d i n a r y s q u a r e ) .  126  two weeks t o i d e n t i f y h i m . Whoever d i d h i m i n d i d a g o o d job. They p u l l e d o u t a l l h i s t e e t h , p u t a r s o n o n h i s f i n g e r s a n d o n h i s t o e s ... - Put arson? - B u r n t h i s f i n g e r s , y o u know ... a n d ... o h , t h e y j u s t d e s t r o y e d h i m c o m p l e t e l y , s o t h a t t h e r e was no way t o i d e n t i f y h i m . H i s m o t h e r i d e n t i f i e d h i m b y h i s h e a r t ... He h a d a h e a r t s h a p e d m o l e o n h i s a s s ... H e a r t s h a p e d ! L o t s o f p e o p l e g o t m o l e s , b u t t h e y d i d n ' t f i g u r e anybody w o u l d come w i t h t h a t ! A n d R o c k y ' s mom a n d d a d h a d gone o u t of town. And t h e y came b a c k u n e x p e c t e d l y . And when t h e y c o u l d n ' t f i n d R o c k y , t h e y went down t o t h e M o r g u e . They c o u l d n ' t i d e n t i f y h i m b y h i s f a c e b e c a u s e he h a d a c i d p o u r e d a l l o v e r h i s f a c e , so t h e y t u r n e d h i m o v e r and she s a i d : "Yeah!" A l l t h r e e o f them w e r e d r u g a d d i c t s . The g u y s t h a t d i d t h a t a r e g u y s f r o m t h e S t a t e s . T h e r e ' s two g u y s f r o m Canada s e r v i n g t i m e f o r i t a n d t h e y d i d n ' t do i t . Four g u y s f r o m t h e S t a t e s ... i n t h e M a f i a . Some g u y s i n t h e M a f i a f r o m t h e S t a t e s . They g a v e H a r r y B. a n d R o c k y t h e money t o go a n d p i c k them up an o u n c e . And t h e y s a y : " I f you d o n ' t come b a c k , y o u ' r e n o t g o i n g t o l i v e t o s e e t o m o r r o w ! " W e l l , t h e y came b a c k a n d s a i d : "We g o t r i p p e d off!" They h a d t h e money s t a s h e d . So t h e s e g u y s s a y : " W e l l , y o u ' v e g o t one week t o come up w i t h t h e money." And when t h e week was u p , t h a t was i t ! The g u y s came down; t h e y w e r e h i d i n g ; t h e y f o u n d them! They w e r e w a t c h i n ' them ... The  presence  o f t h e "guys i n t h e M a f i a from t h e S t a t e s "  p u t s t h e b l a m e o n o u t s i d e r s , t h u s s t r e n g t h e n i n g t h e b o n d s among insiders.  This i s p a r t i c u l a r l y  alternative  important i n t h i s case  i n t e r p r e t a t i o n w o u l d be t h a t i n s i d e r s  since the  ( t h e "two g u y s  f r o m C a n a d a " now " s e r v i n g t i m e f o r i t " ) w e r e i n f a c t g u i l t y o f the deed.  By t h e same t o k e n , t h e i n j u s t i c e o f J u s t i c e  glossed over l i g h t l y , In  a useful lesson.  s p i t e o f the r e a l dangers  e v o k e d i n t h e l a s t s t o r y , one  should not a l l o w t h e f e a r o f p o t e n t i a l dangers the conduct to  o f o n e ' s b u s i n e s s on t h e s t r e e t .  take chances.  i s also  to interfere with One must be r e a d y  S u c h a s t o r y was t o l d b y B u g s y a g a i n who, f o r  o n c e a n d t o h e r m o r t i f i c a t i o n , was u n w i l l i n g  to overlook the  127  "funny f e e l i n g "  she had about a customer.  W e l l , I know o n e g i r l ... I t u r n e d down a t r i c k , a n d he a s k e d h e r , a n d s h e went o u t w i t h h i m . And s h e g o t 200 d o l l a r s f o r it! I t was t r u e , v e r y t r u e , I know s h e w o u l d n ' t l i e t o me. I f s h e w o u l d h a v e l i e d t o me, I w o u l d a h i t h e r ! I h a t e someb o d y who l i e s , I d o ! A n d s h e s a y s : "You know, t h a t t r i c k t h a t y o u t u r n e d down?" She s a y s : " I g o t 200 d o l l a r s f r o m h i m ! " I s a y s : "You d i d n ' t ! " She s a y s : " I d i d ! R e a l l y ! " She showed i t t o me ... a n d s h e h a d n ' t w o r k e d a l l n i g h t , a n d s h e h a d no money on h e r when s h e came downtown. "You b i t c h ! I want h a l f ! I t u r n e d h i m down f o r y o u ! " She h a d t h e c h o i c e o f g i v i n g i t t o me o r I ' d t a k e i t ! My b e s t f r i e n d g o e s o u t and t u r n s h i m ! I t o l d h e r , I s a y s : "Ah, I d o n ' t l i k e h i m ! " She s a y s : " W e l l , i f I'm n o t down i n 16 m i n u t e s , come up a n d g e t me." She was down i n 10 m i n u t e s . She g o t 200 d o l l a r s for i t ! I asked her: "Did you r o b him?" She s a y s "no". I says: "Are you s u r e ? " "No". The g u y w a l k e d b y , p a t t e d h e r on t h e a s s a n d he s a i d : " I h a d a g o o d t i m e , " he s a y s , " s e e you, baby!" O.K. ... Oh, wow! T h a t p i s s e d me o f f ! One friend.  should n o t take t o o s e r i o u s l y Bugsy's t h r e a t s t o h e r The woman was a f t e r a l l h e r " b e s t f r i e n d " .  she was n o t e n t i r e l y k i d d i n g e i t h e r .  However,  The s t o r y e n d s a s f o r e s e e n ,  Bugsy r e m a i n i n g  t h e h e r o i n e : she g e t s h e r h a l f and a l l ends w e l l ,  w i t h two "caps"  each and a meal i n a r e s t a u r a n t .  Beyond t h e p r e l i m i n a r y s e a r c h f o r i d e n t i f i c a t i o n and a s s e r t i o n o f b o n a f i d e s , p r o v i d e d b y t h e e s t a b l i s h m e n t o f who you  a r e , whom y o u know a n d who knows y o u ,  w h a t y o u know a b o u t  them, a n d t h e a c k n o w l e d g e m e n t o f i n s i d e r ' s s t a t u s , b u l l s h i t t i n g maps o u t v e r y c l e a r l y , i n a v e r y l i m i t e d s a m p l i n g  of tales, the  following rules of behaviour. 1.  R i g h t s and d u t i e s o f s t r e e t p e o p l e ,  such  as those  des-  c r i b e d i n B u g s y ' s s t o r y w h e r e t h e o l d l a d y was d e f i n e d a s a p r o v i d e r , and where s o l i d a r i t y a g a i n s t t h e p o l i c e , e v e r i n t e s t i n e d i s s e n t i o n t h e r e may h a v e b e e n , was  what-  128  stressed; )  2.  sanctions  f o r t r a n s g r e s s i o n , as  fate of Harry business  and  R o c k y , who  i n the  had  p a r t n e r s , o r t h e one  attempted to r i p o f f  r a n k i n g among s t r e e t p e o p l e , Dee  4.  and  Brandy's case,  by  the  t h e use  s t r e e t , of r i p o f f s ;  a l o o f one  how  "Villains";  how  is vitally  to f o i l  tainment value.  the  f a r t o go w i t h them;  g r o u p members k e e p t h e i r v a l u e s and  how  to handle f u r t h e r as  for their  enter-  e s t a b l i s h the  knowledge, t i g h t e n  stereotypes,  create  They a r e a m u s i n g , f e a r s o m e and  Mutual s t o r y t e l l i n g  wife;  narcs.  and  a r e a l s o s t o r i e s t h r o u g h w h i c h new  comers a r e  the  folk  sad.  They  i n s t r u c t e d and  alive. the v a r i o u s forms of  f o r m a t r a n s a c t i o n known as c o n v e r s a t i o n , i s constantly  - described  pass the t i m e o f day,  bonds of t h e community, s t r e n g t h e n villains.  "good c o p s " ; how  on  conduct which i s f o r m a l i z e d i n  as someone w i t h e x p e r i e n c e  reality  liners;  These s t o r i e s a r e t o l d  They h e l p  in  s t o r i e s t r e a t such t o p i c s  Indians"  important  narrative description.  h e r o e s and  o f one  to deal with a t r i c k ' s  must a l w a y s be w i t h  drunks, " p e r v e r t s " , "East  teller  man;  t o b e w a r e o f M o r a l i t y s q u a d c o p s , o f newcomers  w h a t t o e x p e c t o f m a r k s , how  This  their  s o m e t i m e s e s t a b l i s h e d , as  d e a l i n g s w i t h the p o l i c e : other as how  the  about Bugsy's p u n i t i v e  measures a g a i n s t her u n f a i t h f u l l o l d 3.  story describing  bullshitting  i n the course  of  which  redefined.  The m o s t i m p o r t a n t v e h i c l e o f r e a l i t y - m a i n t e n a n c e i s c o n v e r sation. One may v i e w t h e i n d i v i d u a l ' s e v e r y d a y l i f e i n t e r m s  129  o f t h e w o r k i n g away o f a c o n v e r s a t i o n a l a p p a r a t u s t h a t o n g o i n g l y m a i n t a i n s , m o d i f i e s and r e c o n s t r u c t s h i s s u b j e c t i v e r e a l i t y ... I t i s i m p o r t a n t t o s t r e s s , however, t h a t the g r e a t e r p a r t of r e a l i t y - m a i n t e n a n c e i n c o n v e r s a t i o n i s i m p l i c i t , not e x p l i c i t . M o s t c o n v e r s a t i o n d o e s n o t i n so many w o r d s d e f i n e t h e n a t u r e o f t h e w o r l d . Rather, i t takes place a g a i n s t the background of a world t h a t i s s i l e n t l y taken f o r granted. ( B e r g e r and Luckmann, 1 9 6 7 : 1 5 2 ) .  130  CHAPTER F I V E CONTRASTING CHARACTERISTICS OF STREET AND STRAIGHT PEOPLE The their and  c h a r a c t e r s p e r c e i v e d b y my i n f o r m a n t s a n d d e p i c t e d i n  stories  are clearly  Straight.  divided into  two m a i n g r o u p s :  Through c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n  Street  and s t e r e o t y p i n g ,  rigid  b o u n d a r i e s a r e c r e a t e d b e t w e e n them. V e r b a l m a n i p u l a t i o n s p e r f o r m e d by s t r e e t Johns base t h e i r  t e c h n i q u e on c u l t u r a l  square Johns' c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s . tainty  p e o p l e on s q u a r e  interpretations  Without the street  t h a t a mark i s , by d e f i n i t i o n ,  woman's c e r -  "greedy" and " s t u p i d " ,  c o u l d n o t have e l a b o r a t e d h e r method f o r h a n d l i n g h i m . sense, d e f i n i t i o n s  of the  s e r v e as i n t e r a c t i o n a l  In this  guidelines.  T h e r e a r e v i s i b l e b o u n d a r i e s b e t w e e n t h e two g r o u p s : speak and d r e s s d i f f e r e n t l y , different, objectively  their  lifestyle  she  they  t h e i r means o f l i v e l i h o o d a r e  i s different.  In addition to this  e v i d e n t c o n t r a s t , my i n f o r m a n t s a l s o p e r c e i v e a  corresponding ideal  s e p a r a t i o n : v a l u e s and l i f e  experience.  SQUARE JOHNS, ROUNDERS AND THE J A I L EXPERIENCE The to  Rumack  paragon of s t r a i g h t  life  i s the square John.  According  ( 1 9 7 2 ) , "a s q u a r e i s a p e r s o n who d o e s n o t p o s s e s s a  police  record."  More t h a n a s i m p l i s t i c d e f i n i t i o n ,  i t i s , by  street  s t a n d a r d s , an e r r o n e o u s o n e : t h e r e a r e " s q u a r e s " i n j a i l ,  131  and t h e r e a r e " s q u a r e " c r i m e s . c o n v i c t e d o f i t , I would is  Were I t o commit a f r a u d a n d be  n o t i p s o f a c t o change s i d e s .  much more t h a n a l e g a l d e f i n i t i o n , b u t j a i l  Squareness  experience i s  c e r t a i n l y an i m p o r t a n t f a c t o r i n d e t e r m i n i n g t h e c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of  both  groups.  E v e n more t h a n c r i m e s t y p i c a l l y c o m m i t t e d  by square  Johns,  t h e r e a r e a l s o s q u a r e c r i m i n a l s , who do n o t l i v e on t h e s t r e e t , who a r e m a r r i e d , h a v e c h i l d r e n a n d l e a d a c o n v e n t i o n a l l i f e . T h e i r way o f t h i n k i n g , e x p l a i n s Dee, " i s d i f f e r e n t f r o m o u r s . Their l i f e  i s t h e same a s y o u r s , y e t t h e y know a way o f o u r s .  Like, it's  mixed  between t h e two."  S i n c e n o t p o s s e s s i n g a p o l i c e r e c o r d i s o n l y an o f f i c i a l r e c o g n i t i o n and s a n c t i o n o f a c e r t a i n t y p e o f b e h a v i o u r , i t i s n o t s u r p r i s i n g t h a t i t s h o u l d n o t p l a y an e x c l u s i v e p a r t i n t h e d e f i n i t i o n of a square. John's  I t m u s t a l s o be u n d e r s t o o d t h a t a  lack of involvement i n i l l e g a l  activities  square  i snot  n e c e s s a r i l y due t o h i s h o n e s t y : many s t r e e t p e o p l e may s e e h i m as s i m p l y c a r e f u l o r p u s i l l a n i m o u s .  The l a w f u l n e s s o f h i s c o n -  d u c t i s c e r t a i n l y one o f t h e f a c t o r s w h i c h but Rumack s p r i v a t i v e d e f i n i t i o n 1  a l s o p a r t i a l l y unfounded. comprehensive  serve t o d e f i n e him,  i s not only i n s u f f i c i e n t ,  Letkeman's d e f i n i t i o n  i t is  i s much more  s i n c e i t r e g a r d s l i f e s t y l e as a most i m p o r t a n t  component: C r i m i n a l s u s e t h e t e r m " s q u a r e " t o r e f e r t o (1) t h e c o n v e n t i o n a l c i t i z e n c o m m i t t e d t o t h e l e g i t i m a t e l i f e s t y l e , a n d who i s s t a b l e and r e l i a b l e , a n d (2) t h e o n e - t i m e o f f e n d e r o t h e r w i s e committed t o a l e g i t i m a t e l i f e s t y l e (Letkeman 1971:110).  132  To t h e s q u a r e J o h n ,  t h e s t r e e t u s u a l l y opposes t h e rounder.  T h i s l i n g u i s t i c o p p o s i t i o n between t h e terms s e r v e s t o i l l u s t r a t e a c u l t u r a l o p p o s i t i o n a l m o s t a s v i s u a l l y a s B l a c k a n d W h i t e do for other The  groups. person  "out o f l i n e "  i s n o r m a l l y d e f i n e d as a " d e v i a n t " ;  h o w e v e r , t h e power o f n a m i n g a n d d e f i n i n g h a s b e e n g r a n t e d t o t h o s e who, i n t h i s c a s e , a r e t h e m s e l v e s  "straight".  H o n e s t f o l k g i v e names t o t h i n g s , a n d t h e t h i n g s b e a r t h e s e names ... I am aware t h a t h o n e s t p e o p l e a r e a l s o o b j e c t s t o each o t h e r . I am g i v e n names ... B u t i f I am named, I name in turn. T h u s , n a m i n g a n d b e i n g named, I l i v e d i n a s t a t e of r e c i p r o c i t y . Words a r e t h r o w n a t me, I c a t c h them a n d t h r o w them a t o t h e r s ( S a r t r e 1 9 6 3 : 4 0 - 4 1 ) . The  s t r a i g h t n a m i n g p r o c e s s makes t h e o b j e c t w h a t it''- h a s  b e e n named - i n t h i s c a s e a " d e v i a n t " , a " c r i m i n a l " .  By t h i s  naming, " t h e i r f a i l i n g s and e r r o r s a r e t r a n s f o r m e d i n t o a p e r manent p r e d i s p o s i t i o n , t h a t i s i n t o a d e s t i n y " ( S a r t r e  1963:34).  T h e r e i s no t r u e n a m i n g r e c i p r o c i t y b e t w e e n s t r a i g h t a n d s t r e e t people.  S t r e e t naming i s a l m o s t p o w e r l e s s  morphose s t r a i g h t p e o p l e  t o a f f e c t and meta-  into their definition.  L i t e r a l l y and  m e t a p h o r i c a l l y , s t r a i g h t p e o p l e a r e seldom reached by t h e l a n guage o f t h e s t r e e t . Y e t , t h e y must a c k n o w l e d g e t h e name g i v e n t o them b y s t r e e t p e o p l e as t h e d e r o g a t o r y term and t h e b r a n d i n g mechanism i t i s . And  t h e y must a l s o a c c e p t t h e name g i v e n t o t h e m s e l v e s  people as a s e l f - p r a i s i n g d e f i n i t i o n . i d e a s and w o r l d v i e w , l i n e and c i r c l e :  Dundes  by s t r e e t  I n t h i s a r t i c l e on f o l k  (1971) d i s c u s s e s t h e o p p o s i t i o n o f  the positive connotation of l i n e a r i t y ,  in the expressions "straight"  talk, getting  evident  "straightened" outor  133  " s q u a r e d " away a f t e r h a v i n g g o t " o u t o f l i n e " negative connotation of the c i r c l e , sions " c i r c u l a r " "going around  reasoning,  in circles".  i s opposed  to the  a l s o evident i n the expres-  "roundabout"  ways o f s p e a k i n g ,  B u t he p o i n t s o u t a r e c e n t r e v e r s a l  of these connotations. R e c e n t l y , t h e l i n e v e r s u s t h e c i r c l e o p p o s i t i o n has t a k e n a new t u r n . I t has been r e s t a t e d i n terms o f s t r a i g h t v e r s u s groovy. C u r v e s mean " c u r v a c e o u s " a n d s e x ; l i n e s mean " s t r a i g h t " o r " s q u a r e " and t h e d e n i a l o f s e x . There i s a movement away f r o m t h e " s t r a i g h t and n a r r o w " t o w a r d s t h e " g r o o v y and b r o a d " (Dundes 1 9 7 1 : 9 9 ) . Thus i t i s n o t s u r p r i s i n g t h a t s t r e e t p e o p l e h a v e d e f i n e d s i d e r s a s s t r a i g h t p e o p l e and  s q u a r e J o h n s , and  insiders  outas  rounders. A r o u n d e r i s "someone who s a i d Dee  who  has b u s i n e s s on t h e  d e s c r i b e d those i n the " f a s t l i f e "  street",  as p e o p l e  hang.around t h e C o r n e r , are i n t o d i f f e r e n t t h i n g s , a l w a y s on t h e go ... They a r e g e n e r a l l y R o u n d e r s . J u l i e has  who  are  them  h a n g a r o u n d i n b a r s , and y o u s e e them on t h e s t r e e t as w e l l . And t h e y p r o b a b l y know a l o t a b o u t w h a t ' s h a p p e n i n g , y o u know, i f y o u go up and t a l k t o them. A r e l a t i v e l y new-comer t o t h e s t r e e t , T i n y l i s t e d p e o p l e s e e n on t h e  as  straight  street:  t r i c k s , m a r k s , common s h o p p e r s . They're n o t even t h e r e ! And rounders. They know e v e r y t h i n g . But t h e y ' r e not i n v o l v e d . Y e t , i f t h e i r degree unanimously  a g r e e d u p o n , t h e y a r e h o w e v e r u n i f o r m l y t h o u g h t t o be  knowledgeable worthy. street:  o f p a r t i c i p a t i o n and commitment i s n o t  a b o u t t h e ways o f t h e s t r e e t , and u s u a l l y  trust-  F o r Snow and J o , r o u n d e r s a r e t h e s u c c e s s f u l o n e s on  the  134  You know, t h e r e a r e p e o p l e o u t t h e r e c o l l e c t i n g pop b o t t l e s . And t h e r e ' s t h e o n e s t h a t a r e m a k i n g h u n d r e d s and t h o u s a n d s o f d o l l a r s a day. Those a r e t h e r o u n d e r s . When I a s k e d them i f t h e y w e r e r o u n d e r s , t h e y a n s w e r e d after  the b r i e f e s t  yes o n l y  hesitation.  Rumack d e f i n e s t h e r o u n d e r  as  A p e r s o n who has s p e n t t i m e i n j a i l o r who i s e n g a g e d i n an illegal activity. A l l t h e g i r l s whom I met c o n s i d e r e d thems e l v e s Rounders. Only Brandy,  among my  definition.  For her, rounders are simply " c r i m i n a l s "  "top  men The  i n f o r m a n t s , would  a r e t h o s e who participation  don't get  agree w i t h h i s narrow  who  in illegal  activities  and  jail  i n the d e f i n i t i o n of "rounders", except perhaps  has s p e n t h a l f  her l i f e  the  caught".  o n c e a g a i n , i s n o t s e e n by t h e i n f o r m a n t s a s f i g u r i n g antly  and  in jail.  terms, predominf o r Brandy  However, t h e f a c t t h a t a l l  Rumack's i n f o r m a n t s c l a i m r o u n d e r s t a t u s i s q u i t e s i g n i f i c a n t . H e r e a g a i n , L e t k e m a n s d e f i n i t i o n seems much more p e r t i n e n t : 1  The m o s t common d i s t i n c t i o n made by t h e o f f e n d e r i s b e t w e e n t h e " r o u n d e r " and t h e " s q u a r e " ( o r " s q u a r e - j o h n " ) . " R o u n d e r " , h o w e v e r , has d i f f e r e n t c o n n o t a t i o n t h a n "criminal". S i m p l y t o be l a b e l l e d a c r i m i n a l by t h e c o u r t does n o t c o n f e r rounder s t a t u s . To be a r o u n d e r one m u s t be known a n d r e c o g n i z e d a s o n e , b y o t h e r r o u n d e r s and b y p e r s o n s s e r i o u s l y committed t o the i l l e g i t i m a t e l i f e s t y l e . In f a c t , i n m a t e s o f p r i s o n s r e f e r t o some o t h e r i n m a t e s as " s q u a r e s " (1971:110). Bugsy's d e f i n i t i o n o f a rounder e x p l a i n s the p r e s t i g e ferred  by t h e  con-  title:  Someone who's b e e n a r o u n d a l o n g t i m e , knows t h e s t r e e t up and down, knows who a r e t h e c o p s . They a r e s o l i d p e o p l e : t h e y don't r a t out t o t h e cops, t h e y don't have t o I Rumack's and L e t k e m a n ' s d e f i n i t i o n s  are important here s i n c e  they  135  are Canadian d e f i n i t i o n s ,  an e x c e p t i o n i n a  predominantly  American f i e l d o f s t u d y , and s i n c e t h e y r e f l e c t t h e t e r m i n o l o g y u s e d i n two l a r g e C a n a d i a n c i t i e s .  The i n f o r m a n t s  themselves  s t r e s s t h e f a c t t h a t American and Canadian terms v a r y . If it  Rumack's d e f i n i t i o n w e r e a d e q u a t e , he w o u l d h a r d l y  necessary  t o mention t h a t a l l h i s informants  " c o n s i d e r e d them-  s e l v e s Rounders", s i n c e as p r o s t i t u t e s j u s t o u t o f j a i l would a u t o m a t i c a l l y q u a l i f y f o r t h e t i t l e .  feel  they  What t h e s t a t e m e n t  i n d i c a t e s i s t h e p r e s t i g e a t t a c h e d t o t h e term  and t h e eagerness  of  people."  i n f o r m a n t s t o be i d e n t i f i e d w i t h t h e " s o l i d In  t h e d a y s when "dope f i e n d s " w e r e d e s p i s e d e x c e p t i o n s a n d  c r i m i n a l s w e r e p r o f e s s i o n a l s - f o u r o r f i v e d e c a d e s ago i n V a n c o u v e r - t h e d i s t i n c t i o n was c l e a r l y made. Sal,  Jackson's  According to Old  o l d timer addict:  P o l i c e g a v e u s t h a t name, c h a r a c t e r s . I n them d a y s we was people. F o l k s was s q u a r e s a n d we was p e o p l e . The p o l i c e had a l o t o f r e s p e c t f o r t h e c h a r a c t e r s , t h e y o n l y r o d e t h e p e o p l e t h a t s h o t d o p e . C h a r a c t e r s t e n d e d t o t h e i r own b u s i n e s s ( J a c k s o n 1972:72) . Jail  i s a part of street l i f e  a n d , a s s u c h may c o u n t  little  as a f o r m a l m a r k e r , n o t a s much a s b e i n g a h y p e d o e s , f o r instance. its  I t o n l y bestows t h e t i t l e  o f "con" o r "ex-con",  with  c o n n o t a t i o n o f p a r t i c u l a r e x p e r i e n c e a n d m e m b e r s h i p i n an  additional subculture. either i n j a i l , jail,  B u t , f o r m o s t s t r e e t p e o p l e , one i s  has been i n j a i l ,  and t h e c o n t i n u i t y o f l i f e  sage i n j a i l ,  however u n p l e a s a n t  not change p e o p l e , t h e i r  or w i l l  probably  i s n o t broken  s o o n be i n  through  t h e pas-  t h e e x p e r i e n c e may b e .  lifestyle,  I t does  t h e i r v a l u e s as r a d i c a l l y a s ,  136  for  i n s t a n c e a g a i n , b e i n g a hype does.  Brandy,  says:  " I g o t a good home i n t h e s t r e e t , b u t j a i l  life;  i t doesn't  faze  an o l d t i m e i s p a r t of  me."  Not o n l y i s j a i l  i n many c a s e s a n e c e s s a r y  physical  r e s p i t e , b u t i s a l s o s t r e n g t h e n s b o n d s by a d d i n g an e x t r a s i o n t o group  inclusion.  if  superficial  is  l a t e r met  J u l i e mentioned  t h e " f a c t s and  of the  "relaxed  (1969:8) s e e a s b e i n g  f o l k l o r e " of the h e r o i n user's  street.  Since a stay i n j a i l itions,  s e v e r a l t i m e s t h e warm  on t h e s t r e e t , a r e s u l t p r e s u m a b l y  c e n t e r e d around on t h e  dimen-  f e e l i n g e x p e r i e n c e d when someone known " i n h e r e "  s o c i a l i z a t i o n " w h i c h P r e b l e and C a s e y  life  con,  figures extensively i n straight  one must remember t h a t c o n c e r n w i t h t h e l e g a l i t y  one's a c t i o n s i s i n d e e d a t y p i c a l l y people's i n i t i a l  straight notion.  encounter w i t h the c r i m i n a l  of  The  justice  defin-  street  system i s  o f t e n r e d u c e d t o b e i n g " h a s s l e d " o r b e i n g " b u s t e d " , and t h i s w e l l be how  t h e y d e f i n e t h e b o r d e r between a c t i v i t i e s  l a w f u l (and o n l y c a u s e unlawful The  y o u t o be h a s s l e d ) a n d  (and e n a b l e them t o b u s t common b e l i e f  that  those that  are  are  you).  " t h e r e ' s a law f o r t h e r i c h  a l s o t h e s t r a i g h t ] and a l a w f o r t h e p o o r p e o p l e ] " perhaps  that  may  [and a l s o  [and  street  l e a d s t o t h e i n e p t i t u d e o r i n d i f f e r e n c e o f some  women a t p r o t e c t i n g t h e m s e l v e s .  I t i s true that l i k e  i n f o r m a n t s , whose k n o w l e d g e o f t h e r e q u i r e m e n t s o f t h e e n a b l e d them t o m a n i p u l a t e t h e f o r m a t  Stoddart's law  of t h e i r t r a n s a c t i o n s ,  women i n t e r v i e w e d a r e i n f o r m e d o f t h e l e g a l  technicalities  the  137  surrounding As  the  possession  o f n a r c o t i c s and  p r o s t i t u t e s , however, a l l but  one  trafficking  i n drugs.  misunderstood t h e i r l e g a l  status. B u g s y , f o r i n s t a n c e , a f t e r e i g h t y e a r s as does not  r e a l l y know w h a t p a r t o f h e r  delinquency. the  She  d i d not  charges against  "soliciting". the o f f e n c e ,  She  p r o s t i t u t e s changed from "vagrancy" believes that  f a r as  she  her  c l i e n t s , minds her  The  many t a c t i c s u s e d by women ( L a y t o n  own  the  i s c o n c e r n e d , she  b u s i n e s s and  p r o t e c t themselves from the  law  195.1  when  to  " s o l i c i t i n g " , which i s i n f a c t  i n Canada.  the wording of a r t i c l e  her  a l t e r h e r modus o p e r a n d i i n 19 72  our  for  t r a n s a c t i o n s causes  means " s e l l i n g y o u r b o d y f o r s e x " , As  a prostitute,  a l e g a l endeav"propositions"  h o p e s t o be  alone.  1 9 7 5 : 1 9 7 , 201-202)  o r e v e n t o t r y and  of the  left  to  operate w i t h i n  C r i m i n a l Code on  soliciting  p u r p o s e o f p r o s t i t u t i o n , h a v e b e e n so u n s u c c e s s f u l  definite bitterness is felt accused of  against  "turning everything  t h e p o l i c e , who  around" i n t h e i r  are  that  a  moreover  testimony.  CONTRASTING L I F E S T Y L E S More t h a n by their  involvement i n c r i m i n a l a c t i v i t i e s  legitimate occupations,  f e r e n t i a t e d and are  their  contrasted  s e e n as e n g a g e d i n t h e  jobs. equally  Their  social  life  by  s t r e e t and the  dreary  and  life  or  s t r a i g h t people are  they lead.  r o u t i n e s of  t h e i r pleasures  dif-  Square Johns  "nine-to-five" are perceived  as  dull: o  S t r a i g h t p e o p l e , y o u know, t h e y go o u t o n c e a week, t w i c e a week f o r d i n n e r , t o t h e b a r s f o r a few d r i n k s , and t h e y s i t a t home and w a t c h T.V. We're downtown a l l t h e t i m e , you  138  know, a n d t h e r e ' s n o t h i n g anything! (Sue)  b i g . adoout g o i n g  As w e l l a s s t r e s s i n g t h e l a c k l u s t e r  f o r a drink or  s q u a r e way o f l i f e , t h e  i n a b i l i t y o f s t r e e t p e o p l e t o c o p e w i t h t h e demands o f a s t r a i g h t occupation  was a l s o m e n t i o n e d .  Moreover, i f they  are heroin  a d d i c t s , a s s o many o f them a r e , t h e y  cannot support  on  a f f o r d t o be a j u n k i e o n a  a straight salary.  job.  They m i g h t h o l d a j o b , b u t t h e y ' d  thing"  need t o b o o s t ,  habit  o r some-  (Dee). The  to  "They c o u l d n ' t  their  pace o f s t r e e t l i f e ,  as w e l l , would n o t a l l o w a j u n k i e  hold the conventional "nine-to-five." You c a n ' t s t a y s t a b i l i z e d a s a s t r a i g h t j o b a n d b e , y o u know, r u n n i n g downtown and s c o r i n g , p l u s t h e f a c t t h a t t h e money i s n ' t e n o u g h ... Y o u ' d h a v e t o h a v e a h i g h p a y i n g j o b , a n d you c o u l d n ' t h o l d i t , n o t r u n n i n g around l o o k i n g f o r t h e people t h a t you need. (Julie)  Instead,  she e x p l a i n s ,  I f y o u ' r e h o o k i n g a n d y o u ' r e u s i n g , y o u go o u t a n d make money h a l f way t h r o u g h t h e n i g h t , s c o r e f o r t h e m o r n i n g , c o n t i n u e working. So t h a t when y o u wake up i n t h e d a y t i m e , y o u ' d h a v e stuff tof i x . One o n l y h a s t o l i s t e n t o B u g s y d e s c r i b e how s h e s p e n d s h e r day  t o understand the t o t a l  i n c o m p a t i b i l i t y o f t h e two  life-  styles : I d o my f i r s t t r i c k , t h e n I s c o r e . I f i x , t h e n I do a n o t h e r t r i c k , a n d t h e n I s c o r e two c a p s a n d f i x . E v e r y t r i c k I d o , I score. I s p e n d a l l my money u n l e s s I'm l o a d e d enough t h a t I want t o h o l d on, so t h a t I can buy a c o u p l e o f caps t o t a k e home. U s u a l l y a t t h e e n d o f t h e n i g h t , I h a v e a b o u t $12 0 a n d I s c o r e e n o u g h t o t a k e home. I u s u a l l y q u i t around s i x i n the morning. 1  J u l i e , i n s p i t e o f h e r f i r m s t a n d on t h e i m p r o p r i e t y o f t h e e x p r e s s i o n " t o do a t r i c k " ( s e e p. 105) w o u l d n e v e r c h a l l e n g e B u g s y ' s - r i g h t , a f t e r e i g h t y e a r s on t h e s t r e e t , t o s a y w h a t e v e r she p l e a s e s . Rules of l i n g u i s t i c d i s c r i m i n a t i o n are f o r outsiders . 1  139  The Yet,  she  men  she m e e t s i n t h e  clearly  shows t h e  reasons f o r being  on  the  e a r l y morning are  a l l straight.  d i f f e r e n c e between t h e i r " s t r a i g h t "  s t r e e t at that time,  and  hers.  T h e r e a r e p e o p l e who d r i v e a l l t h e t i m e : g u y s who w o r k l a t e a t n i g h t , o r g u y s who come i n t o t o w n , l o g g e r s o r s o m e t h i n g , o r g u y s who h a v e b e e n o u t f o r s o m e t h i n g t o e a t , o r h a v e b e e n at a party or something. T h e r e a r e f o u r o r f i v e o f us a t t h a t time of n i g h t . Often the  f e a r of the  m e n t i o n e d t o me. and  Julie's  is,  Yet,  she  w i t h p e o p l e " e a t i n g and  us,  was  by i t  "mugged o r r a p e d , o r s o m e t h i n g " , i f s t r e s s e s how sleeping, like  a l s o c a n n o t s t r e s s enough t h a t To  s t r a i g h t people  s t r a i g h t p a r e n t s were t e r r i f i e d  thought they would get  t h e y went " t h e r e " .  s t r e e t f e l t by  i t ' s normal, i t ' s our  "we  "normal" s t r e e t  everywhere e l s e ! "  t h i n k of our  n o r m a l way  of  life  life  as  Dee  normal.  life."  They l i v e on t h e s t r e e t b e c a u s e t h e y do b u s i n e s s t h e r e , t h e i r f r i e n d s a r e on t h e s t r e e t , and t h a t ' s t h e i r b i g l i v i n g room. (Dee) To  the  straight life  described  by  Sue,  Dee  opposes t h a t of  the  hypes: They l i k e t h e e x c i t e m e n t t h a t ' s on t h e C o r n e r , t h e y l i k e n i g h t l i f e , t h e y l i k e t h e e x c i t e m e n t ... They l i k e t h e excitement of being e i t h e r a d e a l e r or a j u n k i e , of p l a y i n g c a t and mouse w i t h t h e b u l l s . You've g o t t o l i k e a l l t h i s t o become a h y p e . To be a r e a l j u n k i e , y o u ' v e g o t t o l i k e i t , b e c a u s e i f y o u d o n ' t , y o u ' l l n e v e r make i t down t h e r e . As  one  of Coutts'  robbers,  an  exciting life,  i n comparison!" Agar  (Coutts  and  how  "A r e a l  "assume t h e  a d d i c t as t h e  live  game o f c o p s  tame e v e r y t h i n g  e l s e must  and be  1961:101).  (1973:1) r e f e r s t o p r e v i o u s  which mostly the  matrons admits:  s t u d i e s of  social psychological  p r o b l e m t o be  explained"  and  addiction  failure  status  challenges  of  this  140  assumption.  P r e b l e and  does not p r o v i d e  C a s e y go  f o r i t s lower  f r o m t h e p s y c h o l o g i c a l and ghetto  life."  further s t i l l .  c l a s s users  F o r them, h e r o i n  "a e u p h o r i c  escape  s o c i a l problems which d e r i v e  I t p r o v i d e s , on  the  from  contrary,  a m o t i v a t i o n and r a t i o n a l e f o r t h e p u r s u i t o f a m e a n i n g f u l l i f e , a l b e i t a s o c i a l l y d e v i a n t one. The a c t i v i t i e s t h e s e i n d i v i d u a l s engage i n and t h e r e l a t i o n s h i p s t h e y h a v e i n t h e c o u r s e o f t h e i r q u e s t f o r h e r o i n a r e f a r more i m p o r t a n t t h a n t h e m i n i m a l a n a l g e s i c and e u p h o r i c e f f e c t s o f t h e s m a l l amount o f h e r o i n a v a i l a b l e t o them ( P r e b l e and C a s e y 1969: 21) . VALUES AND  ATTITUDES  Some c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s o f t h e two than others  by t h e  straight world grey  informants.  S t r e e t and  s t a n t l y o p p o s e d and best.  The  into stereotypes  Their values  no d o u b t was  left  t r a s t e d p r o t a g o n i s t s were d e s c r i b e d  ignorance,  f r e e d o m and  g e n e r o s i t y and  In o p p o s i t i o n to the unlawfulness  of the  constraints in their and  and  lack  the - about  i n almost  every  a t t i t u d e s were con-  t h a t s t r e e t ways w e r e  e s s e n t i a l d i f f e r e n c e s b e t w e e n t h e two  q u a l i t y of t h e i r l i f e :  and  the  qualified.  s t r a i g h t p e o p l e were c o n t r a s t e d  of t h e i r a c t i v i t i e s .  defined  l e s s w e l l known -  more f a m i l i a r - t h e s t r e e t w o r l d  w h i c h s t a t e m e n t s were u s u a l l y  one  What was  - tended to f a l l  s h a d e s o f w h a t was  groups were b e t t e r  as t o u c h i n g  the  c o n s t a n t l y conon t h e  basic  c o n s t r a i n t , competence  and  greed. secure  square Johns,  s t r e e t people's occupations  d i c t a t e s many  life,  t h e need f o r p r i v a c y .  sedentary  and  such as the r e q u i r e m e n t of m o b i l i t y  the  141  M o s t p e o p l e d o n ' t l i k e t o o many p e o p l e k n o w i n g w h e r e t h e y ' r e s t a y i n g ... People that you're close to or you're f r i e n d s w i t h , t h e y u s u a l l y know w h e r e y o u l i v e ... Like, j u s t everyb o d y on t h e s t r e e t w o u l d n ' t know w h e r e I was l i v i n g , and y e t t h e r e r e m i g h t be t e n p e o p l e t h a t know w h e r e I am. Like, a l l t h e p e o p l e t h a t buy o f f me, t h e r e ' s a few t h a t know w h e r e I l i v e , b u t m o s t l y , I show up when I show up! 1  You move o f t e n , j u s t t o k e e p a h e a d o f t h e p o l i c e and t o o many p e o p l e g e t t o know w h e r e I l i v e and t h e y ' r e c o m i n g a l l h o u r s of the n i g h t ( t h a t ' s i f you're a d e a l e r ) . Lots of people l i v e i n rooms on a m o n t h l y b a s i s , o r w e e k l y . (Dee) This  f r e e d o m o f movement i s a c c o m p a n i e d  f r o m many c o n v e n t i o n a l in direct contrast bour's opinion  c o n s t r a i n t s w h i c h was  by an  sometimes  t o the square Johns' concern w i t h  and h i s f e a r o f s t e p p i n g  independence  over the  expressed  h i s neigh-  conventional  boundaries of s t r a i g h t p r o p r i e t y . L i k e y o u , f o r i n s t a n c e , i f y o u t h o u g h t : "Oh, g e e z , I t h i n k I'd l i k e t o t a t t o o ! " You'd t h i n k : " W e l l , maybe t h e woman n e x t d o o r w o u l d t h i n k I'm ..." Where t h e c o n d o e s n ' t t h i n k t h a t , y o u know. " H e l l w i t h t h e p e r s o n o r w h a t he t h i n k s ! I f he d o e s n ' t l i k e i t , t h a t ' s my arm!" (Dee) Dee was not  the f i r s t  necessarily  t o a d m i t t h a t e v e r y o n e on t h e C o r n e r  " s m a r t " , b u t she saw  t h e ways o f t h e s t r e e t t o s u r v i v e even i f t h e y were not l i k e ient".  In opposition  them a l l c o m p e t e n t  and e n j o y t h e i r  t h e "good  j u n k i e " who  t o t h i s k n o w l e d g e , we  was  enough i n  lifestyle, i s "self  suffic-  f i n d the square  John's i g n o r a n c e . A s q u a r e J o h n w a l k i n g down t h e s t r e e t c o u l d n ' t p i c k f o u r hypes out o f a dozen. I f t h e r e ' s a d o z e n p e o p l e t h e r e and f o u r o f them a r e h y p e , y o u w o u l d n ' t be a b l e t o p i c k them o u t . A n o t h e r h y p e w o u l d p i c k them o u t ! (Dee) She a l s o d e s c r i b e d  a woman s h o p p e r w a l k i n g down t h e s t r e e t :  She w a l k s w i t h h e r a t t e n t i o n on h e r s e l f , she i s n o t i n t e r e s t e d i n p e o p l e a r o u n d h e r ... a h y p e w o u l d b e ! She o n l y l o o k s a t shop w i n d o w s .  142  Snow, i n c o n t r a s t , d e s c r i b e d a h y p e , f o r e v e r a n x i o u s n o t t o a n y t h i n g , and  i n d i c a t e d t o t h e u n i t i a t e d how  miss  being attentive  and  observant u s u a l l y pays o f f : I f y o u d o n ' t l o o k , y o u ' r e gonna m i s s s o m e t h i n g . Like, I n o t i c e someone l u r k i n g i n a d o o r w a y and I t h i n k : "What's t h a t guy? I s he l o o k i n g f o r a g i r l o r i s he: ..." I was watching. "He's up t o s o m e t h i n g ! So, I ' l l j u s t w a t c h h i m f o r a w h i l e . " And, s u r e e n o u g h ! You know, l i k e , s a y p r i o r t o t h a t I had money and I was g o n n a , s a y , buy some d o p e , right? But I j u s t h e l d back. I wanted t o watch t h i s person. S u r e e n o u g h , some t r a f f i c k e r comes by and t h a t guy jumps on t o p o f h i m w i t h a n o t h e r p a r t n e r ! Of n o w h e r e , r i g h t ? " When t h i s p l a i n  i g n o r a n c e o f s t r e e t mores and  read clues express themselves,  the i n a b i l i t y  t h e y t a k e on a n o t h e r  to  quality:  I g n o r a n t means o b n o x i o u s . S t r a i g h t people are i g n o r a n t t o your k i n d of l i f e , t o the s t r e e t scene. They d o n ' t know a n y t h i n g about i t . (Sugar) " I g n o r a n t means o b n o x i o u s " statement The  i s the s t r e e t v e r s i o n of the  t h a t " i g n o r a n c e o f t h e l a w i s no  excuse".  l a c k o f k n o w l e d g e and u n d e r s t a n d i n g l e a d s t o  "obnoxious"  behaviour.  This behaviour  straight  itself  an  i s s e e n as " i g n o r -  ant . "  2  I g n o r a n t c o p s : t h e y h a v e no m a n n e r s a t a l l ! They s a y "There's a p r o s t i t u t e " , or "There's a s l u t " , o r something stupid like that." (Bugsy) E q u a l l y i g n o r a n t a r e some p o l i c e m e n reported. y o u r own  t o whom f r e a k s a r e  "Most o f them j u s t l a u g h a t y o u fault  f o r being a p r o s t i t u t e ! "  S t r a i g h t people's established.  i g n o r a n c e and  and  "Well,i t ' s  (Bugsy)  obnoxious  T h e i r main c h a r a c t e r i s t i c ,  say  behaviour  however, i s not  i s well that,  0 n e i s reminded of the j a n i t o r s ' " i g n o r a n t " t e n a n t s , the " U n t r a i n a b l e s " who w e r e n o t r e a r e d p r o p e r l y ( G o l d 1 9 6 4 : 2 4 ) . 2  143  but greed.  Greed  i s i n d e e d w h a t c a u s e s them t o become m a r k s .  mark i s d e f i n e d by M a u r e r  (1940:119) a s someone who  " l a r c e n y i n h i s v e i n s " , who a man  must h a v e  wants something f o r n o t h i n g .  h a s money, he i s a c o n man's i d e a l p r e y .  A  I f such  Klockars'  e x p e r t , Swaggi, draws from h i s e x p e r i e n c e t o c o n f i r m  this  assessment: Any May can it  h u s t l e r c a n t e l l y o u t h a t 9 o u t o f 10 p e o p l e g o t l a r c e n y . be e v e n 99 o u t o f 100 ... I f t h e p r i c e i s r i g h t and a man use t h e m e r c h a n d i s e , h e ' s g o n n a buy. No q u e s t i o n a b o u t ( K l o c k a r s 1974:62).  I n my men. My  e x p e r i e n c e , women h a v e j u s t as much l a r c e n y i n them as May be more ( K l o c k a r s 1 9 7 4 : 4 9 ) . i n f o r m a n t s a r e unanimous about t h e t r u t h o f s t a t e m e n t s  s u c h as t h e s e .  Dee,  t a l k i n g about b o o s t i n g , s a i d  any p r o b l e m s e l l i n g t h e s t o l e n m e r c h a n d i s e its  retail  price.  and b e e r p a r l o u r s . Especially  She  she n e v e r  a t a b o u t one t h i r d  of  c l a i m e d t o have s o l i c i t e d p e o p l e i n b a r s  " U s u a l l y p e o p l e w i l l buy  square Johns.  They're  from  [boosters].  g l a d t o g e t a good  deal!"  The women's e x p e r i e n c e w i t h s q u a r e J o h n s e x p l a i n s feelings,  had  their  s i n c e t h e y u s u a l l y e n t e r w i t h them i n t o a m u t u a l l y  exploitative relationship.  The  q u e s t i o n s a r e u n d e r l i n e d ) was  f o l l o w i n g d i a l o g u e (where  my  one o f s e v e r a l w h e r e t h e t e r m s  of  s t r a i g h t - s t r e e t t r a n s a c t i o n s were d e f i n e d . - What do t h e y want f r o m y o u ? -  ( B i t t e r l y ) A l l of us! company.  ...  I t depends,  sometimes t h e y want  - S o m e t i m e s t h e y j u s t w a n t t o be w i t h y o u and f i n d o u t how y o u l i v e , how t h e o t h e r h a l f l i v e s , how y o u ' r e d o i n g . - Like  me!  144  - You know, t h e y  do!  They s a y : "we're o b s e r v i n g y o u . "  - Some j u s t w a n t a p a r t y . - Some want ... L i k e I s a i d , company. b a r s , y o u know?  Company i n t o  clubs,  - I f t h e p r i c e i s r i g h t , a r e y o u w i l l i n g t o g i v e them w h a t t h e y w a n t ? Or w i l l y o u a l w a y s t r y t o g i v e a l i t t l e l e s s f o r t h e same money? - I always t r y t o get a l i t t l e  b i t more!  - More money, r a t h e r t h a n g i v e  less?  -  Right!  - W e l l , I d o n ' t l i k e t o g i v e a n y , r e a l l y , b u t i f I know t h e y ' v e g o t money a n d I know I c a n g e t money, I ' l l s t i c k w i t h them, y o u know. (Snow and J o ) They w a n t s o m e t h i n g , o r t h e y j u s t w a n t t o s c r e w me and d o n ' t w a n t t o g i v e me money ... T h e y ' r e t r y i n g t o do s o m e t h i n g ... (Jo) As J o and Snow i n d i c a t e , c u r i o s i t y a s w e l l a s g r e e d erly  speaking  prop-  may be t h e b a s i s f o r a mark o r a t r i c k ' s d e s i r e t o  p u r c h a s e t h e s e r v i c e s o r company o f s t r e e t women. ticularly  they  This i s par-  true f o r heroin addicts:  He w a n t e d t o w a t c h me ... He w a n t e d t o s e e , y o u know, t o see t h e w h o l e n i t t y g r i t t y r i g h t t h e r e , t h a t h e ' d h e a r d a b o u t a n d h e ' s s e e n on T.V. And t h e n , when I g o t i t , h i s eyes were j u s t b u l g i n g ! (Julie) J u l i e , who o f t e n met o l d e r men  "out f o r a good t i m e " ,  s t o r i e s a b o u t them a n d d e p i c t e d them r u b b i n g thinking with a lusty old  sneer:  told  t h e i r h a n d s and  "Well, Jesus C h r i s t !  There, the  l a d y ' s a t home, and I g e t me a y o u n g w h i p p e r s n a p p e r  here!"  To t h e s q u a r e J o h n ' s e x p l o i t a t i v e g r e e d , c u r i o s i t y o r l u s t i s opposed t o the rounder's g e n e r o s i t y . junkie's world,  In the context  of the  t h i s u s u a l l y means g i v i n g someone money t o s c o r e  145  or  dope t o f i x .  T h i s i s n o r m a l l y done f o r " f r i e n d s " , n o t f o r  "acquaintances" or  "associates".  I f s h e ' s good ... I mean n o t j u s t a n y b o d y , b u t p e o p l e I c o n s i d e r f r i e n d s , t h a t I know w o u l d do t h e same f o r me i f I was i n t h e same, y o u know ... (Jo) I f she had money and knew I d i d n ' t h a v e a n y , and I was g e t t i n g s i c k , s h e ' d s p l i t ... T h a t ' d be o u t o f f r i e n d s h i p . I ' v e done i t 101 t i m e s f o r h e r ! I'm a s u c k e r f o r f i x i n ' people! (Bugsy) T h i s o c c a s i o n a l w i l l i n g n e s s t o s h a r e m e n t i o n e d b y my mants does n o t however heroin users.  infor-  seem t o be t h e r u l e e v e r y w h e r e among  Yet, another f e e l i n g  i s sometimes  e x p r e s s e d , even  among p a r t n e r s : I'm l o o k i n g o u t f o r m y s e l f . I m i g h t be s i c k t o m o r r o w ; a n y way, h e ' s g o t s o m e t h i n g w o r k i n g f o r h i m t h a t I d o n ' t know a b o u t ( P r e b l e and C a s e y 1 9 6 8 : 8 ) . The ancy.  i n f o r m a n t s have n o t e x p l a i n e d t h i s a p p a r e n t d i s c r e p -  I w o u l d assume t h a t t h e more l i m i t e d means o f  livelihood  o p e n t o women ( p r o s t i t u t i o n b e i n g t h e one t o w h i c h t h e y most o f t e n r e s o r t ) and t h e i r u s u a l l y more r e s t r i c t e d c r i m i n a l a c t i v i t i e s may ent  her  f r i e n d s had  be v i s i b l e  appar-  "something working  them, t h e y w o u l d p r o b a b l y know a b o u t i t .  expressed i s genuine. to  a c c o u n t t o some e x t e n t f o r t h e i r  greater generosity: i f their  for"  involvement i n  Hence, t h e need  Moreover, the n e c e s s i t y f o r p r o s t i t u t e s  on t h e s t r e e t makes i t e a s y f o r t h e l e n d e r t o c l a i m  due when h e r t u r n comes t o be i n n e e d .  implied that the r e c i p r o c i t y of the g i f t  For i t i s always  i s expected.  T h e r e a p p e a r s t o be a c u r i o u s m i x t u r e o f d i s r e g a r d f o r s h o r t range needs, such as tomorrow's  f i x now  a v a i l a b l e and  given  away, and a l o n g r a n g e c o n c e r n f o r un-dated f u t u r e n e e d s , s u c h a s  146  some o t h e r d a y ' s  f i x l a c k i n g and e x p e c t e d b a c k .  Since  u s u a l l y l i v e v e r y much f o r t h e p r e s e n t , t h i s a p p a r e n t t i o n may  be an i n d i c a t i o n o f t h e i r  solidarity.  more t h a n an a p p a r e n t c o n t r a d i c t i o n , w h i l e t h e i r own  junkies contradic-  I t i s however  no  s i n c e t h i s l o a n i s made  needs a r e b e i n g s a t i s f i e d ,  the present i s taken  c a r e o f , and t h e f u t u r e seems f a r away. ADDICTS, NON-ADDICTS AND Not  TIME ORIENTATION  a l l s t r e e t p e o p l e a r e d r u g a d d i c t s , a l t h o u g h many o f  them do t a k e d r u g s .  Yet, users form the core of s t r e e t l i f e .  s t r o n g s o l i d a r i t y e x i s t s among them and t h e y h a v e now prestige until  r e c e n t l y d e n i e d t o them.  acquired a  A few d e c a d e s  c i t i z e n s and c r i m i n a l s b o t h f r o w n e d upon d r u g  A  ago,  good  addiction.  You d i d n ' t s h o o t dope b a c k i n them d a y s . I f y o u s h o t dope y o u was a s o r r y , r o t t e n , n o n - g o o d b i t c h , i t was s t r i c t l y u h - u h , y o u d i d n ' t s h o o t o r s n i f f dope o r a n y t h i n g . I f y o u d i d , y o u w a s n ' t no g o o d ( B i g S a l , q u o t e d i n J a c k s o n 1 9 7 2 : 7 2 ) . F i f t e e n y e a r s a g o , O a k a l l a had a s m a l l s e c t i o n r e s e r v e d f o r d r u g a d d i c t s who now  were s e p a r a t e d from t h e r e s t of t h e i n m a t e s .  form a l a r g e p r o p o r t i o n o f t h e j a i l  e s t i m a t e from " n e a r l y a l l "  became upon r e f l e c t i o n  a l s o form a r e c o g n i z e d group commented: "The  population.  and a c t as one.  One  Jo's  first  "70-80%."  They  s t a f f member  h y p e s a l w a y s p u t p r e s s u r e on e v e r y b o d y  hypes a r e b l o o d y b i g h e r o e s around here"! "  They  With the  ...  The  increased  number and t h e i n c r e a s e d p r e s t i g e and a c c e p t a n c e o f i t s members by o t h e r s t r e e t p e o p l e , t h e h e r o i n a d d i c t s u b c u l t u r e and i t s v a l u e s t e n d t o a f f e c t even n o n - u s i n g s t r e e t The  need t o l i v e e x c l u s i v e l y  familiars.  i n the present i s part of the  147  junkies'  life.  T h e i r n e e d s a r e p r e s s i n g and i m m e d i a t e .  " s t r a i g h t e n i n g o u t " p r o v i d e d by t h e drug r e s t o r e s peace and optimism. exclusively to f i x .  The  r e l i e v e s a n x i e t y and  The h a r d c o r e j u n k i e l i v e s  I once asked  almost  Bugsy, b a r e l y o u t o f h e r teens,,  whether she had any f u n . On t h e s t r e e t ? T h a t ' s h a r d t o s a y ... I f I w a s n ' t u s i n g , I b e l i e v e I c o u l d have a l o t o f f u n . B u t when I'm u s i n g , I d o n ' t h a v e a n y f u n . My m i n d ' s t o o s e t o n g e t t i n g money t o fix. That's i t ! As J o a n d Snow d e s c r i b e d t h e i r  h i t and r u n t e c h n i q u e s , i t  became e v i d e n t t h a t t h e y w e r e o n l y c o n c e r n e d profits those  and w e r e n o t r e a d y  r e q u i r e d some d e l a y .  b i g g e r now! belief  with  immediate  t o p l a n more p r o f i t a b l e  hustles i f  They j o k e d : " W e l l , o u r n e e d s a r e  Anyway, t h e r e ' s a l w a y s money a r o u n d  s h a r e d b y a l l my. i n f o r m a n t s .  ..."  This i s a  Marks a r e t h e r e f o r t h e  picking.  They w i l l  be t h e r e a g a i n t o m o r r o w , a n d a g a i n t h e y  provide.  A l l w i n d f a l l s a r e s e e n i n t h e same  will  light:  E v e r y b o d y , p r e t t y w e l l , i s on W e l f a r e . Oh, t h e d a y y o u g e t y o u r W e l f a r e c h e q u e , y o u go down a n d s c o r e 3-4 c a p s , a n d t h e n , y o u r W e l f a r e c h e q u e ' s gone a n d y o u d o n ' t w o r r y a g a i n f o r a n o t h e r month! I t ' s e a s y money f o r a d a y ... I t ' s a h o o k e r ' s d a y o f f ! (Dee) The anxious ing  f u t u r e i s not something j u n k i e s f e e l  t o delve into.  ability  often fatal. street, their  particularly  They f a c e r i p o f f s , b e a t i n g s , a d i m i n i s h -  t o p r o v i d e f o r t h e i r n e e d s , and o v e r d o s e s Based on t h e e x p e r i e n c e  they could only too w e l l  o f everyday  which a r e  l i f e on t h e  foresee a possible future of  own, a n d i t a p p e a r s t h a t t h e y w o u l d r a t h e r o v e r l o o k what  they can f o r e s e e .  Moreover, t h e drug  fixes  t h e i r mind on t h e  u r g e n c y o f t h e i r needs, and t h e immediacy o f s a t i s f a c t i o n .  148  Using p r o s t i t u t e s The  non-using  tend t o shrug o f f mention'of  the future.  p r o s t i t u t e s , on t h e o t h e r h a n d , a r e r e p u t e d b y my  i n f o r m a n t s t o h a v e a d i f f e r e n t a t t i t u d e , and t h i s d i f f e r e n t attitude  a p p e a r s t o be enough f o r t h e s t r e e t g r o u p t o a t t r i b u t e  t o them s t r a i g h t v a l u e s , i n s p i t e o f a l i f e s t y l e w h i c h o b s e r v e r might see as q u i t e  similar.  I t i s thought  a m b i t i o n i s t o g e t o f f t h e s t r e e t and, p o s s i b l y , girls.  Since c a l l g i r l s  are thought  non-using  almost  prostitutes  square,  t o have l e g i t i m a t e  i f not i n t h e i r l i f e s t y l e  occupa-  informants  and knowledge o f t h e  f o r s e c u r i t y and improved  work-  conditions. Dee b e l i e v e d  that  accompanied by a l i k i n g neither  ordinary  t h e i r a m b i t i o n t o become c a l l g i r l s i s of the l i f e s t y l e  she n o r h e r f r i e n d s  "They l i k e  that.  that  presumably -  know a n y c a l l g i r l s  street g i r l  doesn't  enjoy  - goes w i t h i t .  that."  of non-using  prostitutes  t h e i r assumed d e s i r e  t o b u i l d up a c l i e n t e l e .  are u s u a l l y  t o avoid  believed  indicated  For instance,  r i p p i n g o f f t h e i r customers.  t h e y n e e d e x t r a money, th.e_yare more l i k e l y t o t u r n trick.  They a l s o h a v e l i t t l e  they conduct  since  They e n j o y b e i n g w i n e d a n d d i n e d , w h e r e t h e  Julie's description  eye  their  i n t h e i r r o l e as a s p i r i n g c a l l g i r l s as  street, at least i n their desire ing  that  become c a l l  t i o n s a s w e l l , i t i s n o t s u r p r i s i n g t h a t m o s t o f my saw  a straight  t o do w i t h  fences.  an  If  extra  In other words,  t h e i r b u s i n e s s as l e g i t i m a t e l y as p o s s i b l e ,  with  t o improving t h e i r l o t . They a r e s a i d t o o b s e r v e  they  some o f t h e s t r e e t r u l e s o f  an  149  b e h a v i o u r b u t t h e y do n o t e n t i r e l y b e l o n g t o t h e s t r e e t .  Because  t h e i r o u t l o o k i s s e e n as b a s i c a l l y d i f f e r e n t t h e y c a n be  viewed  w i t h some s u s p i c i o n . Yeah, t h e y ' r e good, t h e y ' r e good about w a r n i n g . They're h e l p i n g ... B u t o n l y a s f a r a s t h e h e a t ' s c o n c e r n e d , and i f t h e y had a b a d t r i c k ... They d o n ' t l i k e j u n k i e s , m o s t o f them ... The u s e r s a r e v e r y l e e r y o f them. I mean, t h e y ' r e on t h e i r g u a r d . You know, t h e y ' r e n o t u s e r s , and you d o n ' t know w h e t h e r t h e y ' r e s i n c e r e l y h o o k i n g ... and t h e y c o u l d be watching everything, r i g h t ? (Julie) Because of t h e i r their different status i n the  l e s s e r involvement life  o r i e n t a t i o n , b o t h due  "drug scene",  assimilated to straight The  in criminal activities  and  to their outsider  non-addict p r o s t i t u t e s are  partly  people.  b a s i c o p p o s i t i o n b e t w e e n now  and  l a t e r , the present  and  the f u t u r e h e l p s t o d i s t i n g u i s h between the immediate concerns t h e s t r e e t and t h e p l a n n i n g o f t h e s t r a i g h t w o r l d . important to understand p r e s e n t a s i t may  i s the concept  be p e r c e i v e d by t h e  T h e r e seems t o e x i s t two  A normalized present i s satisfied  and  Language i n d i c a t e s t h a t b e i n g under  n e e d s t h e d r u g and one  F o r i n s t a n c e , one  "fixes"  i n order to  i s "sick" "straighten  To t h i s p r e s e n t r e i n s t a t e d by t h e d r u g i n t o n o r m a l i t y , t h e  s t r e e t opposes the concept where e v e r y t h o u g h t In the f i r s t and  the  opposite aspects of the present,  the i n f l u e n c e of h e r o i n i s normal.  out".  of  addicts.  c l e a r l y p e r c e i v e d , one w h e r e n e e d s a r e m o m e n t a r i l y  when one  But e q u a l l y  of a dichotomy  as i t i s l i v e d on t h e s t r e e t by a d d i c t s .  t h i n g s are again i n order.  of  o f a n o t h e r , almost anomic p r e s e n t ,  converges  on t h e r e g a i n i n g o f t h i s n o r m a l i t y .  c a s e , a l l needs a r e s a t i s f i e d  the immediate f u t u r e .  The  a d d i c t may  f o r the  present  t h e n r e v e r t t o what  150  Dundes d e s c r i b e s ,  i n opposition  t o the peasant c u l t u r e s  analyzed  by  Foster  in  a p r i n c i p l e o f u n l i m i t e d good, a c u l t u r e where p r e v a i l s t h e  belief  (1967), as t h e l a r g e r , North American c u l t u r e ' s  that  "there's  p l e n t y more w h e r e t h a t came f r o m "  belief  (Dundes  1971:96). I n t h e second c a s e , t h e need and t h e p r e s s u r e it  to satisfy  a r e such t h a t t h e a d d i c t can o n l y b e l i e v e t h e g l a r i n g e v i d e n c e  o f t h a t money, t h a t d o p e , t h a t t r i c k a s b e i n g a t o n c e be s t o l e n o r t u r n e d , fill  s i n c e no o t h e r  will  p r e s e n t y e a r n i n g s as f a s t as those would.  stand  t h e ones w h i c h must serve t o f u l l "You w o u l d u n d e r -  t h a t I'm s i c k a n d t h a t I n e e d t h a t money", e x p l a i n e d J o ' s  f r i e n d , and I b e l i e v e t h a t  i n d e e d w h a t i s meant i s n o t " I n e e d  money", b u t " I need^ t h a t money", w h e r e t h a t s i m p l y  means now.  STREET AND STRAIGHT V I L L A I N S Street f o l k l o r e provides one  street v i l l a i n ,  "rat",  are  t h e " r i p o f f " ; one m a r g i n a l v i l l a i n , t h e  sometime c l a s s i f i e d  villain,  four e a s i l y i d e n t i f y a b l e v i l l a i n s :  a s a n " a c e y - d u c e y " ; one s t r a i g h t  the "East Indian":  although v i l l a i n o u s c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s  a l s o f o u n d among a l l "bad t r i c k s " ,  the East Indian  i s t h e one  who e m b o d i e s them a l l i n a f a s i o n b e s t s u i t e d t o f u l f i l l t h e s t r e e t ' s sense o f h o r r o r  a n d drama; a n d t h e " n a r c " ,  or arch-  villain . The  Rip Off "Rip o f f s " a r e s t r e e t people.  p e o p l e who a r e " r i p p e d o f f " .  I t i s also usually street  The same a c t i o n p e r f o r m e d on a  151  s q u a r e J o h n i s more l i k e l y  t o be c a l l e d a r o b b e r y and no  u l a r stigma i s attached t o i t .  partic-  I n d e e d , on t h e c o n t r a r y , i f t h e  r o b b e r y i s p e r f o r m e d w i t h w i t and e l e g a n c e , o r a t l e a s t i m p e t u o s i t y and r e c k l e s s n e s s , i t becomes a t o p i c  with  for boasting.  A l t h o u g h a t r i c k c a n a l s o be r i p p e d o f f , t h e w o r d i s m o s t l y u s e d f o r s t r e e t p e o p l e : "When y o u t a l k a b o u t a s q u a r e J o h n , say you  "robbed" him"  a h e s i t a n t l a u g h : "You may  (Sue).  A few s e c o n d s  later,  r i p o f f y o u r f r i e n d s I"  Her  you  she a d d e d w i t h reservations  h a v e b e e n due t o t h e f a c t t h a t r i p o f f s , a l t h o u g h r e m a i n i n g  s t r e e t p e o p l e , c e a s e t o be  friends.  J o d e s c r i b e s w h a t she r e f e r s t o as h e r "code o f m o r a l ethics"  (her i n t o n a t i o n p u t s t h e words between q u o t a t i o n  marks):  L i k e , I won't t h i n k n o t h i n g o f t a k i n g f r o m a t r i c k o r something i n that type of s i t u a t i o n . Or b o o s t i n g i n s t o r e s •, o r i n a g e n e r a l con t h i n g . B u t I w o u l d n ' t t a k e f r o m my own kind. And I w o u l d n ' t r o b my f r i e n d s , a l t h o u g h my f r i e n d s s h o u l d u n d e r s t a n d ... You know, p e o p l e t e l l me: " I f y o u ' r e my f r i e n d , y o u s h o u l d u n d e r s t a n d t h a t I'm s i c k and t h a t I n e e d t h a t money." W e l l , y o u s h o u l d a s k me, and maybe I ' l l g i v e i t t o you! I w o u l d n ' t do t h a t b e c a u s e I c o u l d n e v e r go b a c k t o them. I ' d be t o o ashamed ... There's t i m e s I've got a w f u l l y desp e r a t e and I ' v e b e e n a w f u l l y c r a z y ... S t i l l , I haven't gone and r o b b e d by f r i e n d s ... And I ' v e done a l o t o f things! I f Bugsy's  s t o r y o f H a r r y and R o c k y  (pp. 125-126) i s  u n u s u a l l y s y m p a t h e t i c t o w a r d s them, i t i s p r o b a b l y because  they  r i p p e d o f f t h e "guys f r o m t h e M a f i a , f r o m t h e S t a t e s " , t w i c e outsiders. My of f s :  informants' experience i s u s u a l l y w i t h small time r i p  152  S o m e t i m e s t h e y w a i t f o r you o u t s i d e when t h e y s e e y o u h a v e a t r i c k , and t h e y t h r e a t e n you ... e v e n w i t h a k n i f e , so you h a v e t o g i v e them y o u r money. (Bugsy) They a r e o f t e n j u n k i e s who i n t i m i d a t e you. (Dee)  stand  i n t h e C o r n e r and  t r y to  They c a n e i t h e r o u t and r o b y o u , o r s e l l you b l a n k c a p s , o r j u s t t a k e y o u r money and d i s a p p e a r . U s u a l l y i t ' s from a dope d e a l e r you g e t a r i p o f f . (Sue) Peter R e i l l y M a r c h 15, ders,  1977)  i n a F i f t h Estate television  r e p o r t i n g on  the  a c k n o w l e d g e d a s s u c h by  i n Vancouver over the t i o n expressed  by  seventy  special  f i v e d r u g - r e l a t e d mur-  t h e p o l i c e , w h i c h have t a k e n  l a s t twenty years, mentions the  street  (CTV,  j u n k i e s a f t e r the execution  place  satisfacof  well  known r i p o f f s . There are retell  stories prevalent  t h e deeds of r i p o f f s .  v i c t i m , t h r e a t s are gangster or,  i n the o r a l t r a d i t i o n  When t h e n a r r a t o r i s a l s o  issued, strangely reminiscent  r i p p e d me  o f f and  I ' l l see  the  of grade B  m o v i e s o r o l d m e l o d r a m a s : " H e won't l i v e t o s e e  by B u g s y : " T h i s guy  which  him  tomorrow" in his  grave." As b i t t e r l y r e s e n t e d  as r i p o f f s a r e , t h e i r a c t i o n s  however s e e m i n g l y u n d e r s t o o d . e a t dog",  there  i s a strong b e l i e f ,  t h a t " I t ' s a j u n g l e , out The  Although  are  I o n l y heard once:  expressed  by many  "Dog  informants  there I"  Rat Not  despised.  o n l y a r e r a t s as h a t e d One  of the questions  as r i p o f f s , I had  they  are  also  asked Sugar l e d her  t a l k about her being h e l d i n p r o t e c t i v e custody.  She  to  said:  153  "I'm  i n h e r e b e c a u s e I'm  s u p p o s e d t o be a r a t  t h e l o a t h i n g on h e r f a c e and  i n h e r v o i c e t h a t s u c h an a c c u s a t i o n  w o u l d g e n e r a t e when made by o t h e r s t r e e t Y e t , w i t h o u t r a t ' s , many p e o p l e who t o f a c e t h e i r own  responsibility  can r e s t s e c u r e  i n the b e l i e f  the b e l i e f )  }  be  free.  over  people. are a r r e s t e d would have  for their arrest.  Instead, they  (or, at l e a s t , the expression of  t h a t had t h e y not been r a t t e d on, they would  T h e i r own  they cannot  mimicking a l l  skills  remain  still  e s s e n t i a l l y unchallenged since  be h e l d r e s p o n s i b l e f o r t h e u n f a i r a d v a n t a g e  taken  them. I t ' s w o r s e t o be a r a t t h a n a r i p o f f . M o s t o f us be i n h e r e i f i t w a s n ' t f o r them. (Sue)  wouldn't  The n e x t t h i n g I knew, t h e r e was s i x n a r c b u l l s and f o u r p o l i c e m e n down t h e r e ! I know who d i d i t . And when she d o e s come i n , she b e t t e r move i n t o (my) g r o u p , b e c a u s e t h e n t h e y c a n t a k e h e r o u t a g a i n and b u r y h e r . I d o n ' t c a r e ! B u t she w o n ' t l i v e v e r y l o n g . She p u t t o o many p e o p l e i n h e r e ... (Bugsy) I once mentioned  t o B u g s y t h a t I had n o t s e e n  for quite  some t i m e a woman I know i n f r o n t o f a s m a l l G r a n v i l l e h o t e l w h e r e she w o r k s , and was She  answered  wondering  i f she was  street  a l l right.  scornfully:  Maybe somebody p u t cement b o o t s on h e r . She's wrong. She's a r a t . Maybe t h e y p u t swimming b o o t s on h e r . I f they d i d , she d e s e r v e d i t . She's been w o r k i n g f o r t h e c o p s . She's never been b u s t e d . Julie, i n v i t e people  d e s c r i b i n g t h e t e c h n i q u e ' e m p l o y e d by t h e p o l i c e t o r a t o u t on t h e i r a s s o c i a t e s ,  to  concluded:  I t h e l p s i n some c a s e s ( t o r a t ) , maybe, f o r y o u r s e l f . But, b e l i e v e me, i t ' s n o t a q u i e t w o r l d . And i f y o u ' r e s u r e y o u ' r e g o n n a r a t , y o u m i g h t as w e l l be s u r e y o u ' r e n o t gonna u s e j u n k a n y m o r e , and t h a t ' s b e c a u s e ... You know, i t a l w a y s comes o u t i n t h e w a s h !  154  Unlike r i po f f s ,  r a t s are excluded  c l a s s i f i c a t i o n r e v e a l s t h a t they informants chapter, taken  a r e u n a n i m o u s l y p u t by t h e  w i t h t h e P o l i c e group. I gave t h e i n f o r m a n t s  As m e n t i o n e d i n t h e s e c o n d  some 2 0 0 c a r d s  o u t o f t h e t e x t s and i n t u i t i v e l y  t h e c u l t u r e and a s k e d them t o p u t t h e s e "made s e n s e " t o them initial  from t h e community: t h e  bearing  f e l t t o be r e l e v a n t t o cards  i n t o groups  (see A p p e n d i c e s A and B ) .  groups were t h e n s u b d i v i d e d  a word  that  The f o u r o r f i v e  and f u r t h e r r e f i n e d .  The  o n l y s u r p r i s e I h a d was t o s e e R a t p u t u n h e s i t a t i n g l y i n t h e first  round w i t h  officer", ing it  "cop", " b u l l " ,  "matron", " j a i l " ,  the " A u t h o r i t y " group. remained w i t h Neither  "narc",  " p i g " , "narc",  "probation  " j u d g e " , and o t h e r p e o p l e On t h e s e c o n d a n d t h i r d  representregrouping,  " p i g " and " b u l l " .  r i p o f f s n o r r a t s a r e i n an e n v i a b l e p o s i t i o n : a s  street defined deviants  among s t r a i g h t d e f i n e d d e v i a n t s , t h e y a r e  r e j e c t e d by b o t h c u l t u r e s . The E a s t  Indian  The c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s o f c e r t a i n v i s i b l e t i v e l y e s t a b l i s h e d a n d members o f t h e s e villains. these  The v i l l a i n s t e r e o t y p e  groups a r e branded as  a l s o makes i t i m p o s s i b l e f o r  p e o p l e t o be t r e a t e d o t h e r w i s e  than as such.  The f o l k c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n o f t h e E a s t instance, prevents if  the "nice" East  o n l y a s an e x c e p t i o n ,  groups a r e nega-  from being  Indian t r i c k , f o r  I n d i a n , who i s s a i d t o e x i s t treated i n a friendly  manner.  You d o n ' t w a n t t o be s e e n h a v i n g a b e e r w i t h them b e c a u s e they, m i g h t c a l l y o u "Hindu l o v e r " . (Bugsy)  155  He [ h e r E a s t I n d i a n m a r k ] came h e r e [ O a k a l l a ] ... W e l l , s h i t I I a l m o s t g o t l a u g h e d o u t o f t h e w h o l e b u i l d i n g , hey I (Julie) The  r e p u t a t i o n of East  Indians  customers: "East  Indians  most away f r o m "  (Sue).  i s unmatched by any o t h e r group o f  a r e t h e ones y o u ' r e supposed t o s t a y  Oh, b o y , t h e y do some t e r r i b l e t h i n g s ! I h a t e them g u y s w i t h a passion! They're t e r r i b l e ! T h e y ' v e done t h i n g s l i k e t a k i n g a l i g h t b u l b a n d s t u c k i t up a g i r l , a n d h i t h e r i n the stomach and s h a t t e r t h e l i g h t b u l b ; o r t a k e a b r o k e n b o t t l e a n d s h o v e i t up h e r . They've k i l l e d a few g i r l s , s l a s h e d them u p , l e f t them b l e e d i n g ... Or t h e y g e t a g i r l up t o a room ... i f s h e ' s a new g i r l , s h e d o e s n ' t know a n d s h e ' l l go u p t o a room, a n d h e ' l l h a v e s i x o r s e v e n o f h i s f r i e n d s t h e r e , and t h e y ' l l j u s t k e e p h e r i n t h e room a l l night. They u s u a l l y t a k e a l l t h e money s h e ' s a l r e a d y g o t . (Sue) Sue  i s n o t a p r o s t i t u t e , and she has o f t e n d e c l i n e d t o  answer q u e s t i o n s  p e r t a i n i n g t o p r o s t i t u t e s and p r o s t i t u t i o n ,  pleading her lack of f i r s t  h a n d k n o w l e d g e - t h e same l a c k o f  personal  experience  she w o u l d have i n t h e c a s e o f E a s t  tricks.  Y e t , s h e was w i l l i n g  Indian  t o t a l k a b o u t them a t l e n g t h .  B u g s y ' s i n d i g n a t i o n was s u c h t h a t s h e f o r o n c e f o r g o t h e r u s u a l m o d e s t y i n my p r e s e n c e : E a s t I n d i a n s c h e a t a l o t ... They t r y t o g e t two f o r t h e p r i c e o f o n e . S o m e t i m e s t h e y come a n d t h e y t h i n k y o u h a v e n o t f e l t i t , a n d t h e y t r y t o come a g a i n . But, then, you show them ( p r e t e n d i n g t o h o l d up a " s a f e " ) a n d s a y : "What's t h a t a t the bottom, hey?" P o l i c e and C o u r t r e c o r d s and  abuse committed by E a s t  g r o u p s , have been r e p o r t e d  show t h a t some c a s e s o f v i o l e n c e  I n d i a n men, e i t h e r a l o n e t o t h e p o l i c e and t a k e n  or i n  to the courts.  G i v e n t h e r e l u c t a n c e o f female and e s p e c i a l l y t r a n s v e s t i t e p r o s t i t u t e s t o take  t h e i r complaints  to the a u t h o r i t i e s ,  i t may be  156  assumed t h a t more c a s e s o f v i o l e n c e , a b u s e a n d t h e f t t h a n t h e ones r e p o r t e d have i n f a c t t a k e n p l a c e . I t i s perhaps  a l s o not unreasonable  t o assume t h a t t h e  p r e c o n c e i v e d n o t i o n s o f a p r o s t i t u t e who "does n o t l i k e  going  o u t w i t h them" may c o n t r i b u t e , i n some c a s e s a n d t o a c e r t a i n e x t e n t , t o make t h e e n c o u n t e r fulfilling The  a negative experience, a s e l f -  prophecy which r e i n f o r c e s t h e s t e r e o t y p e . s t o r y o f t h e e l e c t r i c b u l b was t o l d t o me i n e x a c t l y  t h e same t e r m s t h i r t e e n months e a r l i e r b y a n o t h e r woman, a n d a l l u d e d t o by a t h i r d one. embellishment,  I t i s s t r i k i n g enough n o t t o need any  and t h e v a r i a t i o n s o n l y o c c u r r e d i n t h e c l o s e n e s s  o f t h e r e l a t i o n s h i p b e t w e e n t h e women who r e p e a t e d t h e s t o r y a n d its  victim. Since behaviour  simply i n d i v i d u a l  s u c h a s t h i s c o u l d n o t be s e e n  as b e i n g  ( t h u s a r b i t r a r y ) b e c a u s e o f i t s assumed  quency o f o c c u r e n c e ,  i t i sexplained i n cultural  fre-  terms:  T h e y ' r e u s u a l l y t r a i n e d t o t h i n k t h a t t h e i r women a r e t r a s h . I g u e s s t h e y t r e a t a l l women p r e t t y b a d . (Sue) E a s t I n d i a n s a r e c h e a p , anyway, b e c a u s e t h e y come f r o m a c o u n t r y w h e r e i t ' s c h e a p ... I t h i n k t h e s e f e l l o w s t e n d t o be a b u s i v e w i t h t h e i r own women. (Julie) In another  interview, J u l i e also explained the East  Indians' behaviour through t h e i r misunderstanding c u l t u r e and f r u s t r a t i o n w i t h i t .  o f Canadian  As t h e y s e e C a n a d i a n  d r i n k i n g , smoking, and d r e s s e d immodestly  by t h e i r  women  standards,  t h e y assume them a l l t o be t h e w o r s t t y p e o f p r o s t i t u t e s , a n d c o n s e q u e n t l y b r u t a l i z e p r o s t i t u t e s as t h e o n l y Canadian a v a i l a b l e t o them.  women  157  The  Narc Narcs, because of the nature of the a c t i v i t i e s  t h e y w i l l i n g l y p a r t i c i p a t e , a r e be d e f i n i t i o n t u r n my  stomach"  (Sugar); "the lowest"  behaviour t h a t l o o k s sneaky, know t h e n a r c s ? and b u l l s , (Dee). full  The  When t h e d o o r  sneaky  ( B u g s y ) ; "How  comes i n ! " ( B u g s y ) ; " c o p s ,  do  you  pigs  f o l k s t o r i e s r e l a t e d t o n a r c - s t r e e t " t r a n s a c t i o n s are "They h i t me  i n t h e s t o m a c h and  They d e s c r i b e " t h r o t t l i n g "  broken  "any  t h e y ' r e a l l t h e same; o n l y some a r e w o r s e : t h e n a r c s ! "  of violence.  (Sue).  " a s s h o l e s " : "They  (Tiny);  i t ' sa narc!"  i n which  t e e t h or  "hassling".  Instances of  c h o k i n g w h i l e s e a r c h i n g f o r dope c o n c e a l e d i n  t h e s u s p e c t ' s mouth and r e a d y been f r e q u e n t i n t h e p a s t . "playing d i r t y " :  and  I miscarried"  t o be  swallowed,  are s a i d t o have  Nowadays, n a r c s a r e m o s t l y a c c u s e d  "They f r a m e y o u "  (Dee, B r a n d y ,  of  Julie).-  T h e y go b e h i n d y o u b a c k and t e l l y o u r e m p l o y e r t h a t y o u a r e a j u n k i e o r an e x - c o n and t h e y t e l l h i m t o f i r e y o u o r e l s e ! (Jo and Snow) Long, i n t r i c a t e which  s t o r i e s are t o l d  the narcs w i l l  go t o " g e t  to demonstrate  the length to  you".  H e r e a g a i n , an e x p l a n a t i o n i s g i v e n f o r t h e t y p e o f b e h a v i o u r met  among members o f a c e r t a i n g r o u p .  The  explanation given f o r the East Indians' behaviour  cultural  i s now  replaced  by a p s y c h o l o g i c a l one: You  h a v e t o be s a d i s t i c t o be a n a r c .  (Bugsy)  They c a n ' t h a n d l e t h e i r j o b . They e n j o y i t . They t a k e i t o n e v e r y b o d y on t h e s t r e e t : e v e r y b o d y i s d i r t and must be s t e p p e d on. (Tiny) It's a personal thing, l i k e a personal t r i p . They're s p e c i a l l y a f t e r h y p e s and t h e w o r k i n g g i r l s who a r e a l s o addicts. (Dee)  158  If East  I n d i a n s a r e p h y s i c a l l y r e c o g n i z a b l e and v i s i b l y  the s t r e e t , t h e narcs' e f f o r t t o pass themselves people  causes anger and b i t t e r n e s s .  Corner"  alien to  o f f as s t r e e t  They "hang a r o u n d t h e  p o s i n g a s " c h i p p y h y p e s " o r week e n d u s e r s  (Dee).  To a l e s s e r e x t e n t , members o f t h e M o r a l i t y S q u a d  are also  p a r t o f what t h e f o l k l o r e sees as t h e c u l t u r e ' s v i l l a i n s . thought  a t one p o i n t t h a t p o l i c e o f f i c e r s  c h a l l e n g e d , had t o answer t r u t h f u l l y .  I t was  c o u l d n o t l i e a n d , when  In t h e i r case,  "bust"  s t o r i e s a r e t o l d w h i c h d e t a i l n o t o n l y t h e manner i n w h i c h t h e women w e r e made t o t h i n k t h e c o p was a b o n a f i d e t r i c k , b u t how he d e c e i t f u l l y a n s w e r e d t h e q u e s t i o n : " A r e y o u a c o p ? "  (Layton  1975:197). The  two groups o f v i l l a i n s  c a n be c o n t r a s t e d f r o m t h e p e r -  spective of a s t r e e t - s t r a i g h t opposition. individual villains;  E a s t I n d i a n s and n a r c s a r e c o l l e c t i v e l y s o .  R e a s o n s t h a t may p a s s a s e x c u s e s a r e f o u n d need and f e a r .  R i p o f f s and r a t s a r e  Culturally  become r i p o f f s a n d r a t s .  group:  a n d p s y c h o l o g i c a l l y , on t h e o t h e r  h a n d , t h e o t h e r two a r e s i m p l y i n certain circumstances,  for the f i r s t  "wrong".  although  A l l s t r e e t people  they would probably  could,  deny i t ,  None o f them c o u l d be an E a s t  Indian  or a narc. I n t h e s t r e e t group, t h e r a t i s t h e most h a t e d o f t h e two s i n c e he h a s n o t o n l y t r a n s g r e s s e d t h e r u l e s o f s o l i d a r i t y b u t has  - even l i n g u i s t i c a l l y  straight.  - c r o s s e d t h e l i n e between s t r e e t and  I n t h e other group, the narc's v i l l a i n y  i s t h e c u l t u r a l enemy s i n c e he d e v o t e s  i s t w o f o l d : he  h i s e f f o r t s and time t o  b r i n g a b o u t t h e u n d o i n g o f s t r e e t u s e r s a n d t r a f f i c k e r s , b u t he  159  too has crossed t h e l i n e ,  i n reverse t h i s time, i n h i s attempt t o  l o o k , speak and behave l i k e In  them.  a s u b c u l t u r e t h a t sees as e s s e n t i a l  i t s differentiation  from and antagonism towards t h e l a r g e r c u l t u r e , t h e l e a s t able s i n i s perhaps boundary c r o s s i n g f o r reasons  forgiv-  of v i l l a i n y .  FORMAL AND SUBTERRANEAN VALUES The drug  norms o f s t r e e t l i f e ,  addict's l i f e :  w h i c h a r e a l s o t h e norms o f t h e  "hedonism, t h r i l l - s e e k i n g ,  ment, u n s t a b l e f o r m a l m a r r i a g e s "  l a c k o f employ-  (Young 1 9 7 1 : 5 3 ) , a r e i n c o m p a -  t i b l e with the middle-class standards  o f behaviour  and a t t i t u d e s  w h i c h a r e s e e n a s r e p r e s e n t a t i v e o f t h e l a r g e r s o c i e t y . More  than  i n c o m p a t i b i l i t y , they represent i n f a c t a d i a m e t r a l o p p o s i t i o n to  f o r m a l v a l u e s , and form what i s sometimes c a l l e d t h e s u b t e r r a -  nean v a l u e s o f s o c i e t y . Young  (1971:126) c o n s t r u c t s a t a b l e t o i l l u s t r a t e t h e  c o n t r a s t between s u b t e r r a n e a n  and f o r m a l v a l u e s  (the " o f f i c i a l  v a l u e s o f t h e workaday w o r l d " ) : FORMAL WORK VALUES  SUBTERRANEAN VALUES  1. d e f e r r e d g r a t i f i c a t i o n  short-term  2. p l a n n i n g f u t u r e a c t i o n  spontaneity  3. c o n f o r m i t y t o b u r e a u c r a tic rules 4. f a t a l i s m , h i g h c o n t r o l o v e r d e t a i l , l i t t l e over d i r e c tion 5.  routine, predictability  hedonism  ego-expressivity autonomy, c o n t r o l o f b e h a v i o u r i n d e t a i l and d i r e c t i o n new e x p e r i e n c e ,  excitement  160 6.  instrumental attitudes to work  7. h a r d p r o d u c t i v e w o r k a s a virtue These s u b t e r r a n e a n  a c t i v i t i e s p e r f o r m e d a s an in-themselves disdain  end-  f o r work  values are only r e l e a s e d i n the  s t r a i g h t world at i n t e r m i t t e n t , i n s t i t u t i o n a l i z e d periods (holidays,  festivals,  said to coexist  i n our  values contradict  e t c . ) ; t h u s , t h e two society.  sets of values  I n f a c t , t h e s e two  each o t h e r . S t r a i g h t  and  and  and  c o h e s i o n d e p e n d on t h e m a i n t e n a n c e o f  b e t w e e n t h e two  cultures.  sets of  s t r e e t norms a r e  not only d i f f e r e n t : they are mutually e x c l u s i v e , safeguard  are  their boundaries  160a  CHAPTER S I X JUNKIE-PROSTITUTES, T R I C K S , MARKS: DEFINITIONS AND  TRANSACTIONS  T h i s c h a p t e r p r o v i d e s f u r t h e r d e f i n i t i o n s o f members o f t h e two  g r o u p s who a r e e n g a g e d i n a r e l a t i o n s h i p s e e n a s m u t u a l l y  e x p l o i t a t i v e by t h e i n f o r m a n t s .  The t r a n s a c t i o n s p e r f o r m e d  a c h i e v e a b a l a n c e when p r o s t i t u t i o n a l s e r v i c e s a r e o b t a i n e d a n d p a i d f o r , a n d an e l e m e n t a r y  c o n t r a c t i s then  fulfilled.  Many  i n s t a n c e s o c c u r , h o w e v e r , when e v e n t s may c a u s e t h i s c o n t r a c t n o t to  be f u l f i l l e d .  determined  These e v e n t s  (robbery, b e a t i n g , a r r e s t ) are  b y t h e c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s o f t h e t r i c k o r t h e woman h e r -  self . A s t r e e t w a l k e r s customery s o l i c i t i n g technique c o n s i s t s 1  mostly  i n e x p r e s s i n g t h e amount o f h e r e x p e c t e d  terms which would not l e a d t o h e r a r r e s t ,  should the p o t e n t i a l  t r i c k be i n f a c t a member o f t h e m o r a l i t y s q u a d It  consists also, a t times, i n e l i c i t i n g  customer t h e nature o f h i s needs. verbal s k i l l s , and  difficult  remuneration i n  (Layton  from a perhaps  1978). diffident  Beyond t h i s b a s i c d i s p l a y o f  a woman may b e c a l l e d u p o n t o h a n d l e  problematic  c a s e s where h e r m a s t e r y o f v e r b a l m a n i p u l a t i o n  may  make t h e d i f f e r e n c e b e t w e e n a s a f e outcome a n d a v i o l e n t encounter.  She may f i n d h e r s e l f p l a c e d i n t h e s e p r o b l e m a t i c  cumstances i n h e r r o l e o f p r o s t i t u t e o r drug a d d i c t .  cir-  161  The  s u b c u l t u r e o f t h e d r u g a d d i c t has  by a u t h o r s  ( P r e b l e and  comment and  C a s e y 1969,  evaluate previous  been w e l l  A g a r 1973)  w o r k s on  who  described  themselves  the s u b j e c t .  Stoddart  a l r e a d y d e s c r i b e d the drug a d d i c t s ' t r a n s a c t i o n s i n the (1968).  The  v a r i o u s and w e l l known " c o n n e c t i o n s "  t r a f f i c k i n g n e t w o r k among u s e r s w i l l  consequently  who be  same  form  has city  the  glossed  over. The  j u n k i e - p r o s t i t u t e considered  trafficker.  She  n e c t i o n " , who B u g s y who, Mafia  i s however a l m o s t e x c l u s i v e l y a s m a l l t i m e  sells  d i r e c t l y on  i n her Mafia  asking  w h i c h she  story  f o r an o u n c e  (400  the  (pp.  street.  f o r her,  those  who  L e t us  125-126) has  caps).  o b t a i n s f r o m a " m i d d l e man"  c a p s ) , and,  here i s o f t e n h e r s e l f a  She,  "con-  remember  t h e guys f r o m  herself, sells  "caps"  d e a l i n g i n "bundles"  (25  d e a l i n o u n c e s a r e as f a r removed  i n t h e h i e r a r c h y o f c r i m e as t h e M a f i a o r g a n i z a t i o n i s f r o m p e t t y l a r c e n y she  knows.  three or four times t e r r i b l y h i g h up  In f a c t , t r a f f i c k e r s  removed from t h e  in this  mate's.  He  may  be  t o be,  she may  " p u t t i n g out"  be  judging  i n ounces are  s t r e e t s e l l e r s , and  h o w e v e r , and  only  not  i t i s t h a t , as  a woman's s t a t u s may  a higher  expect her  the  hierarchy.  A p o i n t must be made h e r e , many o t h e r w a l k s o f l i f e ,  the  "connection"  from her f o r him  other  d e p e n d on  t h a n one  would  activities.  d i r e c t l y on  in  her normally  However,  the s t r e e t ,  thus  r e g a i n i n g w h a t i s s e e n as h e r p r o p e r s t a t u s . I n s h o r t , t h e i r a v a i l a b i l i t y on t h e but  secure  i n c o m e , and  street, their variable  t h e i r needs - i n c r e a s i n g but  c o n t r o l l e d by  162  t h e n e c e s s i t y t o be v i s i b l e a s s t r e e t w a l k e r s - c o n t r i b u t e t o keep the j u n k i e - p r o s t i t u t e a t t h a t p a r t i c u l a r of  t r a f f i c k i n g , when t r a f f i c k i n g  i s one  level,  the  o f h e r means o f  lowest, liveli-  hood. T h e r e a r e a number o f p e o p l e m a r g i n a l l y i n v o l v e d w i t h t h e s t r e e t , w i t h whom t h e i n f o r m a n t s i n t e r a c t , and who b r i e f l y d e s c r i b e d , such as t h e  "teeny  will  only  be  boppers":  K i d s a r o u n d t h e C o r n e r , h a n g i n g a r o u n d and t r y i n g t o be a rounder. They s a y t h i n g s l i k e : " I d r i n k h a r d l i k k e r " " I smoke d o p e " "Hey, man, y o u s c o r e d ? " , and t h e n y o u f i n d o u t t h a t t h e y a r e t a l k i n g a b o u t MDA o r s o m e t h i n g l i k e t h a t , n o t stuff. They a r e a n u i s a n c e t o a w o r k i n g g i r l . They t a l k t o y o u ...: " I h a v e t e n b u c k s , you wanna ..." (Dee and Bugsy) Julie  s p o k e i n a d e r o g a t o r y manner o f t h e i r  "frenzied  state",  t h e i r o v e r z e a l o u s i n t e r e s t i n w h a t g o e s on on t h e s t r e e t , " l o v i n g the excitement", t h e i r  irresponsibility.  "very, very s o l i d  i n t h e i r own  mind", they are a r i s k t o  p e o p l e who  a f f o r d t o h a v e them  cannot  Others  are the employees of the  Not  their  being street  around. "arcades", r e s t a u r a n t s ,  c o f f e e s h o p s and p o o l rooms f r e q u e n t e d by s t r e e t p e o p l e .  Others,  still,  willing  are people working  i n h o t e l s o r "rooms" who  to  k n o c k on t h e d o o r  or  e l s e do n o t want t o g e t i n v o l v e d and  may  a f t e r h a l f an h o u r and a s k " E v e r y t h i n g O.K.?"  c a n ' t h e a r n o t h i n g i f you  "don't  give a shit  and  scream'"  F e n c e s and pawn shop o p e r a t o r s a r e a l s o p a r t o f a prostitute's  be  junkie-  life:  A f e n c e i s i n t o a n y t h i n g t h a t ' s i l l e g a l - and t h e y ' r e a l w a y s w o n d e r i n g a b o u t t h e i l l e g a l p a r t o f what t h e y ' r e b u y i n g , l i k e s e r i a l n u m b e r s . T h a t ' s a l l t h e y c a r e a b o u t ... Pretty well most o f t h e t i m e , f e n c e s a r e s t r a i g h t . (Julie) In  c o n t r a s t t o t h e f e n c e , t h e pawn s h o p o p e r a t o r i s d e s c r i b e d as  163  k e e p i n g i n t o u c h w i t h t h e p o l i c e who and  what s  Part-timers  characters.  the  overlooked  s t r e e t and  w o u l d be  They a r e n o t  really part  i f they d i d not  in fact  a p o t e n t i a l danger: undercover p o l i c e o f f i c e r s  r u m o u r e d t o p o s e as c h i p p i e All chapter  will  consider Since  considered  p r o s t i t u t e may  b a s i c a l l y two  t h e t r i c k may i n t h i s new  rep-  are  informants,  but  this  p e o p l e : t h e p r o s t i t u t e and  become a m a r k , t h e role.  And,  latter  s i n c e the  will  junkie-  m i s t a k e f o r a t r i c k o r a b u y e r someone who  is in  f a c t a member o f t h e M o r a l i t y Squad o r t h e N a r c o t i c s S q u a d , r o l e of p o l i c e o f f i c e r s this THE  limited  of  hypes.  these people g r a v i t a t e around the  trick.  a l s o be  hot  s u c h as a " c h i p p i e h o o k e r " o r a " c h i p p i e h y p e "  a r e a l s o f r e q u e n t l y met  the  them on w h a t ' s  not."  1  resent  "inform  i s also considered  h e r e , but  only  the  in  capacity.  PROSTITUTE I n h i s a n a l y s i s o f u r b a n nomads, S p r a d l e y  briefly  d e l i n e a t e s the v a r i o u s models used i n the  (1972b:239-240) studies of  Skid  Road a l c o h o l i c s , s h o w i n g t h e d i f f e r e n t g r o u p i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s and the composite p o r t r a i t they form.  The  same c o u l d be  done f o r  prostitutes,  i f o n l y t o c o n t r a s t these v a r i o u s models w i t h  s t r e e t emic  one.  The  s t r a i g h t model  This ever, since v i e w s , what called folk 1  1  o f t h e p r o s t i t u t e , b a s e d on  the  cultural  model i s c a l l e d the " f o l k model" i n S p r a d l e y . Howi n t h i s w o r k we a s s i m i l a t e " f o l k " v i e w s w i t h e m i c S p r a d l e y names t h e " e t h n o g r a p h i c m o d e l " w i l l be model.  164  knowledge, appears t o p r o v i d e was  " h o o k e d " on d r u g s by  over her.  She  while being has  following characteristics.  a p i m p , so t h a t he w o u l d a c h i e v e  i s s a d l y a b u s e d and  emotionally  a "heart of g o l d " .  veneral diseases.  She  becomes w e a l t h y and The  the  o f t e n b e a t e n by h e r  and  s e x u a l l y d e p e n d e n t on h i m .  She  i s mainly  nize that prostitution, Yet,  r e h e n s i b l e one,  pimp, She  responsible for  into respectable  l e g a l m o d e l i s an a m b i g u o u s one,  activity.  control  like  often  spreading  d i e s i n " t h e g u t t e r " o r , i n a few  fades  She  cases,  retirement. s i n c e i t has  drug a d d i c t i o n , i s not  to  an  recog-  unlawful  s i n c e i t i s , l i k e drug a d d i c t i o n , a morally l e g a l c o n t r o l has  t o be  achieved  rep-  over i t s perpe-  t r a t o r s w i t h s t a t u t e s which are d i f f i c u l t to endorse because as - t o a l e s s e r e x t e n t possession  - they  attempting  to prevent  i n the case of those  recognize  the  committed  a "night walker",  as a " s o l i c i t o r " The  and  medical  an  as a l i k e l y  1978).  described u n t i l  a "loiterer",  and  1972  other very promiscuous person.  She  of weather a l s o causes her  the c o m p l i c a t i o n s  s u f f e r e r f r o m b r o n c h i a l and i f she  no  sexually transmitted  Her  exposure to v a r i o u s types  of  i s a l s o seen  and  Finally  a  seen  s t r a i g h t model,  diseases, vaginal infections,  tions.  the as  i s presently  m o d e l shows t h e p r o s t i t u t e as an a g e n t  s u f f e r e r f r o m v e n e r a l and  s e e n as a l i k e l y  in  "importuner".  d i f f u s i o n of v e n e r a l deseases but, u n l i k e the more so t h a n any  (Layton  s e x u a l component i s o m i t t e d  l e g a l m o d e l , w h e r e t h e p r o s t i t u t e was "vagrant",  drug  l e g i t i m a c y o f an a c t i o n w h i l e  i t from being  C o n s e q u e n t l y , i n Canada, the  dealing with  -  i s an a d d i c t , she  of  abortion. to  be  respiratory infec-  i s a l s o s e e n as  running  165  a h i g h r i s k o f m a l n u t r i t i o n and h e p a t i t i s . A s u p e r f i c i a l p s y c h o l o g i c a l model d e s c r i b e s h e r as a mala d j u s t e d , s e l f - i n d u l g e n t woman, d e p r i v e d o f p o s i t i v e p a r e n t a l models.  I f s h e i s an a d d i c t , s h e i s u s u a l l y c l a s s i f i e d  sociopath. The  I n any e v e n t ,  as a  she i s seen as a h i g h s u i c i d e  risk.  s o c i o l o g i c a l model d e f i n e s h e r i n terms o f age, s e x ,  r a c e , income, geographic  l o c a t i o n , types of customers,  introduction into her occupation, etc. Finally,  means o f  ( e . g . James 1 9 7 1 ) .  t h e f o l k model, o r ethnographic  model, i n  S p r a d l e y ' s w o r d s , "aims a t d i s c o v e r i n g t h e i n s i d e r ' s v i e w o f h i s s o c i a l world" non-junkie  (1968b:240).  T h i s model has been examined f o r t h e  p r o s t i t u t e i n S e a t t l e b y James  (19 7 2 a ) .  What f o l l o w s  i s a d e f i n i t i o n o f v a r i o u s t y p e s o f p r o s t i t u t e s g i v e n by j u n k i e prostitutes titutes James  i n Vancouver.  P r e d i c t a b l y , t h e c a t e g o r i e s of p r o s -  a n d c u s t o m e r s do n o t v a r y g r e a t l y f r o m t h o s e e l i c i t e d b y  (see a l s o S h e e h y 1 9 7 4 : 3 5 - 3 8 ) .  A t l e a s t t h r e e women h a v e  m e n t i o n e d t o me t h a t V a n c o u v e r i s " y e a r s b e h i n d " States i n terminology, ing  s o t h e f i v e y e a r d i f f e r e n c e in; t h e g a t h e r -  o f James' d a t a a n d m i n e i s p r o b a b l y Some g e n e r a l t e r m s a r e f r o w e d  myself  a whore"  not important.  upon: " I would never  (Sugar); " P r o s t i t u t e sounds t o o g r o s s "  Bugsy p r e f e r s t o c a l l by S u g a r a s b e i n g sheets  the United  herself  a lady of the evening,  call (Bugsy).  a term  seen  "more h i g h c l a s s " t h a n h o o k e r , a n d o n a r r e s t  I t w i c e saw women i d e n t i f y t h e m s e l v e s  night t o potential t r i c k s .  Working g i r l  as l a d i e s o f t h e  and hooker a r e g e n e r a l l y  s e e n a s a c c e p t a b l e t e r m s a n d c a n be u s e d f o r a l l l e v e l s o f prostitution.  They a r e commonly u s e d b y t h e women t h e m s e l v e s  and  166  when I a s k e d w h a t t e r m w o u l d  be s u i t a b l e f o r me t o u s e , my  mants s u g g e s t e d t h a t e i t h e r one would A first  distinction  infor-  be a p p r o p r i a t e .  i s made b e t w e e n t h e h o o k e r  and t h e  a m a t e u r , t h e c h i p p i e who may t u r n an o c c a s i o n a l t r i c k b u t i s a "straight g i r l " . full  Real hookers  n e e d n o t c a r r y on t h e i r o c c u p a t i o n  t i m e , s i n c e weekend h o o k e r s , F r i d a y a n d S a t u r d a y n i g h t  p r a c t i t i o n e r s who "may h a v e a j o b o r a home l i f e " ,  a n d Summertime  h o o k e r s , s t u d e n t s who "work" d u r i n g t h e summer h o l i d a y , a r e r e c o g n i z e d as b e i n g p a r t o f t h e group. to  However, t h e y o n l y  appear  my i n f o r m a n t s t o be m a r g i n a l i n " t h e l i f e " . All  titutes, tion,  t h e i n f o r m a n t s gave a l i s t  d e s c r i b i n g such f e a t u r e s as t h e i r t r a d e , g e n e r a l  degree  attempted below,  o f involvement i n t h e drug  to classify  w i t h one n o t i c e a b l e e x c e p t i o n .  c l a s s hookers".  scene.  They  loca-  later  t h e s e d e s c r i p t i o n s i n t h e manner shown  a hierarchic classification:  would  of d i f f e r e n t types of pros-  Brandy  " h i g h c l a s s , m i d d l e c l a s s and lower  I n t h e h i g h c l a s s group  a t t h e m o s t u s e "smoke d o p e "  Little  i s known a b o u t  them.  "coke"  and o f t e n have a pimp.  a l o n e gave a t once  are the c a l l  g i r l s who  ( m a r i j u a n a and h a s h i s h ) .  Middle c l a s s hookers o f t e n  take  They w o r k i n b a r s a n d l o u n g e s ,  have a " s m a l l b u s i n e s s and l o w e r p r i c e s " , and o f t e n s p e c i a l i z e i n "stags". a fix;  The l o w e r c l a s s h o o k e r s  are often  " s i c k " and i n need o f  t h e y h a v e an o l d man o r a n o l d l a d y t o s u p p o r t a n d "work  on D a v i e , G r a n v i l l e , t h e S t r a t f o r d  ... C o r d o v a ' s  the worst,"  It  is  unusual t o put these l o c a t i o n s together: a d e f i n i t e h i e r a r c h y  is  usually  seen, w i t h Davie a t t h e t o p , G r a n v i l l e S t r e e t i n t h e  m i d d l e , and Main  S t r e e t , Cordova  Street, the Stratford  Hotel,  167  East Hastings S t r e e t at the bottom. Brandy's c l a s s i f i c a t i o n the c r u c i a l d i f f e r e n t i a t i n g  i s interesting  i n t h a t she s e e s  f a c t o r among t h e v a r i o u s t y p e s  p r o s t i t u t e s the type of drug they use.  as  of  From t h i s a l o n e d e r i v e s  t h e t y p e o f p r o s t i t u t i o n t h e y e i t h e r f a v o u r o r can o n l y e x p e c t p r a c t i s e , w i t h i t s e n s u i n g s o c i a l consequences. described a decreasing social  and  She  to  explicitly  occupational status following  an i n c r e a s i n g i n v o l v e m e n t w i t h t h e more a d d i c t i v e  drugs.  From t h e o t h e r i n f o r m a n t s , I o b t a i n e d f i v e m a i n c a t e g o r i e s : call  girls;  hookers  working  i n saunas,  p a r l o u r s ; camp t o ca