Misrecognition within Organic Capital and Resistance Identities

I have come to find that most people misrecognize which people are struggling to do right in society. Often they are seen as “bad” they then get put down for attempting to simply join the work force like the rest of us. This inequality is build into they society their immobility is due to this inequality. The incarceration perpetuates the inequality in the system and so does societies misrecognition of others struggles.

This is shown in the book Punished: policing the lives of black and Latino boys by Victor Rios.

In Punished the way that the society expects and interprets the African American and Latino boys attempts to dress up for a job interview and in regards to not shaking their interviewers hands with their job hunting shows how they society expects they to be deviant due to their dress and these actions when in tern they don’t know the social tools to go through these social events properly. Ronny didn’t know that to the mainstream society that wearing Nike Air Force Ones tennis shoes to a job interview is not professional. But in Ronny’s head basketball players and rappers who are “professionals” to him wore them. Often these individuals tend to get disappointment with finding a job and give up. These same people then often turn to creative means to obtain their dignity and money on there own terms in their urban areas of inequality. They risk their freedoms selling and or doing illegal things in order to have dignity and respect within their society level. Such as Ronny giving up the phone hunt to sell pirated movies. These behaviors often lead to incarceration.

Similar to how the boy stole the chips to gain his respect and dignity from the shop owner within the society.

We need to better educate the  society about this misrecognition that is occurring then they can be more emphatic to the minorities that are put down. While the minorities in the book are having good intentions of trying to fit into our society that is already in place. The society unfortunately puts them in the lower status and doesn’t promote any mobility. These minorities/ lower socioeconomic group were not given the social tools while growing up on how to deal properly within the society in place. Rios states this in the book by explaining the job seeking experience and simply the interaction of trying to buy food in a group of three friends. We need to better educate these people as well as the society as a whole to have a better understanding of the situation and society as a whole.That these people are ….

Misrecognition is when theses attempts of African Americans and Latinos try to present themselves as good people with morals and their ideas of professional behaviors and attire did not match the rest of the society. The rest of the society did not see their cultural definition of professional that they were taught and accustomed to. Ronny didn’t know to shake the women’s hand who interviewed him for a job because of what he was taught of white women and authorities by his teachers and family. He didn’t know to show respect and to dignify himself as a worth of a job to show how he respected her and her job.

Organic Capital is what Rios calls in the book the creative social and cultural capital that these boys developed due to being denied capital to succeed in mainstream society. An example of this would be Ronny selling the pirated movies and some boys selling drugs or other illegal acts. But these creative ways are how they can make a profit and “succeed” in the society that is full of structural oppression.

Resistance Identities is an idea brought up in the text about how identities are created by subgroup of non-mainstream population in response to oppression. They are excluded from the positive credentials of non legal jobs, etc. so they developed creative responses that provides them with tools to survive in the environment that they are stuck in, one in which they are criminalized constantly or often labeled to be a criminal deviant.

Labeling theory states that there is primary deviance and then the secondary deviance. Once the deviance is seen and people start seeing you though the lens of the label sometimes the label becomes a self fulling prophecy. In the book this labeling theory goes into play when Ronny gets asked about his drug habits and arrest history at job interviews and how the boys in the group with Flaco were assumed to be stealing when they wanted to buy but were treated so poorly his friend Mike stole a bag of chips just to make a point .

These are examples of structural oppression. Structural oppression is when things are build into society interactions and expectations that lead to inequality that is the oppression of certain groups of people thus no mobility in society no matter the amount of effort its build for them to fail and stay in their places.

By Brittany Davis

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