Randol Contreras. There’s No Sunshine: Spatial Anguish in the Stigmatized Spaces of Compton and South Los Angeles.

Monday, March 28, 2016 - 2:00pm to 3:30pm
Blumer Room - 402 Barrows Hall

Randol Contreras: Monday, March 28, 2-3:30 in 402 Barrows Hall

There’s No Sunshine: Spatial Anguish in the Stigmatized Spaces of Compton and South Los Angeles.

Through field data collected in Compton and South Los Angeles, this paper develops the concept of spatial anguish to capture the shame and fear that residents feel because of their space’s stigma. In doing so, it reveals the intersection of race, class, gender, and space in the meanings of stigmatized residents. African Americans and Latina/os residents deal with their spatial anguish in two distinct ways: first, by trying to disassociate themselves from the stigma through the reinforcement of negative race and gender stereotypes; second, by using raced and gendered frames to negotiate their neighborhood safety.

Randol Contreras is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Toronto. He is a South Bronx native and his multiple award-winning book, The Stickup Kids: Race, Drugs, Violence, and the American Dream, is based on field research he conducted on violent drug robbers, who robbed upper-level dealers storing large amounts of drugs and cash. Currently, he is doing field research on the Mexican Maravilla gangs of East Los Angeles. His larger goal is to use ethnography to reveal and explain the human suffering prevalent in marginal urban areas.