By mapping the intricate social worlds of street gangs and corner boys, Whyte was among the first to demonstrate that a poor community need not be socially disorganized. His writing set a standard for vivid portrayals of real people in real situations. And his frank discussion of his methodology--participant observation--has served as an essential casebook in field research for generations of students and scholars.
This fiftieth anniversary edition includes a new preface and revisions to the methodological appendix. In a new section on the book's legacy, Whyte responds to recent challenges to the validity, interpretation, and uses of his data. The Whyte Impact on the Underdog, the moving statement by a gang leader who became the author's first research assistant, is preserved.
Street Corner Society broke new ground and set a standard for field research in American cities that remains a source of intellectual challenge.--Robert Washington, Reviews in Anthropology