Globalism, America’s Ghettos, and Black Youth Development

William E. Cross

in International Perspectives on Youth Conflict and Development

Published in print April 2006 | ISBN: 9780195178425
Published online April 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780199958528 | DOI:
Globalism, America’s Ghettos, and Black Youth Development

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Globalism is associated with the movement of jobs and industry from one country to another, and from 1955 to the present, hundreds of thousands of industrial sector jobs were shifted from the United States to various countries across the globe. In theory, globalization works when new jobs become available to replace the old. This chapter describes what happened to inner-city black communities and their youth when promised replacement jobs never materialized. The absence of a mainstream economic presence in the ghetto has given rise to a thriving underground economy anchored by the drug trade. While the trade itself can be analyzed from a rational, business perspective, the violence and community chaos linked to the trade plays havoc with black child and youth development. The chapter reviews how clinical psychologists and psychiatrists have taken the concept of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) — once solely associated with psychological reactions to wars outside the United States — and applied it to the emotional states of inner-city black children and youth who have experienced, witnessed, or possess firsthand knowledge about the violence and chaos linked to the underground economy. In addition, the history of the social struggles of white ethnic groups in the United States is revisited, as a way of gaining insight into what worked to effectuate social mobility for white groups trapped in poverty at earlier points in U.S. history.

Keywords: African-American youths; inner-city black children; underground economy; youth conflict; post-traumatic stress disorder; social mobility

Chapter.  10445 words. 

Subjects: Developmental Psychology

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