Poverty In Hogan`s Alley
PovertyIn Hogan’s Alley
Hogan`sAlley was the native, informal name for Park Lane, an alley thatloped through the South-Western corner of Strathcona in Vancouverbetween 1900 and 1960. It stretched between Union and Prior Streetsfrom roughly Main Street to Jackson Avenue. The town was known forits high crime rate and a large population of multiracial communitiesbut with black people being the majority (Miesen, 2014). Toward thestart of the 20th century, people of African origin began to set upstable residence in Vancouver, British Columbia. Gradually howeverrelentlessly, their group made houses of worship, group associations,renowned eateries that served well-known musicians and local peoplealike, a considerable melodic scene and a notorious nightlife. As aresult, the neighboring affluent people viewed the place withdisparagement and condescension (Monture, 2012). Even the nameHogan’s Alley arose from some derogatory basis. The town was theRed Light District of Vancouver, a status affirmed by Mayor L.DTaylor. An analysis of the economic situation is important because itprovides a better understanding of the sociological behavior of thecommunity living here.
Afterthe American Civil War, there was a great wave of migration by blackpeople due to the unaddressed issues of inequality and the expansionof the railway lines. After the elections of a Republican president,Rutherford B Hayes, the White supremacists once again ground fordominating the Africans in America. Their independence was once againcurtailed, and their freedom limited which was equivalent to theirearlier state of slavery. In addition, there had emerged a militiaorganization known as the KKK whose sole aim was to terrorize theAfricans. The KKK murdered Africans, vandalized their property andintimidated them from exercising their basic rights as citizens. Inthe South, a man known as Jim Farrow devised and executed ruthlessracial segregation techniques that further devalued the Africans andas a result, they were desperate for freedom (Rudder, 2004).Consequently, they boarded transport vessels to the Northern townsjust to escape from this kind of mistreatment. Some of them traveledas far as Canada, and that is how they arrived in Vancouver and morespecifically Hogan’s Alley.
Attheir arrival in Canada, most Black men were hired as porters becauseof their status in the hierarchical food chain amongst human beings.This resulted from the fact that most of the White collar jobs wereperformed by the White men who were considered superior. The wives ofthe White men were mainly housewives who could not attend to theneeds of their husbands because of the distance between their homesand the workplaces. Therefore, the remaining jobs were in the serviceindustry which was considered cheap and demeaning for the White menbecause it involved serving food, making beds, polishing shoes, doinglaundry amongst others menial jobs. Without a doubt, Blacks men werethe only other category of people who could do such jobs (Porter,2007). As most of the Whites, worked for the railway station, theBlacks who cleaned after them would also have to work there as well.This is how Hogan’s Alley emerged as the Black men found asettlement that was near the Pacific Central station.
Thepopulation of Black people started increasing tremendously at Hogan’sAlley because of the job opportunities and refuge from racialdiscrimination. As mentioned earlier most of these Africans workedlow-level jobs which did not pay very well. Therefore, thesettlements that emerged were informal because of the scarce funds tobuild permanent structures. Some Blacks who arrived at the stationdid not get work immediately and had to depend on the others who wereemployed, and this further thinned out the income. The growingpopulation of Black men also resulted in an upsurge in prostitutionactivities. Prostitution gave birth to other vices and crimes(Rudder, 2004). This activity was undertaken by some women as a meansof survival in the hard times. As a means of survival, some of theBlack men who had succeeded opened entertainment spots and nightclubsto earn some extra income. Nightclubs owned by unscrupulousbusinessmen also started providing drugs to the clients. Some peoplewho had no jobs engaged in substance abuse as a means of drainingtheir frustrations while others became peddlers to sustain theirlivelihoods. There was also an increased petty crime rate such astheft that was orchestrated by the many idle people who had means ofsubsistence. Education was also not very common in this neighborhoodfurther advancing the reasons for idleness. It was simply a viciouscycle of poverty that was caused by the related factors exhibited inthis small community.
Explanationof Sociological Theories
Throughthis case study, some sociological issues are highlighted. These aremostly linked to the aspects of social inequality and deviance andconformity. Social inequalities are simply the understanding of thedistribution of rewards and opportunities amongst various individualsand groups. In analyzing social inequalities, the differentstratifications of a group such as a gender, age, race, region, andreligion come into play (Porter, 2007). This has been exhausted inthe historical explanation and the summary of findings. The key pointof concern, in this case, is deviance and conformity. Deviance andConformity address the issues of social reactions to situations. Asexplained above, the community at Hogan’s Alley was infamouslyknown for its criminal activities and other vices. It is vital tounderstand why this was so and the relationships between thisphenomenon and the nature of the population living there at the time.Also, Karl Marx theory of conflict is depicted by the class disputesbetween the Blacks and Whites. These sociological theories relatedto deviance and conformity is explained below and are pegged to somereflections in the community at Hogan’s Alley.
Applicationof Sociological Theories
•DifferentialAssociation Theory: This hypothesis endeavours to clarify why certainpeople carry on uniquely in contrast to others in their socialorders. It depends on the idea of common association. This wonderexplains that these people that keep going distinctively secure thesepropensities by gaining from different gatherings that have framedthe propensity for immoral conduct (Bierestedt and Merton, 1950). Therate of crooks in Hogan`s Alley increment as a result of the presenceof criminals. A good examples of those who have figured out how tomake due with this as a method for the job. There are existingwrongdoing guides that up, and coming crooks gain from.
•Control/BondTheory: This idea implies that every single individual is enticed togo astray from social standards however what stops them is anarrangement of controls that exist both inside and remotely. There islikewise the point of view of the way of bonds between otherindividuals in the general public and us. Solid bonds demoralizefreak conduct while weak bonds move degenerate behavior (Bierestedtand Merton, 1950). Unmistakably, in this group, the obligations ofthe general public were weak, and like this, the predominance ofanomalous conduct turns out to exceptionally visit.
Strain Theory: This hypothesis proposes that society pressurizes people to accomplish some characterized objectives that are thought to be perfect and therefore, individuals wind up participating in criminal exercises or immoral conduct to accomplish these points (Bierestedt and Merton, 1950). This is the essential clarification for sociological behavior in Hogan`s Alley. People come in the quest for individual and monetary freedom. At the point when the conditions end up plainly muddled, and these objectives can never again be accomplished as efficiently not surprisingly, trouble sets in and individuals fall back on wrongdoing to meet these goals. That is the explanation for the upsurge in criminal exercises.
Labelling Theory: This approach is otherwise called the self-satisfying prediction and proposes that the marks and terms used to arrange individuals have an immediate impact in deciding the self-discernment, character, and conduct of a person and additionally how other people see them. This practice is regularly known as stereotyping, and the vast majority wind up getting to be noticeably run of the mill to these generalizations. Therefore, of stereotyping, these casualties depend on balance strategies to legitimize their activities for veering off from worthy societal behaviours (Bierestedt and Merton, 1950). The encompassing affluent groups have marked the occupants of Hogan`s Alley as lawbreakers, and that is the thing that they have turned out to be through the self-satisfying prescience (Monture, 2012).
Asdiscussed above, the financial situation of the residents of Hogan’sAlley had a consequence in their reactions towards the perspective onlife. The hardships and challenges they encounter in sustaining lifecause them to engage in a deviant social behavior. Other factors bothpersonal and environmental also contribute to this situation. As aresult, the social inequalities in Canada are revealed by this case.Eventually, the Alley’s shanties were demolished and plans toestablish modern urban settings have been underway with a few unitsbeing completed.
Bierstedt,Robert Merton, Robert K. (1950)."Social Theory and Social Structure toward the Codification ofTheory and Research." American Sociological Review. 15(1): 140
Miesen,Lewis. (2014). “Hogan’sAlley: A History of Vancouver’s Forgotten Afro-CanadianNeighborhood.”N.p., July 2014. Web. 2ndApr. 2017.
Monture,Patricia (2012).“What is Sovereignty for Indigenous People?” (QuestioningSociology)
Porter,John. (2007). “TheVertical Mosaic: An Analysis of Social Class and Power in Canada.”(Seeing Ourselves).
Rudder,Adam. (2004). “ABlack Community in Vancouver: A History of Invisibility.”Diss. University of Victoria
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