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Much is said in the literature on society of the slum as a breeder of Crime and Delinquency. We do not know definitively that slums do produce crime or anything else for that matter. It's like the screen door and houseflies the screen door does not breed. Why is that we would agree that it is associated with flies. The screen door is supposed to keep lies out of the house. If it fails to do this it keeps them inside the screen door contains the Flies inside the house but may produce some criminals and delinquents but also it may produce individuals who are not criminals and not delinquents regardless of what it produces or does not produce. The slum is a container for delinquents and criminals who live there. The theory of park and Burgess the slum is called a zone of transition. Originally a city Founders lived in the downtown section. As more people moved into the downtown zone some people moved to nearby sections outside the downtown business area. They reacted rather fine homes outside the downtown section bringing it in a sort of concentric circle. Much later this residential section became invaded with small factories lofts
warehouses and light industry and the residences were turned into multiple family dwellings apartments furnished rooms and flop houses who live in slum areas. Basically the majority of slum dwellers would fall into four categories. First there are underworld characters and criminal elements. Second there I trenchant these people were not raised in the slums they look forward to leaving the slums as soon as they are financially able. This type would be well illustrated by the young married couple who temporarily occupy an apartment as they say for a home in a better section of the city. They have few if any associations and friends in the salon. They avoid slum values so some of the slum dwellers are known as the trapped in that they have nowhere else to go either because they are financially unable to afford a better location or because they belong to a racial or ethnic minority suffering from social disqualifications. Finally there are people whom we call terminal slum dwellers or the adjusted poor.
They know of no other form of life. They are satisfied to live in the slum and to accept its values. They may be physically handicapped or unemployable aged infirm alcoholic. They have adjusted themselves to living on public relief or Social Security. It is questionable whether they even want to escape or improve. Of course there are other elements in the slum store owners politicians clergymen and so on but they form a numerically an important element of the slum population as such. Here to interview a fairly typical slum dwelling adolescent is Father Duffy a professor of sociology education university. Father Duffy working with children as part of a team including the psychologist psychiatrist social worker and probation officer can be a dramatic experience as well as a challenge to all involved. It's too bad that we can't add parents teachers police officers and clergy to the team but boy Bob in the following interview was rather unusual and
interesting. He's socially quite mature in his outlook and his expression. This I feel comes from associating so often with adult people. This boy seeks questions and challenges. He is sophisticated and precocious a thinker and a seeker after satisfying answers to eternally perplexing questions. Here's a fairly typical member of the Beat Generation. He was apprehended in a narcotics raid in which two adults were involved. The boy had lived in a New York slum. Later he moved to Greenwich Village to shorten his supply line to marijuana. Recently he came to Pittsburgh in the company of another dishwasher to take up residence in one of the slum areas here. Although I cannot be sure I feel that this boy has gained some new insights into why he is the way he is. As a child he was not with adult people much. The ones he did communicate with ridiculed him. As a result of this I feel he developed
a fear that everybody would reject him and his ideas. So what did he do. Either consciously or unconsciously he offered plans and ideas and opinions that other people could not possibly accept. He anticipated that others would reject him and he set the stage so they would and he would fail. When they rejected him he became wounded and withdrawn. And unhappy non-conformist Bob found that marijuana made him brave and comfortable. Marijuana users you see have no time to criticize him or his ideas. Here then is Bob. Bob now already about 17. Used to go to school on her. I quit when I was a journey are. You going to working or what. Yes I've been working in finance since I've been out of school. Latin School when you're 13.
I left I left time the first time when I was 13 and I. Went for school and during the summer I would leave and go to work. You never went back home again. Yes I am well during the time I was in school I was at home. I left last time probably when I quit school. I was 15 when you quit school and quit home. Yes thank you yes. How bigoted. I have two brothers and two sisters and my mother and father and myself. Mother if I ever married anybody else before my mother remarried again. So now she's living with my step father. You get along with him very well. Yes very. And. What made you leave home. I don't have endless searching I guess vagabond. Have you found anything in these four years that you've been living by yourself. Thank you very much I don't think I'm not quite sure I have
really will ever know until the end. How come you came here this time. I'm here in the other narcotics charge. Narcotics. It was a troll Did you take them away. Oh yes sir. What kind of narcotics Did you try marijuana. That's awesome. Yes. How much they cost apiece. They range anywhere from 50 cents to a dollar and a half depending on locality. And how did you get on this particular kid. Well I was living in New York at the time and I started going down. To Greenwich Village where people use it quite often and I started associating with the people and. Pretty soon it was the thing. Going through parties and things. What was the first experience that you had how or how did that come about. I was with some friends of mine in the village and we went to a party one night. It's kind of customary I guess for everybody to smoke marijuana
and some I didn't want to seem like you know the guy in the crowd so I just joined in and. I got her. Did you get to keep all of them. Yes I guess I used to used to using my nursing. How long have you been up. To him and and was a pretty hard for you to get off it Slayer now Sarah. You know I've been smiling every day appeared in training you know. You know forget marriage or for nursing. How about going to church did you get used to it used to be down your allotted you live there or touching letter part of my stay in New York I did live in Greenwich Village. After I started using drugs it was more convenient to move down to the village and we're working regularly there. Know after after I started taking drugs I quit working in a fire that I used to work on Wall Street. But it takes something to support that habit that I would let steadily but every once in awhile and quit.
And. We seem to make it through. How did you get picked up this time or is it too painful to talk about. Had I don't really actually they just care I was sleeping in the police Lecter and I'm not sure just what the circumstances were. Still trying to think somebody must have told him I think so. We're involved in anything else but this is against the law anyway otherwise. I think we're all right. And you can seem to get along well home you like that they're. Very much the only left. I've got I wish also that I will bear a little traveling very much and I don't think I've ever spent any When time in my whole life over six months from place. I was very New Jersey. How. Do you keep in contact with your family. Yes I used to hear that too much ever since I
started taking drugs I kind of lost contact with everybody I used to know and it just didn't seem necessary for me to write people and things like this friendship. And when they when they got you to just tell you it get right dressed you come with us here when we are there. With somebody else and yes I was with a couple of friends of mine in time. And when they looked up to us are. You kind of a material witness against me that I was supposed to be here. And they were all there I guess. Yes Nancy. And since you've been here has it been more pleasant for you if you figure things out that you didn't have. Well everybody was I think you might learn how to fight anyway I don't care if that can be attributed to anything good and I don't especially like it but. And I've learned how to fight for my soul you're pretty big bang. Theory. Yeah I guess I don't really know what was going to happen when your
little boys we started school them. I really can't remember back to first thing I remember. Right I primaries had a feeling and people were looking down on me because of. I never had anybody any friends in my childhood. Then you and I had a bit about where once in awhile. Every once in a while I feel it coming are. You having difficulty with authorities. Sorry figures like your parents or teachers or. Clergy or. In the fact they can't answer the questions I asked them other than they were going to find what you know of course that they say a fool can ask more questions in 5 minutes than a wise man can answer in a year. And if you ask enough questions of course you you're bound if you push fine if you're bound to hit people's limits. I just don't know of things. But they
can tell you probably how they look at it or if it depends on safe feet which means that you trust the one who says it. Oh you don't see what he says. But if you ask me how old am I and I tell you. Well you will if you trust me you'll believe that I know age. But you will not see how old I am. I ask you what your name is and you tell me. Well I take it that you need to know what you know how to trick me. But I never really can find out much I have a birth certificate. That's. Not quite sure what say you want to save it but sad as it sounds pretty or pretty you know if. You ever have anybody fears of anything you ever afraid being up yourself like that. I'm just afraid of people and some ways I think that's where the whole thing started my whole trouble in life seems to always come back to the fact that I'm afraid of people. And so when the thing I'm working on in here right now is for what you have a lot to offer and I think
well if you're after anything until you get that you get dull you lose your fear. You know I think it's really. What you're afraid of for some reason it must be that either they made fun of you or they think I'm afraid to die. Well except what I offer with you. With the kind of respect Ernie you know a bit like giving something to somebody that doesn't know what they were that it was just thrown away. Well it must be that you have had some experiences where they wouldn't accept what you had to offer. I think that's basically what I'm afraid of people in the first place because I was rejected in the beginning and I think too that that fear and anger are tied in together. With very close allies. I think fear and anger. That when you know accepted you get mad. But once one teenager told me one time that he said adults don't understand me and therefore they should not be able to legislate for me. They were tied into two things and so I don't understand. Then I should not have to do what they say Asians
and understand me are. And what you're really doing you see I think when you deal with people you are in a way trying to meet your needs and the only way you can meet your needs by being with other people you can satisfy your own needs. So you need other people to make you sure it's to make your food you know prepared and so forth and you want to be accepted. But you find that when you open your mouth and close the door. And you wonder well they can say what they want why can't I say what I want because when I say something you know if it's our beat or if it's unusual then they just figure well you're for you're stupid you're a. Non-conformist. Where. Could I there and I think if you are you see this is where the two kinds of people come from the bums and the geniuses. Three of our one so different. Well I think in the amount of production they stated the way this man is here I think well.
He's probably best adjusted for him. He can adjust at a very low level and maybe this is as far as it would not satisfy you. So you would be satisfied as we been in Florida and what you are people do that you wouldn't be satisfied with carrot tops and so I've been told this is a basic foods to keep you alive. We will give you all of my means of what you need but we don't we're not satisfied with the minimums basics. And then too I think that if we aren't careful we can make our whole life revolve around criticizing those who have achieved and where we ourselves achieved very little. We are we really kill those who do achieve. And produce. And maybe you know that part of this really reflects back on you again. Now when I feel this way that you will treat me pretty much the way I treat you if i'm pretty decent to you you will be decent to me. Well I think that in dealing with people you kind of hold back and the reason you hold back is your very being heard. Your very being criticized. Because they will not accept you the way you are. See what you do when you're fighting the reformers.
See the reformers as I don't like the way you comb your hair I don't like the way you're sure what's my with your sleeves when you pull your pants up. Why do you shave what you are and what wash your face when you do this and do that. So you need to pick a reef where they want to change you as we don't like to be generous. Particularly if it's not I'm not just you know. I think if you're doing something which is unusual and it's also annoying. Well out of consideration for the other guy you don't do what's annoying. But I don't think I don't see was annoying person. When I was a pretty big girl shivering. I've been trying to figure it out for a war crime and it hasn't worked here. Well if you figure in long enough usually it'll fall into place somewhere. See I think there are two basic approaches you can take if somebody says something you don't like or they don't accept you then reject you. You can look at it this way what's wrong with me. This is the guilt approach the other thing is what's wrong with them. This is what we call that
self image. You know if somebody doesn't like you heard his tough luck that somebody hates you or is angry at you he will suffer more from this than you do because of what you say something hurts my feelings. Well for four or five that were you got my mind in my memory my imagination tied up around you trying to get even but you hurt my feelings you can forget about it. You know God had his own canoe. So that ones who suffer I think are those who are sensitive. Maybe responsive and think. But the opposite is a person who's insensitive he doesn't care about anybody. And they're pretty awkward people to live with. You know. What about your feelings or your wishes or your ideas. In fact what they want to say will use you to pervert to further their own achievements. Was writhing and big on your mind. Now that you think that's about it.
Well I've just. This is really the first I've ever come in contact with. Church has it there are you a Catholic but no I'm not. I just. Was thinking about how. One of. You know. How relaxed you seemed to me were. Me Just you must be a believer in not just to believe in the sense of words but to belabor virtually And I'm just taking it is too bad that all the people outside of the cell approach to religion or anything for that matter because. It's not so much what you believe in it's just that your belief makes a difference. From the course if you get the answers to the big questions you know just the ones either fall into place for you to ignore them. With and you gotta find something to believe in that's really something to hold on to and it's pretty hard if you've been kicked around quite a bit it's pretty hard to find something to believe in because. The thing seems to
hold in. The scripture about that you know how can you believe in God and you don't see if you don't believe in people you don't see. And I think a lot of the hood you know your absence of faith or confidence or trust in people into the kind of people you run into. You didn't invite this kind of trust and faith are going to. You have to earn it maybe. How do you feel now anything any different. But I have lightened up another. Letter that was very good but I think enlightment on a realist that just comes up a little bit and I. You know you can expect a bolt of lightning to suddenly give you all the answers. I think it works in a release that gets a little brighter. The get go again in a little brighter and then maybe a whole lot duller. And then and then at the end you begin to see you know things where they belong. I'm sure he went to a
dark room and you feel around this stuff as well I mean strangers but you never been there before. But if the light goes on you can see what the stuff is. There. I think about having to go to hell. When one hears a story like Bob's there's a tendency to become overconcerned or preoccupied with a problem. In this case marijuana and forget about the boy Bob. I would merely point out that marijuana is a form of hemp in which eight chemical compounds have been isolated. It is thought that the resin in combination with fire gives a narcotic effect to the user. Effects vary with individuals but the most characteristic one is euphoria a feeling of well-being. Marijuana is legally a narcotic drug. Although medically and chemically It is not. It is not addictive for example the use of it does not create a tolerance or dependence. Nor are there any significant
withdrawal symptoms when one discontinues the use. Nothing in the literature of marijuana suggests that it dries up the brain cells as was once said of it and alcohol. Nor is it clear that users go on to heroin morphine or cocaine which are derivatives of opium. In this case it's not the marijuana that holds our attention. We're concerned about the boy. I would suggest that Bob is a boy without social roots. He has left his family. I get the feeling that he's like a person riding in an automobile which has no steering wheel and no brakes. He's a drifter and a floater. One of the many transients who inhabit city slums. I do not know how he will turn out nor where he will go but he's on the way to becoming a vagrant or a hobo. I always enjoy the classification given of this class of unfortunates. They say that a hobo is a migrant worker. The tramp is a migrant who will not work and the bum is a stationary
tramp. He digs in in the slum and lives as a public charge. Let's now interview a transit worker or Hobo Bob is quite likely to follow in his footsteps. Where you can't comment. What's your story so far you've had some trouble nothing to be proud of and more to be ashamed of. Started off when I was a kid body and go to school. So I was a smart guy. When I was about 18 I was arrested for. 1937 I was arrested for burglary at a time I didn't care so much because of how well it wouldn't hurt me but. When I came out to find out how hard it is to get a start again. I mean that there are so many job opportunities close to you. If you look around you to burn and you have nothing and no one cares about you and now that a good reputation which more than any attorney here. Hasn't
anybody to give you a hand up a lot of people. Or organizations will offer you a dollar say you know that done their duty. But it doesn't help I mean take a personal interest you know. It's very hard to do that as you know you left New York. I left New York and worked my way back up and Philadelphian because I had no place to set me with a year in town what a way to go to jail for a year I wouldn't feel so bad if I was sure someone would take an interest when I came out to try to help me. Well how do you live where did you sleep last night. Last night I had a couple of hours and I stayed out of the military is a flop. No it's a regular hotel. When you can't afford money just for one night. The best thing for me in my condition to be off the street and then nothing happens because I have no intention of doing. But you do get pretty desperate in fact. Sometimes I think I'd be better off dead. As you say you're alone you have no roots. Your folks are gone. Well just
once in a while you could find someone like you have done for me to even talk to me when you know let me feel it in my parenting because at the moment I need to talk to. Thank you very much. You never married and you're bound for you know forty two and you know the better. When I was a kid I was in the Navy and I got a bad conduct discharge. In fact I made a mention and I provided but I've never been a vicious criminal been you know not to be a vicious criminal mean just the thought of being a thief. I think as an artist you know because when you know when to be a thief Well nobody has the confidence in you to say mobile give him a chance I think that's pretty terrifying thing to look at. Face your way I can't blame you but I'm not asking for a job with responsibility I'm willing to do a menial task for a kitchen but I'd like to be paid something I mean I don't want to just exist and I create clothes as anybody. Now I have nothing for you meant you keep yourself pretty neat looking in appearance. Usually want to see fire department and I would use the washroom and I carry
everything I own the world is a small razor. Before I left New York I went to a barber school for 40 cents a can. So the future looks pretty bleak at this point. Just five things she said I don't want what I write but I would like to feel I have a place to stay but I keep myself clean and a few dollars for cigarettes you know a movie or something I doubt I think everyone likes to feel that they work in money to pay something and then too there's a satisfaction coming from the fact of knowing that somebody else you mean something to someone else and you don't have that feeling where you belong someplace I mean I had NO NO PLACE I mean I mean and if you have a job where you walk I would arrest people you feel I belong someplace and somebody needs me and do something. How about drinking the much we drink. Oh I like aggressive but I can't drink even I mean a lot of people say well bad company with another groan is you know I mean nobody can force you to do anything.
Actually we do not know how either the man or the boy will turn out alone. You can see that the man's course is charted and his face is to the wind. Nothing magical or mysterious is going to happen to convert him into a prosperous useful citizen. I think he senses this and in a way he accepts it. He has no family no wife no loved ones no home no possessions in ownership he's down to one safety razor. Now the boy doesn't have much more. He has caught himself off from his family too and he never had any friends. He has no god nor faith to sustain him. When he outlived his parents says he will do he too may have nothing but a razor and a number of unsatisfied appetites. Within a few days he'll be sent back to New Jersey to see if he can establish himself with his family again. I'm not sure that he wants a sort of security because it means monotony. No excitement no novelty no adventure. But then he had a taste of these
things and he was not ready for them. He's like a boy who stalled on a plane and watched the landing instructions blow out the window on takeoff. You have been listening to exploring the child's world. A program in which the child speaks. Father Francis Duffy Professor of Sociology at Duquesne University has conducted the interview with the child and to find the outlines of this world in the summary that followed. This is been a production of the radio service of detained University in cooperation with Ukraine sociology department technical director Frederick Williams program director and older man. Listen again next week for another in the series exploring the child's world. This program was distributed by the national educational radio network.
Exploring the child's world III
Smoke our your monkey
Producing Organization
Duquesne University
WDUQ (Radio station : Pittsburgh, Pa.)
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University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Episode Description
Bob is 17. He liked his family, but quit them at 15. An unhappy nonconformist, he is afraid of people. Marijuana made him brave and comfortable. He found that marijuana users have no time to criticize him
Series Description
Interviews with delinquent and disturbed young people who are encouraged to discuss their experiences and express feelings. To protect individuals, each program is a re-creation of an actual interview using different names and places.
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Producing Organization: Duquesne University
Producing Organization: WDUQ (Radio station : Pittsburgh, Pa.)
Speaker: Duffy, Francis
AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 64-5-12 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:29:34
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Chicago: “Exploring the child's world III; Smoke our your monkey,” 1964-02-27, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed June 5, 2023,
MLA: “Exploring the child's world III; Smoke our your monkey.” 1964-02-27. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. June 5, 2023. <>.
APA: Exploring the child's world III; Smoke our your monkey. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from