Gang Leader For a Day OverviewAs a grad student at the University of Chicago, Sudhir Venkatesh decided to take a different approach in writing his dissertation on race and poverty. He decided to visit the Lake Park projects to begin his research. He was greeted with derision and suspicion by gang members who thought he was from a rival Mexican gang; they didn’t realize he was East Indian. He went through an ordeal trying to convince the leader J.T. that he wasn’t a threat to them – even took a beating – and that all he wanted was to learn about their gang and that hopefully his work could one day help the impoverished people of the area. An unexpected friendship grew between the two men from different worlds. Sudhir’s quest to learn about gang life first hand was wrought with danger and uncertainty, an experience that would stay with him the rest of his life.
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Gang Leader For a Day Study Guide