Victor Rios Rios reﬂ ects on how his own youth involvement with gang culture in Oakland informed his study of Black and Latino youth experiences. He explains how discovering patterns of punitive social control within these two youth groups called into question his own reﬂ exivity. He provides some startling accounts of ﬁ eld experiences, and speaks candidly about the consequences that resulted from certain decision-making during the research process
Comparing the experiences of young Blacks and Latinos happened organically. I grew up in Oakland in a traditionally Black neighborhood that had recently experienced a large infl ux of Latinos. By the time I came of age, I noticed that Blacks and Latinos in my neighborhood encountered very similar experiences with domestic, street, and state violence. As I began my study I decided I wanted to understand how these young people made sense of these experiences. In my fi eldwork I learned that race, of course, does matter,
that Black youths oft en face more dire consequences and heavier criminalization. Moreover, Black and Latino youth respond in very similar ways to punishment, they resist it, they embrace it, or they fi nd creative ways to survive it.