Between Good and Ghetto

Between Good and Ghetto

Praise for Between Good and Ghetto:

“Between Good and Ghetto is an expertly written and fascinating ethnography.”– Zine Magubane,  Contemporary Sociology

“This book adds invaluable information and analysis to the growing debate on the violence perpetrated by girls, and the ethnographic method is exactly what is needed to further the question of whether today’s girls–particularly those most marginalized due to class, race and neighborhood–are more violent.”—Joanne Belknap, author of The Invisible Woman: Gender, Crime, & Justice

“Nikki Jones’ sharp, detailed investigation of the way fighting, on the street and in school, shapes the lives of young African-American women combines shrewd analytical insight and clear evocative language to give readers an understanding of what it costs a ‘good girl’ to stay good, and what happens to those who ‘go for bad.'”—Howard S. Becker, author of  Outsiders  Writing for Social Scientists

“A very compelling account of daily life as experienced by poor, urban, African American adolescent girls. Recommended.”—Choice


With an outward gaze focused on a better future, Between Good and Ghetto reflects the social world of inner city African American girls and how they manage threats of personal violence.

Drawing on personal encounters, traditions of urban ethnography, Black feminist thought, gender studies, and feminist criminology, Nikki Jones gives readers a richly descriptive and compassionate account of how African American girls negotiate schools and neighborhoods governed by the “code of the street”—the form of street justice that governs violence in distressed urban areas. She reveals the multiple strategies they use to navigate interpersonal and gender-specific violence and how they reconcile the gendered dilemmas of their adolescence. Illuminating struggles for survival within this group, Between Good and Ghetto encourages others to move African American girls toward the center of discussions of “the crisis” in poor, urban neighborhoods.

Click here to buy Between Good and Ghetto from Rutgers University Press or at Amazon.


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