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Identity sags in transition

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  1. Introduction.
  2. The act of sagging and its evolution out of prison culture.
  3. Sagging as a direct response to the socio-cultural experience of modern day African-American communities.
  4. The book Dress Codes by Ruth Rubinstein.
    1. The gangsta rap style of dress.
    2. Implementation of mandatory dress codes.
  5. Primary research methods for the paper.
    1. The thirty informants who were asked when they started sagging and why.
    2. Sagging to enhance ones style.
    3. Sagging as a condition of habit.
    4. Sagging as a condition of habit.
  6. Fieldwork notes.
  7. Collector's comments.

In February of 2005, the state of Virginia proposed a ?Droopy Drawers? bill. The House voted 60-34 for this bill (Bellantoni), but was later shot down by the Senate. If passed, one would have been facing a fifty-dollar fine for sagging. ?It's not an attack on baggy pants,? said delegate Algie T Howell Jr., ?To vote for this bill would be a vote for character, to uplift your community and to do something good not only for the state of Virginia, but for this entire country,? (Bellantoni). My attention was brought to this bill by my father, who sent me an email with the newspaper article attached. All he added in the email was, ??You probably shouldn't be heading to Virginia anytime soon.? My father often gives me flack for wearing my pants so low. His email made me laugh, but the newspaper article did not. Delegate Howell's statement seriously bothered me, mainly in that it labeled the act of sagging a parasitic behavior undermining community values; as if raising one's pants will thus uplift one's community.

[...] In middle school and junior high, having a sense of belonging is particularly important for students because of the need to gap the sharp transition from grade school as smoothly as possible. Though there is some authoritative guidance in middle school and junior high, less protection and direction is provided to students as they are encouraged to develop and grow with less institutionalized force. Hormones, along with sex education and P.E., instead of recess, alter student's perceptions drastically when compared to what they have experienced thus far. [...]

[...] Inmates are refused the right to possess belts as they are identified as possible weapons and can easily aide in the act of suicide. Thus, the pants of prison uniforms tended to sag or droop. As inmates were released, the practice continued outside the prison walls. Scholars interested in sagging have focused primarily on the act as a compliment to violent gang activity. They tend to limit their studies to African-American communities, particularly to life in the ghettos, and view the act as an expression of Black culture. [...]

[...] 11 ?Sometime in high school. like the way it looks.? 12 ?Sixth grade probably.? ?Just a habit.? 13 ?Middle school.? like the style.? 14 . I think I started in eighth kind of compliments grade.? my attitude. Like I just don't give a fuck, ya 15 ?When I was in middle school.? style.? 16 ?Junior high.? [short laugh upon hearing my question] piss people off.? 17 ?Sixth or seventh grade.? ?Adds character.? 18 ?High school.? ?Flow a lot. Listen to hip-hop. [...]

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