A Place on the Corner, Second Edition

A Study of Black Street Corner Men

Elijah Anderson (Author, Yale University)
1978, 1981
288 pages | 6 x 9 | © 2003
Fieldwork Encounters and Discoveries

This paperback edition of A Place on the Corner marks the twenty-fifth anniversary of Elijah Anderson’s sociological classic, a study of street corner life at a local barroom/liquor store located in the ghetto on Chicago’s South Side. Anderson returned night after night, month after month, to gain a deeper understanding of the people he met, vividly depicting how they created—and recreated—their local stratification system. In addition, Anderson introduces key sociological concepts, including “the extended primary group” and “being down.” The new preface and appendix in this edition expand on Anderson’s original work, telling the intriguing story of how he went about his field work among the men who frequented Jelly’s corner



“[Anderson’s] qualitative observations are guided and organized around the thesis that the interaction between the black men who frequented Jelly’s is not simply unstructured, effortless sociability but is instead a very complex and orderly negotiation for personal identity and status that is carried out in an identifiable and almost ritual patterns of deference and demeanor. The book is a first-rate addition to the growing body of urban ethnography and will doubtless take its place among the classics.”

“Anderson’s mix of the language of sociology and the more colorful street idiom makes a complex social phenomenon accessible to a broad audience. . . . An important work.”


1. The Setting
2. The Elaboration of Primary Ties and Personal Identities
3. The Regulars
4. The Wineheads
5. The Hoodlums
6. Social Order and Sociability
7. Conclusion
Appendix – Jelly’s Place: An Ethnographic Memoir