The Local Struggle for Cool
This chapter explores the transactional, contrastive character of ethnic youth identity in the local struggle for scarce resources. Formative boundary interactions expose status competition and conflict with youth others reflecting the major social divisions in the city notably ethnicity, race, and class. Guido is transacted as ethnic stigma enlisted to exclude outer borough Italian American youth in a stratified urban clubbing scene. On the other hand, self-identifying as Guido is an ethnic strategy for Italian American youth as they “jockey for power” (Thornton 1995) within local style markets. The ordered segmentation of local urban space is thrown into relief in a relationship with Black youth that is complicated by a coveted youth style. The chapter draws heavily on an ethnography of a “discursive” online scene where scarce material and nonmaterial rewards are grounded in offline urban “formations”.