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MacLeod's 1987 work, ground-breaking for the way it combines field research with theory, follows the lives of two groups of young men from a low-income housing project in the Boston area to show how poor people who aspire to live the American Dream face many more obstacles than their middle-class counterparts. Challenging conventional ideas about race, MacLeod looks at the mostly white Hallway Hangers, who are delinquents and high-school dropouts, and the mostly black Brothers, who don't use drugs and stay in school. Yet, in a damning indictment of the American class system, even the Brothers are mostly unable to secure good jobs by the time they reach middle age.