Residential patterns are reflections of social structure; to ask, "who lives in which neighborhoods," is to explore a sorting-out process that is based largely on socioeconomic status, ethnicity, and life cycle characteristics. This benchmark volume uses census data, with its uniquely detailed information on small geographic areas, to bring into focus the familiar yet often vague concept of neighborhood. Michael White examines nearly 6,000 census tracts (approximating neighborhoods) in twenty-one representative metropolitan areas, from Atlanta to Salt Lake City, Newark to San Diego. The availability of statistics spanning several decades and covering a wide range of demographic characteristics (including age, race, occupation, income, and housing quality) makes possible a rich analysis of the evolution and implications of differences among neighborhoods. In this complex mosaic, White finds patterns and traces them over time—showing, for example, how racial segregation has declined modestly while socioeconomic segregation remains constant, and how population diffusion gradually affects neighborhood composition. His assessment of our urban settlement system also illuminates the social forces that shape contemporary city life and the troubling policy issues that plague it. A Volume in the Russell Sage Foundation Census Series
"Robert A. Slayton's Back of the Yards is one of the finest accounts I have ever read on an urban, working-class neighborhood in twentieth-century America. Its focus on family, politics, and worklife is penetrating and its conclusions reinforce an emerging scholarly picture of ordinary people exercising unique forms of power."—John Bodnar, author of The Transplanted: A History of Immigrants in Urban America
When middle-class residents fled American cities in the 1960s and 1970s, government services and investment capital left too. Countless urban neighborhoods thus entered phases of precipitous decline, prompting the creation of community-based organizations that sought to bring direly needed resources back to the inner city. Today there are tens of thousands of these CBOs—private nonprofit groups that work diligently within tight budgets to give assistance and opportunity to our most vulnerable citizens by providing services such as housing, child care, and legal aid.
Through ethnographic fieldwork at eight CBOs in the Brooklyn neighborhoods of Williamsburg and Bushwick, Nicole P. Marwell discovered that the complex and contentious relationships these groups form with larger economic and political institutions outside the neighborhood have a huge and unexamined impact on the lives of the poor. Most studies of urban poverty focus on individuals or families, but Bargaining for Brooklyn widens the lens, examining the organizations whose actions and decisions collectively drive urban life.
Politicians, citizens, and police agencies have long embraced community policing, hoping to reduce crime and disorder by strengthening the ties between urban residents and the officers entrusted with their protection.
That strategy seems to make sense, but in Citizens, Cops, and Power, Steve Herbert reveals the reasons why it rarely, if ever, works. Drawing on data he collected in diverse Seattle neighborhoods from interviews with residents, observation of police officers, and attendance at community-police meetings, Herbert identifies the many obstacles that make effective collaboration between city dwellers and the police so unlikely to succeed. At the same time, he shows that residents’ pragmatic ideas about the role of community differ dramatically from those held by social theorists.
Surprising and provocative, Citizens, Cops, and Power provides a critical perspective not only on the future of community policing, but on the nature of state-society relations as well.
Gordana Rabrenovic Temple University Press, 1996 Library of Congress HN80.A33R33 1996 | Dewey Decimal 307.3362
In the 1980s the failure of corporate strategies and trickle-down economics led to gross inequalities among many U.S. neighborhoods and cities. By examining and comparing a gentrifying and a low-income neighborhood in two medium-sized cities, Gordana Rabrenovic shows how the problems they faced are typical of a number of neighborhoods nationwide. In particular, Rabrenovic focuses on the relationship between neighborhood associations and urban restructuring, arguing persuasively that the success of neighborhood associations depends more on the city in which the neighborhood is located than on the neighborhood itself.
Her tale discusses two very different cities with distinct political economies: Albany, a healthy service sector city, and Schenectady, a declining manufacturing city. Acknowledging both the value and limits of collective action, Rabrenovic addresses issues of particular relevance in urban areas, such as land use and crime, as well as the need for neighborhood organizations to forge links with local elites and other neighborhoods, and to engage and bring together poor and minority residents. Her analysis of neighborhood-based mobilization, preservation, and revitalization illuminates the ways in which grassroots issues intersect with prevailing political agendas and the national economy, as well as how issues such as race and class affect daily community politics.
The third edition of Community Organizing and Community Building for Health and Welfare provides new and more established ways to approach community building and organizing, from collaborating with communities on assessment and issue selection to using the power of coalition building, media advocacy, and social media to enhance the effectiveness of such work.
With a strong emphasis on cultural relevance and humility, this collection offers a wealth of case studies in areas ranging from childhood obesity to immigrant worker rights to health care reform. A "tool kit" of appendixes includes guidelines for assessing coalition effectiveness, exercises for critical reflection on our own power and privilege, and training tools such as "policy bingo." From former organizer and now President Barack Obama to academics and professionals in the fields of public health, social work, urban planning, and community psychology, the book offers a comprehensive vision and on-the-ground examples of the many ways community building and organizing can help us address some of the most intractable health and social problems of our times.
Dr. Minkler's course syllabus: Although Dr. Minkler has changed the order of some chapters in the syllabus to accommodate guest speakers and help students prep for the midterm assignment she uses, she arranged the actual book layout in a way that should flow quite naturally if instructors wish to use it in the order in which chapters appear.
What do community organizations and organizers do, and what should they do? For the past thirty years politicians, academics, advocates, and activists have heralded community as a site and strategy for social change. In contrast, Contesting Community paints a more critical picture of community work which, according to the authors--in both theory and practice--has amounted to less than the sum of its parts. Their comparative study of efforts in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada describes and analyzes the limits and potential of this work.
Covering dozens of groups, including ACORN, Brooklyn's Fifth Avenue Committee, and the Immigrant Workers Centre in Montreal, and discussing alternative models, this book is at once historical and contemporary, global and local. Contesting Community addresses one of the vital issues of our day--the role and meaning of community in people's lives and in the larger political economy.
Randy Stoecker's intimate biography of Cedar-Riverside, nationally known for a period as "the Haight-Ashbury of the Mid-West," contains important lessons about the conflicts between the needs of capitalism and the needs of community. While attending graduate school at the University of Minnesota, the author moved to Cedar-Riverside, a Minneapolis neighborhood known for its determination to enact values of peace, justice, wholeness, participation, and community in its truest sense. There he experienced first-hand the clashes between a radical community and state-backed urban developers.
His narrative tells the story of a community that overcame the odds against its own survival. Slated for total demolition, the neighborhood was saved by a powerful grass-roots movement. Citizens stopped a state-capital coalition from entombing the community in concrete and went on to create one of the largest community controlled urban redevelopment projects in the country After more than twenty years of struggle, Cedar-Riverside continues to experience citizen-controlled urban redevelopment on its own terms, setting an example for other communities, urban planners, and policymakers.
In the series Conflicts in Urban and Regional Development, edited by John R. Logan and Todd Swanstrom.
Candice Rai’s Democracy’s Lot is an incisive exploration of the limitations and possibilities of democratic discourse for resolving conflicts in urban communities. Rai roots her study of democratic politics and publics in a range of urban case studies focused on public art, community policing, and urban development. These studies examine the issues that erupted within an ethnically and economically diverse Chicago neighborhood over conflicting visions for a vacant lot called Wilson Yard. Tracing how residents with disparate agendas organized factions and deployed language, symbols, and other rhetorical devices in the struggle over Wilson Yard’s redevelopment and other contested public spaces, Rai demonstrates that rhetoric is not solely a tool of elite communicators, but rather a framework for understanding the agile communication strategies that are improvised in the rough-and-tumble work of democratic life.
Wilson Yard, a lot eight blocks north of Wrigley Field in Chicago’s gentrifying Uptown neighborhood, is a diverse enclave of residents enlivened by recent immigrants from Guatemala, Mexico, Vietnam, Ethiopia, and elsewhere. The neighborhood’s North Broadway Street witnesses a daily multilingual hubbub of people from a wide spectrum of income levels, religions, sexual identifications, and interest groups. When a fire left the lot vacant, this divided community projected on Wilson Yard disparate and conflicting aspirations, the resolution of which not only determined the fate of this particular urban space, but also revealed the lot of democracy itself as a process of complex problem-solving. Rai’s detailed study of one block in an iconic American city brings into vivid focus the remarkable challenges that beset democratic urban populations anywhere on the globe—and how rhetoric supplies a framework to understand and resolve those challenges.
Based on exhaustive field work, Rai uses rhetorical ethnography to study competing publics, citizenship, and rhetoric in action, exploring “rhetorical invention,” the discovery or development by individuals of the resources or methods of engaging with and persuading others. She builds a case for democratic processes and behaviors based not on reflexive idealism but rather on the hard work and practice of democracy, which must address apathy, passion, conflict, and ambivalence.
Over the past fifteen years, associations throughout the U.S. have organized citizens around issues of equality and social justice, often through local churches. But in contrast to President Bush's vision of faith-based activism, in which groups deliver social services to the needy, these associations do something greater. Drawing on institutions of faith, they reshape public policies that neglect the disadvantaged.
To find out how this faith-based form of community organizing succeeds, Richard L. Wood spent several years working with two local groups in Oakland, California—the faith-based Pacific Institute for Community Organization and the race-based Center for Third World Organizing. Comparing their activist techniques and achievements, Wood argues that the alternative cultures and strategies of these two groups give them radically different access to community ties and social capital.
Creative and insightful, Faith in Action shows how community activism and religious organizations can help build a more just and democratic future for all Americans.
Sixteen original essays document the extent and variety of citizen resistance and struggle in the Appalachian region since 1960. The contributors-all organizers or activist intellectuals-describe how and why some of the dramatic Appalachian resistance efforts and strategies have arisen.
Contributors: Bill Allen, Mary K. Anglin, Fran Ansley, Alan Banks, Dwight Billings, Mary Beth Bingman, Sherry Cable, Guy and Candie Carawan, Richard A. Couto, Stephen William Foster, John M. Glen, Hal Hamilton, Bennett M. Judkins, Don Manning-Miller, Ellen Ryan, Jim Sessions, Joe Szakos, Karen Tice, Chris Weiss, and the editor.
The indigenous population of the Ecuadorian Andes made substantial political gains during the 1990s in the wake of a dynamic wave of local activism. The movement renegotiated land development laws, elected indigenous candidates to national office, and successfully fought for the constitutional redefinition of Ecuador as a nation of many cultures. Fighting Like a Community argues that these remarkable achievements paradoxically grew out of the deep differences—in language, class, education, and location—that began to divide native society in the 1960s.
Drawing on fifteen years of fieldwork, Rudi Colloredo-Mansfeld explores these differences and the conflicts they engendered in a variety of communities. From protestors confronting the military during a national strike to a migrant family fighting to get a relative released from prison, Colloredo-Mansfeld recounts dramatic events and private struggles alike to demonstrate how indigenous power in Ecuador is energized by disagreements over values and priorities, eloquently contending that the plurality of Andean communities, not their unity, has been the key to their political success.
Freedom Is an Endless Meeting offers vivid portraits of American experiments in participatory democracy throughout the twentieth century. Drawing on meticulous research and more than one hundred interviews with activists, Francesca Polletta challenges the conventional wisdom that participatory democracy is worthy in purpose but unworkable in practice. Instead, she shows that social movements have often used bottom-up decision making as a powerful tool for political change.
Polletta traces the history of democracy in early labor struggles and pre-World War II pacifism, in the civil rights, new left, and women's liberation movements of the sixties and seventies, and in today's faith-based organizing and anti-corporate globalization campaigns. In the process, she uncovers neglected sources of democratic inspiration—Depression-era labor educators and Mississippi voting registration workers, among them—as well as practical strategies of social protest. But Freedom Is an Endless Meeting also highlights the obstacles that arise when activists model their democracies after familiar nonpolitical relationships such as friendship, tutelage, and religious fellowship. Doing so has brought into their deliberations the trust, respect, and caring typical of those relationships. But it has also fostered values that run counter to democracy, such as exclusivity and an aversion to rules, and these have been the fault lines around which participatory democracies have often splintered. Indeed, Polletta attributes the fragility of the form less to its basic inefficiency or inequity than to the gaps between activists' democratic commitments and the cultural models on which they have depended to enact those commitments. The challenge, she concludes, is to forge new kinds of democratic relationships, ones that balance trust with accountability, respect with openness to disagreement, and caring with inclusiveness.
For anyone concerned about the prospects for democracy in America, Freedom Is an Endless Meeting will offer abundant historical, theoretical, and practical insights.
"This is an excellent study of activist politics in the United States over the past century. . . . Assiduously researched, impressively informed by a great number of thoughtful interviews with key members of American social movements, and deeply engaged with its subject matter, the book is likely to become a key text in the study of grass-roots democracy in America."—Kate Fullbrook, Times Literary Supplement
"Polletta's portrayal challenges the common assumption that morality and strategy are incompatible, that those who aim at winning must compromise principle while those who insist on morality are destined to be ineffective. . . . Rather than dwell on trying to explain the decline of 60s movements, Polletta shows how participatory democracy has become the guiding framework for many of today's activists."—Richard Flacks, Los Angeles Times Book Review
"In Freedom Is an Endless Meeting, Francesca Polletta has produced a remarkable work of historical sociology. . . . She provides the fullest theoretical work of historical sociology. . . . She provides the fullest theoretical picture of participatory democracy, rich with nuance, ambiguity, and irony, that this reviewer has yet seen. . . . This wise book should be studied closely by both academics and by social change activists."—Stewart Burns, Journal of American History
In Ghosts of Organizations Past, Dan Ryan asks, “Why are urban communities such hard places to implement community improvement programs?” Looking at New Haven, Connecticut, and a now-defunct program called Fighting Back, which was created to build community coalitions against the abuse of alcohol and other drugs, Ryan shows how the normal properties of organizations generate apparent pathologies. He shows how the “ghosts,” or artifacts, of past organizations, both inhibited and enhanced Fighting Back's chances of success.
Ryan draws on concepts from the study of organizations, social capital, and social networks to re-think questions such as “What kind of thing is a community?” and “Why is it so difficult to build community initiatives out of organizations?” He provides a social organizational explanation for problems familiar to anyone who has been involved in community programs, issues that are usually understood as personal incompetence, turf wars, greed, or corruption.
Ghosts of Organizations Past describes the challenges of using organizations to create change in places in dire need of it.
Decades before the 1960s, social reformers began planting the seeds for the Modern Civil Rights era. During the period spanning World Wars I and II, St. Louis, Missouri, was home to a dynamic group of African American social welfare reformers. The city’s history and culture were shaped both by those who would construct it as a southern city and by the heirs of New England abolitionism. Allying with white liberals to promote the era’s new emphasis on “the common good,” black reformers confronted racial segregation and its consequences of inequality and, in doing so, helped to determine the gradual change in public policy that led to a more inclusive social order.
In Groping toward Democracy: African American Social Welfare Reform in St. Louis, 1910–1949, historian Priscilla A. Dowden-White presents an on-the-ground view of local institution building and community organizing campaigns initiated by African American social welfare reformers. Through extensive research, the author places African American social welfare reform efforts within the vanguard of interwar community and neighborhood organization, reaching beyond the “racial uplift” and “behavior” models of the studies preceding hers. She explores one of the era’s chief organizing principles, the “community as a whole” idea, and deliberates on its relationship to segregation and the St. Louis black community’s methods of reform. Groping toward Democracy depicts the dilemmas organizers faced in this segregated time, explaining how they pursued the goal of full, uncontested black citizenship while still seeking to maximize the benefits available to African Americans in segregated institutions. The book’s nuanced mapping of the terrain of social welfare offers an unparalleled view of the progress brought forth by the early-twentieth-century crusade for democracy and equality.
By delving into interrelated developments in health care, education, labor, and city planning, Dowden-White deftly examines St. Louis’s African American interwar history. Her in-depth archival research fills a void in the scholarship of St. Louis’s social development, and her compelling arguments will be of great interest to scholars and teachers of American urban studies and social welfare history.
While small communities in Third World countries usually seem at the mercy of central governments and foreign capitalists, local activists can help exploited peoples correct environmental abuses and social injustices and seize control of their own destinies.
Kicking Off the Bootstraps is a powerful case history of such an effort. It describes a grassroots activist movement that emerged in the Puerto Rican community of Salinas to counter the poverty and economic dependence experienced by its citizens in the wake of "Operation Bootstrap," a post-World War II industrial development program. Déborah Berman Santana examines the efforts of the community to develop its own economic strategy based primarily on environmentally and socially responsible uses of local natural and human resources.
Berman Santana shows how local activists are seeking to empower the Salinas community to make decisions concerning economic development. She evaluates present-day efforts to develop positive alternatives, examining the motivations of the activists, the nature of their projects, their efforts to mobilize the community, their dealings with government and other organizations, and the obstacles they face. In a closing chapter, she addresses the potential roles of community leaders, outside activists, local businesses, and government in actualizing these alternatives.
A testimony to one community's efforts to determine its own future, Kicking Off the Bootstraps deals with real issues such as control over productive resources, quality of life, and environmental health. It also extends an examination of community-directed activism to an exploration of policy implications for sustainable development. While this concept is often too vague to be applied to real strategies, the Salinas experience provides a clear idea of what sustainable development can—and should—mean in actual practice.
While much has been written on post-apartheid social movements in South Africa, most discussion centers on ideal forms of movements, disregarding the reality and agency of the activists themselves. In Living Politics, Kerry Ryan Chance radically flips the conversation by focusing on the actual language and humanity of post-apartheid activists rather than the external, idealistic commentary of old.
Tracking everyday practices and interactions between poor residents and state agents in South Africa’s shack settlements, Chance investigates the rise of nationwide protests since the late 1990s. Based on ethnography in Durban, Cape Town, and Johannesburg, the book analyzes the criminalization of popular forms of politics that were foundational to South Africa’s celebrated democratic transition. Chance argues that we can best grasp the increasingly murky line between “the criminal” and “the political” with a “politics of living” that casts slum and state in opposition to one another. Living Politics shows us how legitimate domains of politics are redefined, how state sovereignty is forcibly enacted, and how the production of new citizen identities crystallize at the intersections of race, gender, and class.
As communities face new social and economic challenges as well as political changes, the responsibilities for social services, housing needs, and welfare programs are being placed at the local government level. But can community-based organizations address these concerns effectively? The editors and contributors to Mobilizing Communities explore how these organizations are responding to these challenges, and how asset-based development efforts can be successful.
The Nature of Hope focuses on the dynamics of environmental activism at the local level, examining the environmental and political cultures that emerge in the context of conflict. The book considers how ordinary people have coalesced to demand environmental justice and highlights the powerful role of intersectionality in shaping the on-the-ground dynamics of popular protest and social change.
Through lively and accessible storytelling, The Nature of Hope reveals unsung and unstinting efforts to protect the physical environment and human health in the face of continuing economic growth and development and the failure of state and federal governments to deal adequately with the resulting degradation of air, water, and soils. In an age of environmental crisis, apathy, and deep-seated cynicism, these efforts suggest the dynamic power of a “politics of hope” to offer compelling models of resistance, regeneration, and resilience. The contributors frame their chapters around the drive for greater democracy and improved human and ecological health and demonstrate that local activism is essential to the preservation of democracy and the protection of the environment. The book also brings to light new styles of leadership and new structures for activist organizations, complicating assumptions about the environmental movement in the United States that have focused on particular leaders, agencies, thematic orientations, and human perceptions of nature.
The critical implications that emerge from these stories about ecological activism are crucial to understanding the essential role that protecting the environment plays in sustaining the health of civil society. The Nature of Hope will be crucial reading for scholars interested in environmentalism and the mechanics of social movements and will engage historians, geographers, political scientists, grassroots activists, humanists, and social scientists alike.
We love the local. From the cherries we buy, to the grocer who sells them, to the school where our child unpacks them for lunch, we express resurgent faith in decentralizing the institutions and businesses that arrange our daily lives. But the fact is that huge, bureaucratic organizations often still shape the character of our jobs, schools, the groceries where we shop, and even the hospitals we entrust with our lives. So how, exactly, can we work small, when everything around us is so big, so global and standardized? In Organizing Locally, Bruce Fuller shows us, taking stock of America’s rekindled commitment to localism across an illuminating range of sectors, unearthing the crucial values and practices of decentralized firms that work.
Fuller first untangles the economic and cultural currents that have eroded the efficacy of—and our trust in—large institutions over the past half century. From there we meet intrepid leaders who have been doing things differently. Traveling from a charter school in San Francisco to a veterans service network in Iowa, from a Pennsylvania health-care firm to the Manhattan branch of a Swedish bank, he explores how creative managers have turned local staff loose to craft inventive practices, untethered from central rules and plain-vanilla routines. By holding their successes and failures up to the same analytical light, he vividly reveals the key cornerstones of social organization on which motivating and effective decentralization depends. Ultimately, he brings order and evidence to the often strident debates about who has the power—and on what scale—to structure how we work and live locally.
Written for managers, policy makers, and reform activists, Organizing Locally details the profound decentering of work and life inside firms, unfolding across postindustrial societies. Its fresh theoretical framework explains resurging faith in decentralized organizations and the ingredients that deliver vibrant meaning and efficacy for residents inside. Ultimately, it is a synthesizing study, a courageous and radical new way of conceiving of American vitality, creativity, and ambition.
The end of apartheid in South Africa broke down political barriers, extending to all races the formal rights of citizenship, including the right to participate in free elections and parliamentary democracy. But South Africa remains one of the most economically polarized nations in the world. In The Politics of Necessity Elke Zuern forcefully argues that working toward greater socio-economic equality—access to food, housing, land, jobs—is crucial to achieving a successful and sustainable democracy.
Drawing on interviews with local residents and activists in South Africa’s impoverished townships during more than a decade of dramatic political change, Zuern tracks the development of community organizing and reveals the shifting challenges faced by poor citizens. Under apartheid, township residents began organizing to press the government to address the basic material necessities of the poor and expanded their demands to include full civil and political rights. While the movement succeeded in gaining formal political rights, democratization led to a new government that instituted neo-liberal economic reforms and sought to minimize protest. In discouraging dissent and failing to reduce economic inequality, South Africa’s new democracy has continued to disempower the poor.
By comparing movements in South Africa to those in other African and Latin American states, this book identifies profound challenges to democratization. Zuern asserts the fundamental indivisibility of all human rights, showing how protest movements that call attention to socio-economic demands, though often labeled a threat to democracy, offer significant opportunities for modern democracies to evolve into systems of rule that empower all citizens.
Because nearly all aspects of culture depend on the movement of bodies, objects, and ideas, mobility has been a primary topic during the past forty years of archaeological research on small-scale societies. Most studies have concentrated either on local moves related to subsistence within geographically bounded communities or on migrations between regions resulting from pan-regional social and environmental changes. Gregson Schachner, however, contends that a critical aspect of mobility is the transfer of people, goods, and information within regions. This type of movement, which geographers term "population circulation," is vitally important in defining how both regional social systems and local communities are constituted, maintained, and—most important—changed.
Schachner analyzes a population shift in the Zuni region of west-central New Mexico during the thirteenth century AD that led to the inception of major demographic changes, the founding of numerous settlements in frontier zones, and the initiation of radical transformations of community organization. Schachner argues that intraregional population circulation played a vital role in shaping social transformation in the region and that many notable changes during this period arose directly out of peoples' attempts to create new social mechanisms for coping with frequent and geographically extensive residential mobility. By examining multiple aspects of population circulation and comparing areas that were newly settled in the thirteenth century to some that had been continuously occupied for hundreds of years, Schachner illustrates the role of population circulation in the formation of social groups and the creation of contexts conducive to social change.
What really happened when citizens were asked to participate in their community’s poverty programs? In this revealing new book, the authors provide an answer to this question through a systematic empirical analysis of a single public policy issue—citizen participation in the Community Action Program of the Johnson Administration’s “War on Poverty.” Beginning with a brief case study description and analysis of the politics of community action in each of America’s five largest cities—New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Detroit, and Philadelphia—the authors move on to a fascinating examination of race and authority structures in our urban life. In a series of lively chapters, Professors Greenstone and Peterson show how the coalitions that formed around the community action question developed not out of electoral or organizational interests alone, but were strongly influenced by our conceptions of the nature of authority in America. They discuss the factors that affected the development of the action program and they note that democratic elections of low-income representatives, however much preferred by democratic reformers, were an ineffective way of representing the interests of the poor. The book stresses the way in which both machine and reform structures affected the ability of minority groups to organize effectively and to form alliances in urban politics. It considers the wide-ranging critiques made of the Community Action Program by conservative, liberal, and radical analysts and finds that all of them fail to appreciate the significance and intensity of the racial cleavage in American politics.
In this penetrating book, the authors provide a systematic empirical analysis of an important public policy issue—citizen participation in the Community Action Program of the Johnson administration's "War on Poverty." This Phoenix edition includes a new introduction in which the authors explicate the most important themes in their analysis.
In a series of lively chapters, Greenstone and Peterson show how the coalitions that formed around the community action question developed not out of electoral or organizational interests alone but were strongly influenced by prevailing conceptions of the nature of authority in America. The book stresses the way in which both machine and reform structures affected the ability of minority groups to organize effectively and to form alliances in urban politics. It considers the wide-ranging critiques made of the Community Action Program by conservative, liberal, and radical analysts and finds that all of them fail to appreciate the significance and intensity of the racial cleavage in American politics.
What does it take to mobilize a grass-roots force dedicated to bringing new life into a decaying neighborhood? Can any one person or group successfully halt physical deterioration, drug-related crime, or the encroachment of clusters of factories, highways, and other noxious land uses? Michael Greenberg demonstrates in this book that it can and has been done against all odds.
Restoring America's Neighborhoods profiles twenty-four such cases from across the United States. It tells the story of people determined to make the blighted, crime-ridden urban enclaves in which they live and work a better place for everybody. These are people from many different walks of life: ministers working to bring jobs to their communities; city planners and federal employees trying to relocated residents of potential disaster areas; and locals taking matters into their own hands to create a healthier, more pleasing living environment for their children. Greenberg's is a heartening account of courage and unwavering resolve as well as of hope that individuals can make a difference, that violent criminals and uncaring bureaucrats need not carry the day. He calls them "streetfighters," a fitting tribute to their efforts to take back their neighborhoods, block by block and street by street.
In charting the growth of gleaming shopping centers and refurbished brownstones in Harlem, Brian Goldstein shows that gentrification was not imposed on an unwitting community by opportunistic developers or outsiders. It grew from the neighborhood’s grassroots, producing a legacy that benefited some longtime residents and threatened others.
Faith-based community organizers have spent decades working for greater equality in American society, and more recently have become significant players in shaping health care, finance, and immigration reform at the highest levels of government.
In A Shared Future, Richard L. Wood and Brad R. Fulton draw on a new national study of community organizing coalitions and in-depth interviews of key leaders in this field to show how faith-based organizing is creatively navigating the competing aspirations of America’s universalist and multiculturalist democratic ideals, even as it confronts three demons bedeviling American politics: economic inequality, federal policy paralysis, and racial inequity. With a broad view of the entire field and a distinct empirical focus on the PICO National Network, Wood and Fulton’s analysis illuminates the tensions, struggles, and deep rewards that come with pursuing racial equity within a social change organization and in society. Ultimately, A Shared Future offers a vision for how we might build a future that embodies the ethical democracy of the best American dreams.
An interview of the authors on the subject of faith leaders organizing for justice (Peace Talks Radio, copyright Good Radio Shows, Inc.) can be heard at this link: https://beta.prx.org/stories/190030
Civil society organizations, nonprofits, national and international nongovernmental organizations, and a variety of formal and informal associations have coalesced into a world political force. Though the components of this so-called third sector vary by country, their cumulative effects play an ever-greater role in global affairs. Looking at relief and welfare organizations, innovation organizations, social networks, and many other kinds of groups, Meghan Elizabeth Kallman and Terry Nichols Clark explore the functions, impacts, and composition of the nonprofit sector in six key countries. Chinese organizations, for example, follow the predominantly Asian model of government funding that links their mission to national political goals. Western groups, by contrast, often explicitly challenge government objectives, and even gain relevance and cache by doing so. In addition, Kallman and Clark examine groups in real-world contexts, providing a wealth of political-historical background, in-depth consideration of interactions with state institutions, region-by-region comparisons, and suggestions for how groups can borrow policy options across systems. Insightful and forward-seeing, The Third Sector provides a rare international view of organizations and agendas driving change in today's international affairs.
In this era of globalization's ruthless deracination, place attachments have become increasingly salient in collective mobilizations across the spectrum of politics. Like place-based activists in other resource-rich yet impoverished regions across the globe, Appalachians are contesting economic injustice, environmental degradation, and the anti-democratic power of elites. This collection of seventeen original essays by scholars and activists from a variety of backgrounds explores this wide range of oppositional politics, querying its successes, limitations, and impacts. The editors' critical introduction and conclusion integrate theories of place and space with analyses of organizations and events discussed by contributors. Transforming Places illuminates widely relevant lessons about building coalitions and movements with sufficient strength to challenge corporate-driven globalization.
Contributors are Fran Ansley, Yaira Andrea Arias Soto, Dwight B. Billings, M. Kathryn Brown, Jeannette Butterworth, Paul Castelloe, Aviva Chomsky, Dave Cooper, Walter Davis, Meredith Dean, Elizabeth C. Fine, Jenrose Fitzgerald, Doug Gamble, Nina Gregg, Edna Gulley, Molly Hemstreet, Mary Hufford, Ralph Hutchison, Donna Jones, Ann Kingsolver, Sue Ella Kobak, Jill Kriesky, Michael E. Maloney, Lisa Markowitz, Linda McKinney, Ladelle McWhorter, Marta Maria Miranda, Chad Montrie, Maureen Mullinax, Phillip J. Obermiller, Rebecca O'Doherty, Cassie Robinson Pfleger, Randal Pfleger, Anita Puckett, Katie Richards-Schuster, June Rostan, Rees Shearer, Daniel Swan, Joe Szakos, Betsy Taylor, Thomas E. Wagner, Craig White, and Ryan Wishart.
The most acute water crises occur in everyday contexts in impoverished rural and urban areas across the Global South. While they rarely make headlines, these crises, characterized by inequitable access to sufficient and clean water, affect over one billion people globally. What is less known, though, is that millions of these same global citizens are at the forefront of responding to the challenges of water privatization, climate change, deforestation, mega-hydraulic projects, and other threats to accessing water as a critical resource.
In Transforming Rural Water Governance Sarah T. Romano explains the bottom-up development and political impact of community-based water and sanitation committees (CAPS) in Nicaragua. Romano traces the evolution of CAPS from rural resource management associations into a national political force through grassroots organizing and strategic alliances.
Resource management and service provision is inherently political: charging residents fees for service, determining rules for household water shutoffs and reconnections, and negotiating access to water sources with local property owners constitute just a few of the highly political endeavors resource management associations like CAPS undertake as part of their day-to-day work in their communities. Yet, for decades in Nicaragua, this local work did not reflect political activism. In the mid-2000s CAPS’ collective push for social change propelled them onto a national stage and into new roles as they demanded recognition from the government.
Romano argues that the transformation of Nicaragua’s CAPS into political actors is a promising example of the pursuit of sustainable and equitable water governance, particularly in Latin America. Transforming Rural Water Governance demonstrates that when activism informs public policy processes, the outcome is more inclusive governance and the potential for greater social and environmental justice.
Service learning has become an institutionalized practice in higher education. Students are sent out to disadvantaged communities to paint, tutor, feed, and help organize communities. But while the students gain from their experiences, the contributors to The Unheard Voices ask, "Does the community?"
This volume explores the impact of service learning on a community, and considers the unequal relationship between the community and the academy. Using eye-opening interviews with community-organization staff members, The Unheard Voices challenges assumptions about the effectiveness of service learning. Chapters offer strong critiques of service learning practices from the lack of adequate training and supervision, to problems of communication and issues of diversity. The book's conclusion offers ways to improve service learning so that future endeavors can be better at meeting the needs of the communities and the students who work in them.
As neoliberal capitalism destroys democracy, commonwealth, and planetary ecology, the need for radically rethinking and generating transformative responses to these catastrophes is greater than ever. Given that, Romand Coles presents an invigorating new mode of scholarship and political practice he calls "visionary pragmatism." Coles explores the profound interrelationships among everyday micropractices of grassroots politics and pedagogy, institutional transformation, and political protest through polyfocal lenses of political and social theory, neuroscience research, complex systems theory, and narratives of his cutting-edge action research. Visionary Pragmatism offers a theory of revolutionary cooptation that, in part, selectively employs practices and strategies of the dominant order to radically alter the coordinates of power and possibility. Underscoring the potential, vitality, and power of emerging democratic practices to change the world, Visionary Pragmatism's simultaneous theoretical rigor and grounding in actual political and ecological practices provokes and inspires new ways of cocreating knowledge and action in dark times.
Chicago's packinghouse workers were not the hopeless creatures depicted by Upton Sinclair in The Jungle, but active agents in the early twentieth century transformation that swept urban industrial America.
In his case study of Chicago's Union Stockyards, Barrett focuses on the workers - older skilled immigrants, new immigrant common laborers, migrant blacks, and young women workers - and the surrounding neighborhoods. The lives and communities of these workers accurately convey the experience of mass-production work, the quality of working-class life, the process of class formation and fragmentation, and the changing character of class relations.
Because Packingtown's struggle for existence was linked directly to the character of work and employment in the industry, unionization played an important role in the lives of these workers. Although unionization was associated with both improving the quality of life and creating a viable community, workers were divided by race, ethnic identity, and skill. Work and Community in the Jungle discusses a wide range of social, economic, and cultural factors that resulted in class cohesion and fragmentation.
Addressing the broader problem of relations between capital and labor, Barrett demonstrates the effects of government intervention on labor organization, negotiation, and conflict. Shop-floor workers banded together to develop new strategies and forms of organization in their struggle with management for control.
Barrett employs contemporary social surveys and a computer-assisted analysis of census data to illustrate the physical and social characteristics of the workers' environment. He analyzes this data in the context of the relationships between community, ethnicity, family, work experience, and industrial characteristics.