Is there such a thing as Los Angeles poetry? How do we assess a poem about a city as elusive of identity as Los Angeles? What features do poems about this unique urban landscape of diverse peoples and terrains have in common? Poetry Los Angeles is the first book to gather and analyze poems about sites as different as Hollywood, Santa Monica and Venice beaches, the freeways, downtown, South Central and East L.A. Laurence Goldstein presents original commentary on six decades of poets who have contributed to the iconography and poetics of Los Angeles literature, including Elizabeth Alexander, Jimmy Santiago Baca, Dorothy Barresi, Victoria Chang, Wanda Coleman, Dana Gioia, Joy Harjo, James Harms, Robert Hass, Eloise Klein Healy, Garrett Hongo, Suzanne Lummis, Paul Monette, Harryette Mullen, Carol Muske-Dukes, Frederick Seidel, Gary Soto, Timothy Steele, Diane Wakoski, Derek Walcott, and Charles Harper Webb. Forty poems are reproduced in their entirety.
One chapter is devoted to Charles Bukowski, the celebrity face of the city’s poetry. Other chapters discuss the ways that poets explore “Interiors” and “Exteriors” throughout the cityscape. Goldstein also provides ample connections to the novels, films, art, and politics of Southern California. In clear prose, Poetry Los Angeles examines the strategies by which poets make significant places meaningful and memorable to readers of every region of the U.S. and elsewhere.
Based on five years of ethnography, archival research, census data analysis, and interviews, Police, Power, and the Production of Racial Boundaries reveals how the LAPD, city prosecutors, and business owners struggled to control who should be considered “dangerous” and how they should be policed in Los Angeles. Sociologist Ana Muñiz shows how these influential groups used policies and everyday procedures to criminalize behaviors commonly associated with blacks and Latinos and to promote an exceedingly aggressive form of policing.
Muñiz illuminates the degree to which the definitions of “gangs” and “deviants” are politically constructed labels born of public policy and court decisions, offering an innovative look at the process of criminalization and underscoring the ways in which a politically powerful coalition can define deviant behavior. As she does so, Muñiz also highlights the various grassroots challenges to such policies and the efforts to call attention to their racist effects. Muñiz describes the fight over two very different methods of policing: community policing (in which the police and the community work together) and the “broken windows” or “zero tolerance” approach (which aggressively polices minor infractions—such as loitering—to deter more serious crime). Police, Power, and the Production of Racial Boundaries also explores the history of the area to explain how Cadillac-Corning became viewed by outsiders as a “violent neighborhood” and how the city’s first gang injunction—a restraining order aimed at alleged gang members—solidified this negative image. As a result, Muñiz shows, Cadillac-Corning and other sections became a test site for repressive practices that eventually spread to the rest of the city.
Policing Space is a fascinating firsthand account of how the Los Angeles Police Department attempts to control its vast, heterogeneous territory. As such, the book offers a rare, ground-level look at the relationship between the control of space and the exercise of power.
Author Steve Herbert spent eight months observing one patrol division of the LAPD on the job. A compelling story in itself, his fieldwork with the officers in the Wilshire Division affords readers a close view of the complex factors at play in how the police define and control territory, how they make and mark space.
A remarkable ethnography of a powerful police department, underscored throughout with telling on-the-scene vignettes, this book is also an unusually intensive analysis of the exercise of territorial power--and of territoriality as a key component of police power. Unique in its application of fieldwork and theory to this complex subject, it should prove valuable to readers in urban and political geography, urban and political sociology, and criminology, as well as those who wonder about the workings of the LAPD.
"Gives us the kind of fly-on-the-wall, first person observations that journalists dream of and readers find enthralling. Let's hope the members of the police commission give it a read while they fight the battle Willie Williams lost to reform a department that still very much belongs to Parker and Gates." --LA Weekly Literary Supplement
"This book is not a rehash of the time-worn cliches about the LAPD. It is a highly imaginative discussion of the meaning of territoriality in determining how police respond to citizens, to each other, and to their command structure based on space and its relationship to the exercise of power." --Law Enforcement News
"This is a fascinating book; well written cogently argued, chock-full of insights about police behavior, and an all-around good read." --Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies and Management
"A fine book and a good read." --Contemporary Sociology
"Excellent book. A vivid and compelling analysis of the territoriality of routine police work on the streets of LA. The central argument is as clear as the message on the police tape, namely that territorial action os a fundamental component of everyday police behavior; and it is as authoritative, for it is built upon an intensive period of participant observation with LA cops. There is no doubt that this book is a major interdisciplinary contribution." --Environment and Planning D Society & Space
"Is a creative, engaging analysis expressed in a clear theoretical and conceptual framework. Herbert is able to vivdly demonstrate the importance of spatial context to an understanding of social action. With geographic perspectives rapidly growing in importance in policing, this unique contribution is particularly welcome." --Professional Geographer
"This book should be widely read, given the current ascendance of law and order culture and increasing demands for the policing of space." --Environment and Planning A
Territoriality and the Police
The Setting and the Research
The Law and Police Territoriality
The Bureaucratic Ordering of Police Territoriality
Adventure/Machismo and the Attempted Conquest of Space
Safety and Police Territoriality
Competence in Police Territoriality
The Morality of Police Territoriality
Making and Marking Space with the LAPD
Steve Herbert teaches criminal justice and geography at Indiana University.
This book explores the origins and history of the modern American movement for homosexual rights, which originated in Los Angeles in the late 1940s and continues today. Part ethnography and part social history, it is a detailed account of the history of the movement as manifested through the emergence of four related organizations: Mattachine, ONE Incorporated, the Homosexual Information Center (HIC), and the Institute for the Study of Human Resources (ISHR), which began doing business as ONE Incorporated when the two organizations merged in 1995. Pre-Gay L.A. is a chronicle of how one clandestine special interest association emerged as a powerful political force that spawned several other organizations over a period of more than sixty years.
Relying on extended interviews with participants as well as a full review of the archives of the Homosexual Information Center, C. Todd White unearths the institutional histories of the gay and lesbian rights movement and the myriad personalities involved, including Mattachine founder Harry Hay; ONE Magazine editors Dale Jennings, Donald Slater, and Irma Wolf; ONE Incorporated founder Dorr Legg; and many others. Fighting to decriminalize homosexuality and to obtain equal rights, the viable organizations that these individuals helped to establish significantly impacted legal policies not only in Los Angeles but across the United States, affecting the lives of most of us living in America today.
This book cuts through the powerful mythology surrounding Los Angeles to reveal the causes of inequality in a city that has weathered rapid population change, economic restructuring, and fractious ethnic relations. The sources of disadvantage and the means of getting ahead differ greatly among the city's myriad ethnic groups. The demand for unskilled labor is stronger here than in other cities, allowing Los Angeles's large population of immigrant workers with little education to find work in light manufacturing and low-paid service jobs. A less beneficial result of this trend is the increased marginalization of the city's low-skilled black workers, who do not enjoy the extended ethnic networks of many of the new immigrant groups and who must contend with persistent negative racial stereotypes. Patterns of residential segregation are also more diffuse in Los Angeles, with many once-black neighborhoods now split evenly between blacks, Hispanics, Asians, and other minorities. Inequality in Los Angeles cannot be reduced to a simple black-white divide. Nonetheless, in this thoroughly multicultural city, race remains a crucial factor shaping economic fortunes. A Volume in the Multi-City Study of Urban Inequality
In Production Culture, John Thornton Caldwell investigates the cultural practices and belief systems of Los Angeles–based film and video production workers: not only those in prestigious positions such as producers and directors but also many “below-the-line” laborers, including gaffers, editors, and camera operators. Caldwell analyzes the narratives and rituals through which workers make sense of their labor and critique the film and TV industry as well as the culture writ large. As a self-reflexive industry, Hollywood constantly exposes itself and its production processes to the public; workers’ ideas about the industry are embedded in their daily practices and the media they create. Caldwell suggests ways that scholars might learn from the industry’s habitual self-scrutiny.
Drawing on interviews, observations of sets and workplaces, and analyses of TV shows, industry documents, economic data, and promotional materials, Caldwell shows how film and video workers function in a transformed, post-network industry. He chronicles how workers have responded to changes including media convergence, labor outsourcing, increasingly unstable labor and business relations, new production technologies, corporate conglomeration, and the proliferation of user-generated content. He explores new struggles over “authorship” within collective creative endeavors, the way that branding and syndication have become central business strategies for networks, and the “viral” use of industrial self-reflexivity to motivate consumers through DVD bonus tracks, behind-the-scenes documentaries, and “making-ofs.” A significant, on-the-ground analysis of an industry in flux, Production Culture offers new ways of thinking about media production as a cultural activity.
The Pico Gardens housing development in East Los Angeles has a high percentage of resident families with a history of persistent poverty, gang involvement, and crime. In some families, members of three generations have belonged to gangs. Many other Pico Gardens families, however, have managed to avoid the cycle of gang involvement.In this work, Vigil adds to the tradition of poverty research and elaborates on the association of family dynamics and gang membership. The main objective of his research was to discover what factors make some families more vulnerable to gang membership, and why gang resistance was evidenced in similarly situated non-gang-involved families. Providing rich, in-depth interviews and observations, Vigil examines the wide variations in income and social capital that exist among the ostensibly poor, mostly Mexican American residents. Vigil documents how families connect and interact with social agencies in greater East Los Angeles to help chart the routines and rhythms of the lives of public housing residents. He presents family life histories to augment and provide texture to the quantitative information.By studying life in Pico Gardens, Vigil feels we can better understand how human agency interacts with structural factors to produce the reality that families living in all public housing developments must contend with daily.