The People vs. O. J. Simpson ranks indisputably as the trial of the century. It featured a double murder, a celebrity defendant, a perjuring witness, and a glove that didn’t fit. The trial became a media circus of outrageous proportions that led the judge to sequester the jury, eject disruptive reporters, and fine the lawyers thousands of dollars. Now an insider at The People vs. O. J. Simpson reveals the untold story of the most widely followed trial in American history and the indelible impact it has had on the judiciary, the media, and the public.
As the Los Angeles Superior Court’s media liaison, Jerrianne Hayslett had unprecedented access to the trial—and met with Judge Lance Ito daily—as she attempted, sometimes unsuccessfully, to mediate between the court and members of the media and to balance their interests. In Anatomy of a Trial, she takes readers behind the scenes to shed new light on people and proceedings and to show how the media and the trial participants changed the court-media landscape to the detriment of the public’s understanding of the judicial system.
For those who think they’ve already read all there is to know about the Simpson trial, this book is an eye-opener. Hayslett kept a detailed journal during the proceedings in which she recorded anecdotes and commentary. She also shares previously undisclosed information to expose some of the myths and stereotypes perpetuated by the trial, while affirming other stories that emerged during that time. By examining this trial after more than a decade, she shows how it has produced a bunker mentality in the judicial system, shaping media and public access to courts with lasting impact on such factors as cameras in the courtroom, jury selection, admonishments from the bench, and fair-trial/free-press tensions.
The first account of the trial written with Judge Ito’s cooperation, Anatomy of a Trial is a page-turning narrative and features photographs that capture both the drama of the courtroom and the excesses of the media. It also includes perspectives of legal and journalism authorities and offers a blueprint for how the courts and media can better meet their responsibilities to the public.
Even today, judges, lawyers, and journalists across the country say the Simpson trial changed everything. This book finally tells us why.
First published in 2012, this catalogue presents fifty-six Etruscan, Greek, and Italic carved ambers from the Getty Museum's collection—the second largest body of this material in the United States and one of the most important in the world. The ambers date from about 650 to 300 BC. The catalogue offers full description of the pieces, including typology, style, chronology, condition, and iconography. Each piece is illustrated.
The catalogue is preceded by a general introduction to ancient amber (which was also published in 2012 as a stand-alone print volume titled Amber and the Ancient World). Through exquisite visual examples and vivid classical texts, this book examines the myths and legends woven around amber—its employment in magic and medicine, its transport and carving, and its incorporation into jewelry, amulets, and other objects of prestige. This publication highlights a group of remarkable amber carvings at the J. Paul Getty Museum.
In the collection of the J. Paul Getty Museum are more than six hundred ancient lamps that span the sixth century BCE to the seventh century CE, most from the Roman Imperial period and largely created in Asia Minor or North Africa. These lamps have much to reveal about life, religion, pottery, and trade in the ancient Graeco-Roman world. Most of the Museum’s lamps have never before been published, and this extensive typological catalogue will thus be an invaluable scholarly resource for art historians, archaeologists, and those interested in the ancient world.
Reflecting the Getty's commitment to open content, Ancient Lamps in the J. Paul Getty Museum is available online at http://www.getty.edu/publications/ancientlamps and may be downloaded free of charge in multiple formats, including PDF, MOBI/Kindle, and EPUB, and features zoomable images and multiple views of every lamp, an interactive map drawn from the Ancient World Mapping Center, and bibliographic references.
For readers who wish to have a bound reference copy, this paperback edition has been made available for sale.
In the ancient world, terracotta sculpture was ubiquitous. Readily available and economical—unlike stone suitable for carving—clay allowed artisans to craft figures of remarkable variety and expressiveness. Terracottas from South Italy and Sicily attest to the prolific coroplastic workshops that supplied sacred and decorative images for sanctuaries, settlements, and cemeteries. Sixty terracottas are investigated here by noted scholar Maria Lucia Ferruzza, comprising a selection of significant types from the Getty’s larger collection—life-size sculptures, statuettes, heads and busts, altars, and decorative appliqués. In addition to the comprehensive catalogue entries, the publication includes a guide to the full collection of over one thousand other figurines and molds from the region by Getty curator of antiquities Claire L. Lyons.
Reflecting the Getty's commitment to open content, Ancient Terracottas from South Italy and Sicily in the J. Paul Getty Museum is available online at www.getty.edu/publications/terracottas and may be downloaded free of charge in multiple formats. For readers who wish to have a bound reference copy, this paperback edition has been made available for sale.
Though he has spent half of his life elsewhere, Gregory Orfalea has remained obsessed with Los Angeles. That “brutal, beautiful city along the Pacific sea” shaped him and led to a series of essays originally published in the Los Angeles Times Magazine. These deeply moving pieces are gathered here together for the first time.
Populated with fascinating characters—the Angelenos of Orfalea’s life—these essays tell the story of the author’s trials. He returns to Los Angeles to teach, trying to reconcile the LA of his childhood with the city he now faces. He takes on progressively more difficult and painful subjects, finally confronting the memories of the shocking tragedy that took the lives of his father and sister.
With more than 400,000 Arab Americans in Los Angeles—probably surpassing Detroit as the largest contingent in America—Orfalea also explores his own community and its political and social concerns. He agonizes over another destruction of Lebanon and examines in searing detail a massacre of civilians in Iraq.
Angeleno Days takes the memoir and personal essay to rare heights. Orfalea is a deeply human writer who reveals not only what it means to be human in America now, but also what it will take to remain human in the days to come. These essays soar, confound, reveal, and strike at our senses and sensibilities, forcing us to think and feel in new ways.
The hit movie La Bamba (based on the life of Richie Valens), the
versatile singer Linda Ronstadt, and the popular rock group Los Lobos
all have roots in the dynamic music of the Mexican-American community
in East Los Angeles. With the recent "Eastside Renaissance"
in the area, barrio music has taken on symbolic power throughout the Southwest,
yet its story has remained undocumented and virtually untold. In Barrio Rhythm, Steven Loza brings this hidden history to life, demonstrating
the music's essential role in the cultural development of East Los Angeles
and its influence on mainstream popular culture.
Drawing from oral histories and other primary sources, as well as from
appropriate representative songs, Loza provides a historical overview
of the music from the nineteenth century to the present and offers in-depth
profiles of nine Mexican-American artists, groups, and entrepreneurs in
Southern California from the post-World War II era to the present. His
interviews with many of today's most influential barrio musicians, including
members of Los Lobos, Eddie Cano, Lalo Guerrero, and Willie
chronicle the cultural forces active in this complex urban community.
From postwar efforts to end discrimination in the motion-picture industry, recording studios, and musicians’ unions, through the development of community-based arts organizations, to the creation of searing films critiquing conditions in the black working class neighborhoods of a city touting its multiculturalism—Black Arts West documents the social and political significance of African American arts activity in Los Angeles between the Second World War and the riots of 1992. Focusing on the lives and work of black writers, visual artists, musicians, and filmmakers, Daniel Widener tells how black cultural politics changed over time, and how altered political realities generated new forms of artistic and cultural expression. His narrative is filled with figures invested in the politics of black art and culture in postwar Los Angeles, including not only African American artists but also black nationalists, affluent liberal whites, elected officials, and federal bureaucrats.
Along with the politicization of black culture, Widener explores the rise of a distinctive regional Black Arts Movement. Originating in the efforts of wartime cultural activists, the movement was rooted in the black working class and characterized by struggles for artistic autonomy and improved living and working conditions for local black artists. As new ideas concerning art, racial identity, and the institutional position of African American artists emerged, dozens of new collectives appeared, from the Watts Writers Workshop, to the Inner City Cultural Center, to the New Art Jazz Ensemble. Spread across generations of artists, the Black Arts Movement in Southern California was more than the artistic affiliate of the local civil-rights or black-power efforts: it was a social movement itself. Illuminating the fundamental connections between expressive culture and political struggle, Black Arts West is a major contribution to the histories of Los Angeles, black radicalism, and avant-garde art.
Dr. Dre. Snoop Dogg. Ice Cube. Some of the biggest stars in hip hop made their careers in Los Angeles. And today there is a new generation of young, mostly black, men busting out rhymes and hoping to one day find themselves “blowin’ up”—getting signed to a record label and becoming famous. Many of these aspiring rappers get their start in Leimart Park, home to the legendary hip hop open-mic workshop Project Blowed. In Blowin’ Up, Jooyoung Lee takes us deep inside Project Blowed and the surrounding music industry, offering an unparalleled look at hip hop in the making.
While most books on rap are written from the perspective of listeners and the market, Blowin’ Up looks specifically at the creative side of rappers. As Lee shows, learning how to rap involves a great deal of discipline, and it takes practice to acquire the necessary skills to put on a good show. Along with Lee—who is himself a pop-locker—we watch as the rappers at Project Blowed learn the basics, from how to hold a microphone to how to control their breath amid all those words. And we meet rappers like E. Crimsin, Nocando, VerBS, and Flawliss as they freestyle and battle with each other. For the men at Project Blowed, hip hop offers a creative alternative to the gang lifestyle, substituting verbal competition for physical violence, and provides an outlet for setting goals and working toward them.
Engagingly descriptive and chock-full of entertaining personalities and real-life vignettes, Blowin’ Up not only delivers a behind-the-scenes view of the underground world of hip hop, but also makes a strong case for supporting the creative aspirations of young, urban, black men, who are often growing up in the shadow of gang violence and dead-end jobs.
No one will soon forget the image, blazed across the airwaves, of armed Korean Americans taking to the rooftops as their businesses went up in flames during the Los Angeles riots. Why Korean Americans? What stoked the wrath the riots unleashed against them? Blue Dreams is the first book to make sense of these questions, to show how Korean Americans, variously depicted as immigrant seekers after the American dream or as racist merchants exploiting African Americans, emerged at the crossroads of conflicting social reflections in the aftermath of the 1992 riots.
The situation of Los Angeles's Korean Americans touches on some of the most vexing issues facing American society today: ethnic conflict, urban poverty, immigration, multiculturalism, and ideological polarization. Combining interviews and deft socio-historical analysis, Blue Dreams gives these problems a human face and at the same time clarifies the historical, political, and economic factors that render them so complex. In the lives and voices of Korean Americans, the authors locate a profound challenge to cherished assumptions about the United States and its minorities.
Why did Koreans come to the United States? Why did they set up shop in poor inner-city neighborhoods? Are they in conflict with African Americans? These are among the many difficult questions the authors answer as they probe the transnational roots and diversity of Los Angeles's Korean Americans. Their work finally shows us in sharp relief and moving detail a community that, despite the blinding media focus brought to bear during the riots, has nonetheless remained largely silent and effectively invisible. An important corrective to the formulaic accounts that have pitted Korean Americans against African Americans, Blue Dreams places the Korean American story squarely at the center of national debates over race, class, culture, and community.
Table of Contents: Preface
The Los Angeles Riots, the Korean American Story Reckoning via the Riots Diaspora Formation: Modernity and Mobility Mapping the Korean Diaspora in Los Angeles Korean American Entrepreneurship American Ideologies on Trial Conclusion
Notes References Index
Reviews of this book: Blue Dreams--a poetic allusion to the clear blue sky that Koreans see as a symbol of freedom--is a welcome exploration by outsiders into the vexing and largely invisible Korean-American predicament in Los Angeles and the nation. [Abelmann and Lie 's] colorful interview subjects offer sharp observations. --K.W. Lee, Los Angeles Times
Reviews of this book: An informed and thoughtful examination of Korean immigration to the United States since 1970...[Abelmann and Lie] show that even in a period as short as twenty-five years, there have been successive waves of differently motivated, differently resourced Korean immigrants, and their experiences and reactions have differed accordingly. --Michael Tonry, Times Literary Supplement
Reviews of this book: [The authors'] transnational perspective is particularly effective for explicating Korean immigrants' behaviors, activities, and feelings...Interesting and readable. --Pyong Gap Min, American Journal of Sociology
Reviews of this book: Beginning with a poetic book title, the authors recount in depth as to how the 'Blue Dreams' of the Korean-American merchants in East Los Angeles had shattered in the midst of [the] 1992 riot that turned out to be 'elusive dreams' in America...The book not only portrays the L.A. riot surrounding the Korean merchants, but also characterizes diaspora of the Koreans in America. The authors have also examined with scholarly insights the more complex socioeconomic and political underplay the Koreans encountered in their 'Promised New Land'. --Eugene C. Kim, International Migration Review
This chapbook collection offers new poems from the prolific career of a community leader, activist, and healer. Luis J. Rodríguez’s work asks profound questions of us as readers and fellow humans, such as, "If society cooperates, can we nurture the full / and healthy development of everyone?" In his introductory remarks, Martín Espada describes the poet as a man engaged in people and places: "Luis Rodríguez is a poet of many tongues, befitting a city of many tongues. He speaks English, Spanish, ‘Hip Hop,’ ‘the Blues,’ and ‘cool jazz.’ He speaks in ‘mad solos.’ He speaks in ‘People’s Sonnets.’ He speaks in the language of protest. He speaks in the language of praise."
Since the 1980s, Los Angeles has become the most racially and economically divided city in the United States. In the poorest parts of South Central Los Angeles, buildings in disrepair—the legacy of racial unrest. Moving beyond stereotypes of South Central's predominantly African American residents, João H. Costa Vargas recounts his almost two years living in the district. Personal, critical, and disquieting, Catching Hell in the City of Angels examines the ways in which economic and social changes in the twentieth century have affected the black community, and powerfully conveys the experiences that bind and divide its people.
Through compelling stories of South Central, including his own experience as an immigrant of color, Vargas presents portraits of four groups. He talks daily with women living in a low-income Watts apartment building; works with activists in a community organization against police brutality; interacts with former gang members trying to maintain a 1992 truce between the Bloods and the Crips; and listens to amateur jazz musicians who perform in a gentrified section of the neighborhood. In each case he describes the worldviews and the definitions of “blackness” these people use to cope with oppression. Vargas finds, in turn, that blackness is a form of racial solidarity, a vehicle for the renewal of African American culture, and a political expression of revolutionary black nationalism.
Vargas reveals that the social fault lines in South Central reflect both contemporary disparities and long-term struggles. In doing so, he shows both the racialized power that makes “blackness” a prized term of identity and the terrible price that African Americans have paid for this emphasis. Ultimately, Catching Hell in the City of Angels tells the story of urban America through the lives of individuals from diverse, overlapping, and vibrant communities.
João H. Costa Vargas is assistant professor in the Center for African and African American Studies and the department of anthropology at the University of Texas, Austin.
Robin D. G. Kelley is the William B. Ransford Professor of Cultural and Historical Studies at Columbia University. He is the author of numerous books, including Yo Mama's Disfunktional: Fighting the Culture Wars in Urban America.
Historically, Los Angeles and its exhibition market have been central to the international success of Latin American cinema. Not only was Los Angeles a site crucial for exhibition of these films, but it became the most important hub in the western hemisphere for the distribution of Spanish language films made for Latin American audiences. Cinema between Latin America and Los Angeles builds upon this foundational insight to both examine the considerable, ongoing role that Los Angeles played in the history of Spanish-language cinema and to explore the implications of this transnational dynamic for the study and analysis of Latin American cinema before 1960. The volume editors aim to flesh out the gaps between Hollywood and Latin America, American imperialism and Latin American nationalism in order to produce a more nuanced view of transnational cultural relations in the western hemisphere.
Studies of "Classic Hollywood" typically treat Hollywood films released from 1930 to 1960 as a single interpretive mass. Veronica Pravadelli complicates this idea. Focusing on dominant tendencies in box office hits and Oscar-recognized classics, she breaks down the so-called classic period into six distinct phases that follow Hollywood's amazingly diverse offerings from the emancipated females of the "Transition Era" and the traditional men and women of the conservative 1930s that replaced it to the fantastical Fifties movie musicals that arose after anti-classic genres like film noir and women's films.
Pravadelli sets her analysis apart by paying particular attention to the gendered desires and identities exemplified in the films. Availing herself of the significant advances in film theory and modernity studies that have taken place since similar surveys first saw publication, she views Hollywood through strategies as varied as close textural analysis, feminism, psychoanalysis, film style and study of cinematic imagery, revealing the inconsistencies and antithetical traits lurking beneath Classic Hollywood's supposed transparency.
At the dawn of the Progressive Era, when America was experiencing an industrial boom, many working families often ate contaminated food, lived in decaying urban tenements, and had little access to medical care. In a city that demanded change, Los Angeles women, rather than city officials, championed the call to action.
Cultivating Health, an interdisciplinary chronicle, details women's impact on remaking health policy, despite the absence of government support. Combining primary source and municipal archival research with comfortable prose, Jennifer Lisa Koslow explores community nursing, housing reform, milk sanitation, childbirth, and the campaign against venereal disease in late nineteenth and early twentieth century Los Angeles. She demonstrates how women implemented health care reform and civic programs while laying the groundwork for a successful transition of responsibility back to government.
Koslow highlights women's home health care and urban policy-changing accomplishments and pays tribute to what would become the model for similar service-based systems in other American centers.
In Cupboards of Curiosity Amelie Hastie rethinks female authorship within film history by expanding the historical archive to include dollhouses, scrapbooks, memoirs, cookbooks, and ephemera. Focusing on women who worked during the silent-film era, Hastie reveals how female stars, directors, and others appropriated personal or “domestic” cultural forms not only to publicize their own achievements but also to reflect on specific films and the broader film industry. Whether considering Colleen Moore’s thirty-six scrapbooks or Dietrich’s eccentric book Marlene Dietrich’s ABC, Hastie emphasizes how these women spoke for themselves—as collectors, historians, critics, and experts—often explicitly contemplating the role their writings and material objects would play in subsequent constructions of history.
Hastie pays particular attention to the actresses Colleen Moore and Louise Brooks and Hollywood’s first female director, Alice Guy-Blaché. From the beginning of her career, Moore worked intently to preserve a lasting place for herself as a Hollywood star, amassing collections of photos, souvenirs, and clippings as well as a dollhouse so elaborate that it drew extensive public attention. Brooks’s short essays reveal how she participated in the creation of her image as Lulu and later emerged as a critic of film stardom. The recovery of Blaché’s role in film history by feminist critics in the 1970s and 1980s was made possible by the existence of the director’s own autobiographical history. Broadening her analytical framework to include contemporary celebrities, Hastie turns to how-to manuals authored by female stars, from Zasu Pitts’s cookbook Candy Hits to Christy Turlington’s Living Yoga. She discusses how these assertions of celebrity expertise in realms seemingly unrelated to film and visual culture allow fans to prolong their experience of stardom.
Open from 1942 until 1945, the Hollywood Canteen was the most famous of the patriotic home front nightclubs where civilian hostesses jitterbugged with enlisted men of the Allied Nations. Since the opening night, when the crowds were so thick that Bette Davis had to enter through the bathroom window to give her welcome speech, the storied dance floor where movie stars danced with soldiers has been the subject of much U.S. nostalgia about the "Greatest Generation." Drawing from oral histories with civilian volunteers and military guests who danced at the wartime nightclub, Sherrie Tucker explores how jitterbugging swing culture has come to represent the war in U.S. national memory. Yet her interviewees' varied experiences and recollections belie the possibility of any singular historical narrative. Some recall racism, sexism, and inequality on the nightclub's dance floor and in Los Angeles neighborhoods, dynamics at odds with the U.S. democratic, egalitarian ideals associated with the Hollywood Canteen and the "Good War" in popular culture narratives. For Tucker, swing dancing's torque—bodies sharing weight, velocity, and turning power without guaranteed outcomes—is an apt metaphor for the jostling narratives, different perspectives, unsteady memories, and quotidian acts that comprise social history.
Death of the Moguls is a detailed assessment of the last days of the “rulers of film.” Wheeler Winston Dixon examines the careers of such moguls as Harry Cohn at Columbia, Louis B. Mayer at MGM, Jack L. Warner at Warner Brothers, Adolph Zukor at Paramount, and Herbert J. Yates at Republic in the dying days of their once-mighty empires. He asserts that the sheer force of personality and business acumen displayed by these moguls made the studios successful; their deaths or departures hastened the studios’ collapse. Almost none had a plan for leadership succession; they simply couldn't imagine a world in which they didn’t reign supreme.
Covering 20th Century-Fox, Selznick International Pictures, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Paramount Pictures, RKO Radio Pictures, Warner Brothers, Universal Pictures, Republic Pictures, Monogram Pictures and Columbia Pictures, Dixon briefly introduces the studios and their respective bosses in the late 1940s, just before the collapse, then chronicles the last productions from the studios and their eventual demise in the late 1950s and early 1960s. He details such game-changing factors as the de Havilland decision, which made actors free agents; the Consent Decree, which forced the studios to get rid of their theaters; how the moguls dealt with their collapsing empires in the television era; and the end of the conventional studio assembly line, where producers had rosters of directors, writers, and actors under their command.
Complemented by rare, behind-the-scenes stills, Death of the Moguls is a compelling narrative of the end of the studio system at each of the Hollywood majors as television, the de Havilland decision, and the Consent Decree forced studios to slash payrolls, make the shift to color, 3D, and CinemaScope in desperate last-ditch efforts to save their kingdoms. The aftermath for some was the final switch to television production and, in some cases, the distribution of independent film.
As international travel became cheaper and national economies grew more connected over the past thirty years, millions of people from the Third World emigrated to richer countries. A tenth of the population of Mexico relocated to the United States between 1980 and 2000. Globalization theorists claimed that reception cities could do nothing about this trend, since nations make immigration policy, not cities. In Deflecting Immigration, sociologist Ivan Light shows how Los Angeles reduced the sustained, high-volume influx of poor Latinos who settled there by deflecting a portion of the migration to other cities in the United States. In this manner, Los Angeles tamed globalization's local impact, and helped to nationalize what had been a regional immigration issue. Los Angeles deflected immigration elsewhere in two ways. First, the protracted network-driven settlement of Mexicans naturally drove up rents in Mexican neighborhoods while reducing immigrants' wages, rendering Los Angeles a less attractive place to settle. Second, as migration outstripped the city's capacity to absorb newcomers, Los Angeles gradually became poverty-intolerant. By enforcing existing industrial, occupational, and housing ordinances, Los Angeles shut down some unwanted sweatshops and reduced slums. Their loss reduced the metropolitan region's accessibility to poor immigrants without reducing its attractiveness to wealthier immigrants. Additionally, ordinances mandating that homes be built on minimum-sized plots of land with attached garages made home ownership in L.A.'s suburbs unaffordable for poor immigrants and prevented low-cost rental housing from being built. Local rules concerning home occupancy and yard maintenance also prevented poor immigrants from crowding together to share housing costs. Unable to find affordable housing or low-wage jobs, approximately one million Latinos were deflected from Los Angeles between 1980 and 2000. The realities of a new global economy are still unfolding, with uncertain consequences for the future of advanced societies, but mass migration from the Third World is unlikely to stop in the next generation. Deflecting Immigration offers a shrewd analysis of how America's largest immigrant destination independently managed the challenges posed by millions of poor immigrants and, in the process, helped focus attention on immigration as an issue of national importance.
Two brothers bury a statue of Saint Jude for their grieving nana. A Griffith Park astronomer makes his own discovery at an East L.A. wedding. A young man springs his Cherokee-obsessed grandfather from the confines of senility. The common thread? Each is weaving their way through the challenging field of play that is living and loving in Los Angeles.
In Dodger Blue Will Fill Your Soul, Bryan Allen Fierro brings to life the people and places that form the fragile heart of the East Los Angeles community. In the title story, a father’s love of Dodger baseball is matched only by the disconnect he must bridge with his young son. In another story, a young widower remembers his wedding day with his father-in-law. The boys and men in this collection challenge masculine stereotypes, while the girls and women defy gender roles. Hope and faith in their own community defines the characters, and propels them toward an awareness of their own personal responsibility to themselves and to their families, even as they eschew those closest to them in pursuit of a different future.
Dodger Blue Will Fill Your Soul is a tour de force—the first collection of an authentic new voice examining community with humor, hope, and brutal honesty.
In Domestic Economies, Susanna Rosenbaum examines how two groups of women—Mexican and Central American domestic workers and the predominantly white, middle-class women who employ them—seek to achieve the "American Dream." By juxtaposing their understandings and experiences, she illustrates how immigrant and native-born women strive to reach that ideal, how each group is indispensable to the other's quest, and what a vital role reproductive labor plays in this pursuit. Through in-depth ethnographic research with these women at work, at home, and in the urban spaces of Los Angeles, Rosenbaum positions domestic service as an intimate relationship that reveals two versions of female personhood. Throughout, Rosenbaum underscores the extent to which the ideology of the American Dream is racialized and gendered, exposing how the struggle for personal worth and social recognition is shaped at the intersection of motherhood and paid employment.
Los Angeles, California, and Berlin, Germany, have been dubbed "homeless capitals" for having the largest homeless populations of their respective countries. In Down and Out in Los Angeles and Berlin, Jürgen von Mahs provides an illuminating comparative analysis of the impact of social welfare policy on homelessness in these cities. He addresses the opportunity of people to overcome--or "exit"--homelessness and shows how Berlin, with its considerable social and economic investment for assisting its homeless has been as unsuccessful as Los Angeles.
Drawing on fascinating ethnographic insights, von Mahs shows how homeless people in both cities face sociospatial exclusion-legal displacement for criminal activities, poor shelters in impoverished neighborhoods, as well as market barriers that restrict reintegration. Providing a necessary wake-up call, Down and Out in Los Angeles and Berlin addresses the critical public policy issues that can produce effective services to improve homeless people's chances for a lasting exit.
Copublished with the National Gallery of Art in celebration of Virginia Dwan’s gift to the Gallery of her extraordinary personal collection, Dwan Gallery explores her remarkable career. Dwan is one of the most influential figures in the history of twentieth-century American art. Her eponymously named galleries, the first established in a Los Angeles storefront in 1959, followed by a second in New York in 1965, became a beacon for influential postwar American and European artists. She sponsored the debut show for Yves Klein in the United States, and she championed such artists as Franz Kline, Robert Rauschenberg, Claes Oldenburg, Sol LeWitt, and Ad Reinhardt. Her Los Angeles gallery featured abstract expressionism, neo-Dada, and pop, while the New York branch became associated with the emerging movements of minimalism and conceptualism. At the same time, the gallery’s influence expanded to remote locations in Nevada, Utah, and Arizona, where Dwan sponsored such iconic earthworks as Robert Smithson’s Spiral Jetty, Michael Heizer’s Double Negative, and Walter De Maria’s Lightning Field. Though Dwan was a major force in the art world of the sixties and seventies, her story and the history of her gallery have been largely unexplored—until now.
Alongside lush full-color images of one hundred leading artworks, the book deepens our understanding of the artistic exchanges Dwan facilitated during this age of mobility, when air travel and the interstate highway system linked the two coasts and transformed the making of art and the sites of its exhibition. James Meyer, the curator of the exhibition and the foremost authority on minimal art, contributes an essay that is a sophisticated and broad-ranging analysis of Dwan’s legacy.
Honoring Dwan’s significant influence and impact on postwar art, Dwan Gallery is a rich and informative collection that will be treasured by fans of contemporary art.
The half-century between 1880 and 1930 saw rampant growth in many American cities and an equally rapid movement of women into the work force. In Los Angeles, the city not only grew from a dusty cow town to a major American metropolis but also offered its residents myriad new opportunities and challenges.Earning Power examines the role that women played in this growth as they attempted to make their financial way in a rapidly changing world. Los Angeles during these years was one of the most ethnically diverse and gender-balanced American cities. Moreover, its accelerated urban growth generated a great deal of economic, social, and political instability. In Earning Power, author Eileen V. Wallis examines how women negotiated issues of gender, race, ethnicity, and class to gain access to professions and skilled work in Los Angeles. She also discusses the contributions they made to the region’s history as political and social players, employers and employees, and as members of families. Wallis reveals how the lives of women in the urban West differed in many ways from those of their sisters in more established eastern cities. She finds that the experiences of women workers force us to reconsider many assumptions about the nature of Los Angeles’s economy, as well as about the ways women participated in it. The book also considers how Angelenos responded to the larger national social debate about women’s work and the ways that American society would have to change in order to accommodate working women. Earning Power is a major contribution to our understanding of labor in the urban West during this transformative period and of the crucial role that women played in shaping western cities, economies, society, and politics.
Ethnic Los Angeles
Roger Waldinger Russell Sage Foundation, 1996 Library of Congress F869.L89A1 1996b | Dewey Decimal 305.800979494
Since 1965 more immigrants have come to Los Angeles than anywhere else in the United States. These newcomers have rapidly and profoundly transformed the city's ethnic makeup and sparked heated debate over their impact on the region's troubled economy. Ethnic Los Angeles presents a multi-investigator study of L.A.'s immigrant population, exploring the scope, characteristics, and consequences of ethnic transition in the nation's second most populous urban center. Using the wealth of information contained in the U.S. censuses of 1970, 1980, and 1990, essays on each of L.A.'s major ethnic groups tell who the immigrants are, where they come from, the skills they bring and their sources of employment, and the nature of their families and social networks. The contributors explain the history of legislation and economic change that made the city a magnet for immigration, and compare the progress of new immigrants to those of previous eras. Recent immigrants to Los Angeles follow no uniform course of adaptation, nor do they simply assimilate into the mainstream society. Instead, they have entered into distinct niches at both the high and low ends of the economic spectrum. While Asians and Middle Easterners have thrived within the medical and technical professions, low-skill newcomers from Central America provide cheap labor in light manufacturing industries. As Ethnic Los Angeles makes clear, the city's future will depend both on how well its economy accommodates its diverse population, and on how that population adapts to economic changes. The more prosperous immigrants arrived already possessed of advanced educations and skills, but what does the future hold for less-skilled newcomers? Will their children be able to advance socially and economically, as the children of previous immigrants once did? The contributors examine the effect of racial discrimination, both in favoring low-skilled immigrant job seekers over African Americans, and in preventing the more successful immigrants and native-born ethnic groups from achieving full economic parity with whites. Ethnic Los Angeles is an illuminating portrait of a city whose unprecedented changes are sure to be replicated in other urban areas as new concentrations of immigrants develop. Backed by detailed demographic information and insightful analyses, this volume engages all of the issues that are central to today's debates about immigration, ethnicity, and economic opportunity in a post-industrial urban society.
In Everyday Desistance, Laura Abrams and Diane J. Terry examine the lives of young people who spent considerable time in and out of correctional institutions as adolescents. These formerly incarcerated youth often struggle with the onset of adult responsibilities at a much earlier age than their more privileged counterparts. In the context of urban Los Angeles, with a large-scale gang culture and diminished employment prospects, further involvement in crime appears almost inevitable. Yet, as Abrams and Terry point out, these formerly imprisoned youth are often quite resilient and can be successful at creating lives for themselves after months or even years of living in institutions run by the juvenile justice system.
This book narrates the day-to-day experiences of these young men and women, focusing on their attempts to surmount the challenges of adulthood, resisting a return to criminal activity, and formulating long-term goals for a secure adult future.
A front-burner issue on the public policy agenda today is the increased use of partnerships between government and nongovernmental entities, including faith-based social service organizations. In the wake of President Bush's faith-based initiative, many are still wondering about the effectiveness of these faith-based organizations in providing services to those in need, and whether they provide better outcomes than more traditional government, secular nonprofit, and for-profit organizations. In Faith, Hope, and Jobs, Stephen V. Monsma and J. Christopher Soper study the effectiveness of 17 different welfare-to-work programs in Los Angeles County—a county in which the U.S. government spends 14% of its entire welfare budget—and offer groundbreaking insight into understanding what works and what doesn't.
Monsma and Soper examine client assessment of the programs, their progress in developing attitudes and resources important for finding self-supporting employment, and their experience in finding actual employment. The study reveals that the clients of the more explicitly faith-based programs did best in gaining in social capital and were highly positive in evaluating the religious components of their programs. For-profit programs tended to do the best in terms of their clients finding employment. Overall, the religiously active respondents tended to experience better outcomes than those who were not religiously active but surprisingly, the religiously active and non-active tended to do equally well in faith-based programs.
Faith, Hope, and Jobs concludes with three sets of concrete recommendations for public policymakers, social service program managers, and researchers.
Second-generation Korean Americans, demonstrating an unparalleled entrepreneurial fervor, are establishing new churches with a goal of shaping the future of American Christianity.
A Faith of Our Own investigates the development and growth of these houses of worship, a recent and rapidly increasing phenomenon in major cities throughout the United States.
Immigration historians have depicted the second-generation as a transitional generation--on the steady march toward the inevitable decline of ethnic identity and allegiance. Sharon Kim suggests an alternative path. By harnessing religion and innovatively creating hybrid religious institutions, second-generation Korean Americans are assertively defining and shaping their own ethnic and religious futures. Rather than assimilating into mainstream American evangelical churches or inheriting the churches of their immigrant parents, second-generation pastors are creating their own hybrid third space--new autonomous churches that are shaped by multiple frames of reference.
Including data gathered over ten years at twenty-two churches, A Faith of Our Own is the most comprehensive study of this topic that addresses generational, identity, political, racial, and empowerment issues.
California is a state of immense contradictions. Home to colossal wealth and long portrayed as a bastion of opportunity, it also has one of the largest prison populations in the United States and consistently ranks on the bottom of education indexes. Taking a unique, multifaceted insider’s perspective, First Strike delves into the root causes of its ever-expansive prison system and disastrous educational policy.
Recentering analysis of Black masculinity beyond public rhetoric, First Strike critiques the trope of the “school-to-prison pipeline” and instead explores the realm of public school as a form of “enclosure” that has influenced the schooling (and denial of schooling) and imprisonment of Black people in California. Through a fascinating ethnography of a public school in Los Angeles County, and a “day in the life tour” of the effect of prisons on the education of Black youth, Damien M. Sojoyner looks at the contestation over education in the Black community from Reconstruction to the civil rights and Black liberation movements of the past three decades.
Policy makers, school districts, and local governments have long known that there is a relationship between high incarceration rates and school failure. First Strike is the first book that demonstrates why that connection exists and shows how school districts, cities and states have been complicit and can reverse a disturbing and needless trend. Rather than rely upon state-sponsored ideological or policy-driven models that do nothing more than to maintain structures of hierarchal domination, it allows us to resituate our framework of understanding and begin looking for solutions in spaces that are readily available and are immersed in radically democratic social visions of the future.
Vivacious, unconventional, candid, and straight, Helen Branson operated a gay bar in Los Angeles in the 1950s—America’s most anti-gay decade. After years of fending off drunken passes as an entertainer in cocktail bars, this divorced grandmother preferred the wit, variety, and fun she found among homosexual men. Enjoying their companionship and deploring their plight, she gave her gay friends a place to socialize. Though at the time California statutes prohibited homosexuals from gathering in bars, Helen’s place was relaxed, suave, and remarkably safe from police raids and other anti-homosexual hazards. In 1957 she published her extraordinary memoir Gay Bar, the first book by a heterosexual to depict the lives of homosexuals with admiration, respect, and love.
In this new edition of Gay Bar, Will Fellows interweaves Branson’s chapters with historical perspective provided through his own insightful commentary and excerpts gleaned from letters and essays appearing in gay publications of the period. Also included is the original introduction to the book by maverick 1950s psychiatrist Blanche Baker. The eclectic selection of voices gives the flavor of American life in that extraordinary age of anxiety, revealing how gay men saw themselves and their circumstances, and how others perceived them.
Outstanding Book, selected by the Public Library Association
Best Books for High Schools, selected by the American Association of School Libraries
“We could have been called a lot of things: brazen vandals, scared kids, threats to social order, self-obsessed egomaniacs, marginalized youth, outsider artists, trend setters, and thrill seekers. But, to me, we were just regular kids growing up hard in America and making the city our own. Being ‘writers’ gave us something to live for and ‘going all city’ gave us something to strive for; and for some of my friends it was something to die for.”
In the age of commissioned wall murals and trendy street art, it’s easy to forget graffiti’s complicated and often violent past in the United States. Though graffiti has become one of the most influential art forms of the twenty-first century, cities across the United States waged a war against it from the late 1970s to the early 2000s, complete with brutal police task forces. Who were the vilified taggers they targeted? Teenagers, usually, from low-income neighborhoods with little to their names except a few spray cans and a desperate need to be seen—to mark their presence on city walls and buildings even as their cities turned a blind eye to them.
Going All City is the mesmerizing and painful story of these young graffiti writers, told by one of their own. Prolific LA writer Stefano Bloch came of age in the late 1990s amid constant violence, poverty, and vulnerability. He recounts vicious interactions with police; debating whether to take friends with gunshot wounds to the hospital; coping with his mother’s heroin addiction; instability and homelessness; and his dread that his stepfather would get out of jail and tip his unstable life into full-blown chaos. But he also recalls moments of peace and exhilaration: marking a fresh tag; the thrill of running with his crew at night; exploring the secret landscape of LA; the dream and success of going all city.
Bloch holds nothing back in this fierce, poignant memoir. Going All City is an unflinching portrait of a deeply maligned subculture and an unforgettable account of what writing on city walls means to the most vulnerable people living within them.
In this illuminating look at two Chicano gangs in East Los Angeles, Joan W. Moore examines the changes and continuities among three generations of barrio gangs. As a sequel to the author's award-winning study, Homeboys (Temple, 1979), this book returns to the same neighborhoods to chart the development of gang behavior, especially in terms of violence and drug use, and to compare experiences of male and female gang members.
In a remarkable research collaborative effort, Moore and gang members worked together to develop an understanding of both male and female gangs and an internal vision of gang members' lives. By using excerpts from individual interviews, the author depicts more about the gangs than simply their life together as a unit; she gives them a voice. Gang members discuss their personal reaction to violence, drug using and selling, family relations and intra-gang dating; they share intimacies that reveal varying levels of loyalty to and dependency on their affiliations, which often become a family substitute.
After maintaining neighborhood ties for 17 years, Moore's research group has established a relationship with these communities that gives her a rare perspective. This is a fascinating and informative book for anyone interested in sociology, criminology, youth behavior and deviance, and ethnic studies.
Hollywood has long been associated with scandal--with covering it up, with managing its effects, and, in some cases, with creating and directing it. In putting together Headline Hollywood, Adrienne McLean and David Cook approach the relationship between Hollywood and scandal from a fresh perspective. The contributors consider some of the famous transgressions that shocked Hollywood and its audiences during the last century, and explore the changing meaning of scandal over time by zeroing in on issues of power: Who decides what crimes and misdemeanors should be circulated for public consumption and titillation? What makes a Hollywood scandal scandalous? What are the uses of scandal? The essays are arranged chronologically to show how Hollywood scandals have evolved relative to changing moral and social orders. This collection will prove essential to the field of film studies as well as to anyone interested in the character and future direction of American culture. Contributors are Mark Lynn Anderson, Cynthia Baron, James Castonguay, Nancy Cook, Mary Desjardins, Lucy Fischer, Lee Grieveson, Erik Hedling, Peter Lehman, William Luhr, Adrienne L. McLean, Susan McLeland, and Sam Stoloff. Adrienne L. McLean is an assistant professor of film studies at the University of Texas at Dallas. David A. Cook is a professor of film and media studies at Emory University. He is the author of A History of Film Narrative.
In Hold-Outs, Bill Mohr, long a figure on the Los Angeles poetry scene, reveals the complicated evolution of the literary landscape in a city famous for its production of corporate culture. Mohr’s multigenerational account of the role of the poet-editor-publisher in Los Angeles community formation is nothing less than a radiant mosaic of previously little-known details about an important center of American poetry. While explaining the important role of L.A. in contemporary American poetry, Mohr also explores the ideals and perils of the small press movement in the twentieth century, providing a new generation of literary activists with the knowledge that is needed to inspire their own redefinitions of the social value of alternative artistic practices.
Drawing on extensive archival research of original documents, Mohr argues that West Coast poets in general (and Los Angeles poets in particular) have been part of what can be called not so much a haven of more imaginatively inspired artists but, rather, a site of revisionist creativity. Revealed here are the personalities (including Stuart Perkoff, Wanda Coleman, Leland Hickman, Paul Vangelisti, Don Gordon, Suzanne Lummis, John Thomas, Ron Koertge, and Charles Bukowski, among others), the institutions, the publications, and the informal poetry groups that together formed a matrix that encouraged poetry to be written, performed, published, and acknowledged.
Hold-Outs is a stunning roadmap of the interwoven contexts of an ongoing cultural debate whose most important witnesses are finally being heard.
"Michele Hilmes has produced
an excellent introduction to a most important subject. This is an invaluable
work for both scholars and students that places film, radio, and television
within the context of the national culture experience."
--- American Historical Review
"Hilmes is one of the few historians
of broadcasting to move beyond a political economy of the media. . . . Her work
should serve as a model for future histories of broadcasting."
--- Journal of Communication
"All media historians will
find this work a critical addition to their bookshelves."
--- American Journalism
"A major addition to media
--- Journalism History
Hollywood cinema and Los Angeles cannot be understood apart. Hollywood Cinema and the Real Los Angeles traces the interaction of the real city, its movie business, and filmed image, focusing on the crucial period from the construction of the first studios in the 1910s to the decline of the studio system fifty years later.
As Los Angeles gradually became one of the ten largest cities in the world, the film industry made key contributions to its rapid growth and frequent crises in economic, social, political and cultural life. Whether filmmakers engaged with the real city on location or recreated it on a studio set, Los Angeles shaped the films that were made there and circulated influentially worldwide. The book pays particular attention to early cinema, slapstick comedy, movies about the movies and film noir, which are each explored in new ways, with an emphasis on urban and architectural space and its representation, as well as filmmaking style and technique. Including many previously unpublished photographs and new historical evidence, Hollywood Cinema and the Real Los Angeles gives us a never-before-seen view of the City of Angels.
Rebecca Prime documents the untold story of the American directors, screenwriters, and actors who exiled themselves to Europe as a result of the Hollywood blacklist. During the 1950s and 1960s, these Hollywood émigrés directed, wrote, or starred in almost one hundred European productions, their contributions ranging from crime film masterpieces like Du rififi chez les hommes (1955, Jules Dassin, director) to international blockbusters like The Bridge on the RiverKwai (1957, Carl Foreman and Michael Wilson, screenwriters) and acclaimed art films like The Servant (1963, Joseph Losey, director).
At once a lively portrait of a lesser-known American “lost generation” and an examination of an important transitional moment in European cinema, the book offers a compelling argument for the significance of the blacklisted émigrés to our understanding of postwar American and European cinema and Cold War relations. Prime provides detailed accounts of the production and reception of their European films that clarify the ambivalence with which Hollywood was regarded within postwar European culture. Drawing upon extensive archival research, including previously classified material, Hollywood Exiles in Europe suggests the need to rethink our understanding of the Hollywood blacklist as a purely domestic phenomenon. By shedding new light on European cinema’s changing relationship with Hollywood, the book illuminates the postwar shift from national to transnational cinema.
In Christianity, as with most religions, attaining holiness and a higher spirituality while simultaneously pursuing worldly ideals such as fame and fortune is nearly impossible. So how do people pursuing careers in Hollywood's entertainment industry maintain their religious devotion without sacrificing their career goals? For some, the answer lies just two miles south of the historic center of Hollywood, California, at the Oasis Christian Center.
In Hollywood Faith, Gerardo Marti shows how a multiracial evangelical congregation of 2,000 people accommodates itself to the entertainment industry and draws in many striving to succeed in this harsh and irreverent business. Oasis strategically sanctifies ambition and negotiates social change by promoting a new religious identity as "champion of life"-an identity that provides people who face difficult career choices and failed opportunities a sense of empowerment and endurance.
The first book to provide an in-depth look at religion among the "creative class," Hollywood Faith will fascinate those interested in the modern evangelical movement and anyone who wants to understand how religion adapts to social change.
Hollywood Independents explores the crucial period from 1948 to 1962 when independent film producers first became key components of the modern corporate entertainment industry. Denise Mann examines the impact of the radically changed filmmaking climate—the decline of the studios, the rise of television, and the rise of potent talent agencies like MCA—on a group of prominent talent-turned-producers including Burt Lancaster, Joseph Mankiewicz, Elia Kazan, and Billy Wilder.
In order to show how these newly independent filmmakers negotiated through an increasingly fraught, reactionary creative atmosphere, Mann analyzes the reflexive portraits of their altered working conditions in such films as A Face in the Crowd, Sweet Smell of Success, and Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter? These artists, she shows, took on the corporate middle-managers at television networks and talent agencies as a way of challenging the status quo without risking censorship or blacklisting.
This period saw the evolution of film production from the studio-governed system to one of entrepreneurs. Out of this new arrangement, which encouraged greater creative freedom, emerged a nascent form of independent art cinema that sowed the seeds of the Hollywood Renaissance that followed.
Denise Mann is associate professor of film, TV and digital media at UCLA. She is coeditor of Private Screenings: Television and the Female Consumer (Minnesota, 1992).
Hollywood culture has been dismissed as insignificant for so long that film buffs and critics might be forgiven for forgetting that for two decades an unprecedented interaction of social and cultural forces shaped American film. In this probing account of how a generation of industry newcomers attempted to use the modernist art of the cinema to educate the public in anti-Fascist ideals, Saverio Giovacchini traces the profound transformation that took place in the film industry from the 1930's to the 1950's. Rejecting the notion that European emigres and New Yorkers sought a retreat from politics or simply gravitated toward easy money, he contends that Hollywood became their mecca precisely because they wanted a deeper engagement in the project of democratic modernism.
Seeing Hollywood as a forcefield, Giovacchini examines the social networks, working relationships, and political activities of artists, intellectuals, and film workers who flocked to Hollywood from Europe and the eastern United States before and during the second world war. He creates a complex and nuanced portrait of this milieu, adding breadth and depth to the conventional view of the era's film industry as little more than an empire for Jewish moguls or the major studios. In his rendering Hollywood's newcomers joined with its established elite to develop a modernist aesthetic for film that would bridge popular and avant-garde sensibilities; for them, realism was the most effective vehicle for conveying their message and involving a mass audience in the democratic struggle for process.
This is the first collection of short stories by W.T. Ballard. This volume is just a sampling of Ballard's most famous character Bill Lennox, a selection for both the connoisseur of crime and the lover of good, fast-moving crime/adventure stories.
How do homeless people perceive their plight? Specifically, how does their situation affect their sense of personal dignity? In intensive interviews with one hundred adult heads of homeless families, Barry Seltser and Donald Miller ask these questions, previously not dealt with in the growing literature on homelessness. Homeless Families sensitizes readers, challenging them to consider their own moral and social responses to homeless people.
Wanderers and writers, gangbangers and lawyers, dreamers and devils. The King of Lighting Fixtures paints an idiosyncratic but honest portrait of Los Angeles, depicting how the city both entrances and confounds. Each story serves as a reflection of Daniel A. Olivas’s grand City of Angels, a “magical metropolis where dreams come true.”
The characters here represent all walks of L.A. life—from Satan’s reluctant Craigslist roommate to a young girl coping with trauma at her brother’s wake—and their tales ebb and flow among various styles, including magical realism, social realism, and speculative fiction. Like a jazz album, they glide and bop, tease and illuminate, sadden and hearten as they navigate effortlessly from meta to fabulist, from flash fiction to longer, more complex narratives.
These are literary sketches of a Los Angeles that will surprise, connect, and disrupt readers wherever they may live.
Chairman Yang Ho Cho, head of Korean Air and Hanjin, talks of Los Angeles as a “microcosm of the United States—a land built of immigrants who want to do one thing: improve their lives.”
In The Korean-American Dream, respected and distinguished business journalist James Flanigan uncovers the struggles and contributions of the people who have made Los Angeles the largest Korean city outside of Seoul.
This intimate account illustrates how Korean immigrants have preserved their culture and history as well as adapted to the American culture of E Pluribus Unum, the radical promise of “out of many, one.” Flanigan shows how Los Angeles emerged as a capital of the Asia Pacific region.
At less than 2 million, Korean Americans are a relatively small group compared to new Americans from China, the Philippines, and India. But with energy and drive, they are building landmarks in New York as well as L.A., lobbying for causes in Washington, founding businesses, heading universities and hospitals, and holding public office in all parts of the U.S.
Flanigan’s compelling narrative told largely through personal interviews provides a front-row seat to the economic, business, and cultural developments of the Korean American Community. At a time of spirited debate about immigration, their energy and ambition serve as a ringing reminder of the promise of the American mosaic.
LA Sports brings together sixteen essays covering various aspects of the development and changing nature of sport in one of America’s most fascinating and famous cities. The writers cover a range of topics, including the history of car racing and ice skating, the development of sport venues, the power of the Mexican fan base in American soccer leagues, the intersecting life stories of Jackie and Mack Robinson, the importance of the Showtime Lakers, the origins of Muscle Beach and surfing, sport in Hollywood films, and more.
Sharp decreases in union membership over the last fifty years have caused many to dismiss organized labor as irrelevant in today's labor market. In the private sector, only 8 percent of workers today are union members, down from 24 percent as recently as 1973. Yet developments in Southern California—including the successful Justice for Janitors campaign—suggest that reports of organized labor's demise may have been exaggerated. In L.A. Story, sociologist and labor expert Ruth Milkman explains how Los Angeles, once known as a company town hostile to labor, became a hotbed for unionism, and how immigrant service workers emerged as the unlikely leaders in the battle for workers' rights. L.A. Story shatters many of the myths of modern labor with a close look at workers in four industries in Los Angeles: building maintenance, trucking, construction, and garment production. Though many blame deunionization and deteriorating working conditions on immigrants, Milkman shows that this conventional wisdom is wrong. Her analysis reveals that worsening work environments preceded the influx of foreign-born workers, who filled the positions only after native-born workers fled these suddenly undesirable jobs. Ironically, L.A. Story shows that immigrant workers, who many union leaders feared were incapable of being organized because of language constraints and fear of deportation, instead proved highly responsive to organizing efforts. As Milkman demonstrates, these mostly Latino workers came to their service jobs in the United States with a more group-oriented mentality than the American workers they replaced. Some also drew on experience in their native countries with labor and political struggles. This stock of fresh minds and new ideas, along with a physical distance from the east-coast centers of labor's old guard, made Los Angeles the center of a burgeoning workers' rights movement. Los Angeles' recent labor history highlights some of the key ingredients of the labor movement's resurgence—new leadership, latitude to experiment with organizing techniques, and a willingness to embrace both top-down and bottom-up strategies. L.A. Story's clear and thorough assessment of these developments points to an alternative, high-road national economic agenda that could provide workers with a way out of poverty and into the middle class.
Unlike the more forthrightly mythic origins of other urban centers—think Rome via Romulus and Remus or Mexico City via the god Huitzilopochtli—Los Angeles emerged from a smoke-and-mirrors process that is simultaneously literal and figurative, real and imagined, material and metaphorical, physical and textual. Through penetrating analysis and personal engagement, Vincent Brook uncovers the many portraits of this ever-enticing, ever-ambivalent, and increasingly multicultural megalopolis. Divided into sections that probe Los Angeles’s checkered history and reflect on Hollywood’s own self-reflections, the book shows how the city, despite considerable remaining challenges, is finally blowing away some of the smoke of its not always proud past and rhetorically adjusting its rear-view mirrors.
Part I is a review of the city’s history through the early 1900s, focusing on the seminal 1884 novel Ramona and its immediate effect, but also exploring its ongoing impact through interviews with present-day Tongva Indians, attendance at the 88th annual Ramona pageant, and analysis of its feature film adaptations.
Brook deals with Hollywood as geographical site, film production center, and frame of mind in Part II. He charts the events leading up to Hollywood’s emergence as the world’s movie capital and explores subsequent developments of the film industry from its golden age through the so-called New Hollywood, citing such self-reflexive films as Sunset Blvd.,Singin’ in the Rain, and The Truman Show.
Part III considers LA noir, a subset of film noir that emerged alongside the classical noir cycle in the 1940s and 1950s and continues today. The city’s status as a privileged noir site is analyzed in relation to its history and through discussions of such key LA noir novels and films as Double Indemnity, Chinatown, and Crash.
In Part IV, Brook examines multicultural Los Angeles. Using media texts as signposts, he maps the history and contemporary situation of the city’s major ethno-racial and other minority groups, looking at such films as Mi Familia (Latinos), Boyz N the Hood (African Americans), Charlotte Sometimes (Asians), Falling Down (Whites), and The Kids Are All Right (LGBT).
As the twenth-first century begins, Latinas/os represent 45 percent of the residents of Los Angeles County, making them the largest racial/ethnic group in the region. At the same time, the shift from manufacturing to a service-based economy in the area has contributed to a decline in good-paying jobs, significantly impacting working class families. These transformations have created a backlash that has included state propositions impacting Latinas/os and escalating anti-immigrant rhetoric—and Latina/os of all backgrounds are making their voices heard. Until recently, most research on Latinas/os in the U.S. has ignored historical and contemporary dynamics in Latin America, just as scholars of Latin America have generally stopped their studies at the border. This volume roots Los Angeles in the larger arena of globalization, exploring the demographic changes that have transformed the Latino presence in LA from primarily Mexican-origin to one that now includes peoples from throughout the hemisphere. Bringing together scholars from a range of disciplines, it combines historical perspectives with analyses of power and inequality to consider how Latinas/os are responding to exclusionary immigration, labor, and schooling practices and actively creating communities. The contributors examine Latina/o Los Angeles in the context of historical, economic and social factors that have shaped the region. The first section provides contexts for understanding Latina/o migration, with chapters focusing on such factors as U.S. economic and military domination, labor and economic integration in the Americas, and Los Angeles’ economic history. The second section considers how various Latina/o groups have settled and formed communities and interacted with the existing Mexican-origin populations, showing how Zapotecs, Salvadorans, and other peoples are remaking urban demographics. The final section on labor organizing and political activism examines the role of Latina/o immigrants in such actions as the janitors’ strike and also considers the contemporary role of students in political activism. The volume concludes with an up-to-date compilation of contemporary scholarship on immigration, the economy, schools, neighborhoods, gender and activism as they relate to Central American and Mexican immigrants. Reflecting a range of methodologies—statistical, historical, ethnographic, and participatory research—this collection is relevant not only to ethnic studies but also to broader concerns in political science, sociology, history, economics, and urban studies. In addition, some chapters focus explicitly on women, and gender issues are interwoven throughout the text. Latino Los Angeles is an important work that contributes to contemporary scholarship on transnationalism as it reexamines the changing face of America’s largest western metropolis.
Victor M. Valle University of Minnesota Press, 2000 Library of Congress F869.L89S757 2000 | Dewey Decimal 320.97949408968
A readable look at culture and politics in Los Angeles through a Latino lens.
"The authors have taken careful observations and measurements of the political, economic and social factors that affect the Latino population, ranging from the globalization of the Southern California economy to the shrinkage in housing, schools and social services. Caught among these seemingly blind and irresistible forces, however, are human beings, and the authors issue a dire warning that we ignore the poor and disempowered among us at our own peril. Clearly, Latino Metropolis seeks to hold us all to the very highest standards when it comes to understanding and honoring the Latino traditions of California and accommodating the urgent needs of its growing Latino population. And the fact is that its verbal pyrotechnics serve their intended purpose--the authors manage to catch and hold our attention with the occasional verbal blow, and then they deliver a sober (and sobering) lecture on the hard realities of multiculturalism." Los Angeles Times
"Latino Metropolis is a significant work of scholarship on Los Angeles and Latinos that puts the political economy back into academic and public discourse. The authors' detailed descriptions, insightful analysis, and identification of 'strategic opportunities' for change make the book a must read for scholars, community activists, and policy makers concerned with city building and community organizing." New Political Science
Los Angeles: scratch the surface of the city's image as a rich mosaic of multinational cultures and a grittier truth emerges-its huge, shimmering economy was built on the backs of largely Latino immigrants and still depends on them. This book exposes the underside of the development and restructuring that have turned Los Angeles into a global city, and in doing so it reveals the ways in which ideas about ethnicity-Latino identity itself-are implicated and elaborated in the process. A penetrating analysis of the social, economic, cultural, and political consequences of the growth of the Latino working-class populations in Los Angeles, Latino Metropolis is also a nuanced account of the complex links between political economy and the social construction of ethnicity.
Lifting examples from recent news stories, political encounters, and cultural events, the authors demonstrate how narratives about Latinos are used to maintain the status quo-particularly the existing power grid-in the city. In media representations of riots, in the recasting (and "whitening") of Mexican food as Spanish-American cuisine, in the community displacement that occurred as part of the development of the Staples Center-in telling instances large and small, we see how Los Angeles and its Latino population are mutually transforming. And we see how an old Latino politics of "racial" identity is inevitably giving way to a new politics of class.
Combining political and economic insight with trenchant social and cultural analysis, this work offers the clearest statement to date of how ethnicity and class intersect in defining racialized social relations in the contemporary metropolis.
Victor M. Valle is associate professor of ethnic studies at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. Rodolfo D. Torres is associate professor of education at the University of California, Irvine, where he teaches social policy and urban political economy.
Bathing beauty Esther Williams, bombshell Jane Russell, exotic Carmen Miranda, chanteuse Lena Horne, and talk-show fixture Zsa Zsa Gabor are rarely hailed as great actors or as naturalistic performers. Those terms of praise are given to male stars like Marlon Brando and James Dean, whose gritty dramas are seen as a departure from the glossy spectacles in which these stars appeared. Like a Natural Woman challenges those assumptions, revealing the skill and training that went into the work of these five actresses, who employed naturalistic performance techniques, both onscreen and off.
Bringing a fresh perspective to film history through the lens of performance studies, Kirsten Pullen explores the ways in which these actresses, who always appeared to be “playing themselves,” responded to the naturalist notion that actors should create authentic characters by drawing from their own lives. At the same time, she examines how Hollywood presented these female stars as sex objects, focusing on their spectacular bodies at the expense of believable characterization or narratives.
Pullen not only helps us appreciate what talented actresses these five women actually were, but also reveals how they sought to express themselves and maintain agency, even while meeting the demands of their directors, studios, families, and fans to perform certain feminine roles. Drawing from a rich collection of classic films, publicity materials, and studio archives, Like a Natural Woman lets us take a new look at both Hollywood acting techniques and the performance of femininity itself.
During the 1990s, Los Angeles - like many other cities across America - began demolishing public housing projects that had come to symbolize decades of failed urban policies. But public housing was not always regarded with such disdain. In the years surrounding World War II, it had been a popular New Deal program, viewed as a force for positive social change and supported by a broad coalition of civic, labor, religious, and community organizations. Socially conscious architects and planners developed innovative and livable projects that embodied the latest theories in urban design. With sharp historical perspective, Making a Better World traces the rise and fall of a public housing ethic in Los Angeles and its impact on the city's built environment. In the caustic political atmosphere of Joseph McCarthy's America, public housing opponents accused the city's housing authority of communist infiltration, effectively eliminating the left from debates over the city's development. In place of public housing, conservative forces promoted a pro-private growth agenda that redefined urban renewal and reshaped modern Los Angeles. No conventional public housing projects have been constructed in Los Angeles since 1955. In this era of skyrocketing housing prices, especially in urban areas, Don Parson's examination not only gives us the recent history of a city, but also opens up a new debate on a current national crisis in providing shelter for low-income Americans.
What makes a social movement a movement? Where do the contagious energy, vision, and sense of infinite possibility come from? Students of progressive social movements know a good deal about what works and what doesn't and about the constituencies that are conducive to political activism, but what are the personal and emotional dynamics that turn ordinary people into activists? And, what are the visions and practices of democracy that foster such transformations?
This book seeks to answer these questions through conversations and interviews with a generation of activists who came of political age in Los Angeles during the 1990s. Politically schooled in the city's vibrant immigrant worker and youth-led campaigns against xenophobic and racist voter initiatives, these young activists created a new political cohort with its own signature of democratic practice and vision. Combining analytical depth, engaging oral history, and rich description, this absorbing and accessible book will appeal to all those interested in social movements, racial justice, the political activism of women and men of color, and the labor movement today.
Iranian Television in Los Angeles
Naficy explores the seemingly contradictory way in which immigrant media and cultural productions serve as the source both of resistance and opposition to the domination by host and home country's social values while simultaneously serving as vehicles for personal and cultural transformation and assimilation of those values.
"An important contribution to cultural anthropology. The Making of Exile Cultures is meticulously researched. It is no small achievement of the book that is pulls the focus in Middle East studies from geographically cohesive national cultures, 'hard' politics and high culture (art, literature) to exile cultures, media politics and the popular. Although it is a close case study, The Making of Exile Cultures participates in debates and methodologies across a range of disciplines beyond media studies. It is not simply a much-needed contribution to the growing set of micro-histories of local media use. Rather, it demonstrates the increasing centrality of minority television cultures to the overall structure of North American mainstream television. The Making of Exile Cultures should be read and used by media theorists, then, not just because it fills in another gap in knowledge of narrowcast television's heterogeneous field (as if there were a collective puzzle in the making here), but because it provides media theory with some important new ways of working through the particular questions of race, gender, nation, industry and audience that come into play regardless of our respective 'local' interest." Screen
"Fresh, stimulating, and an extremely valuable contribution to the study of cultural production amongst immigrants and the articulation of local and transnational identities. A fascinating study of the cultural politics of identity." Middle East Journal
"The Making of Exile Cultures transcends its limited scope and ethnographic ambitions to poignantly illuminate a truly multicultural situation. Naficy's engaging prose and personal anecdotes made the dry ethnography not just palatable but fascinating. This was not merely a sociological analysis of the interaction of television aesthetics and a group in exile. It was not merely a collection of copious details and taxonomies about what was broadcast when and by whom. It was not merely a study of now an exile group expresses nostalgic longing and fetishistic desire for an absent home. The power of this book is found in narratives, stories, and recollections of the author and interviewees. Naficy saves his study from falling into the banality of charts, tables, and taxonomies through his ability to tie something very specific to the larger issue of what means to live in exile." SubStance
"In this book, Naficy provides us with an example of exilic agency and the possibilities that can come about when hybridized exiles use their unique perspective gained form a split-subjectivity. This book is highly recommended for scholars in immigration studies as well as those engaged in cultural studies and the field of mass media and communications." Journal of American Ethnic History
"Ultimately, The Making of Exile Cultures: Iranian Media in Los Angeles is an important contribution to the growing scholarship on Iranians in diaspora and serves best as a handbook for decoding the popular culture of Iranians in Los Angeles. Naficy's book serves as the best model yet for studying Iranian culture among the expatriate communities, a model which goes beyond one-dimensional stereotypes or demographic and statistical analyses to provide an intimate and analytical study of a culture undergoing chaotic change." JUSUR (The UCLA Journal of Middle Eastern Studies)
"An important contribution to both Iranian and cultural studies. Exile Cultures provides an illuminating study of the mediating role of television in transforming an exile community into an ethnicity. Naficy's careful discussions of its political economy and textual politics offer valuable insights into the micro-practices of this exilic culture, insights that should prove useful to a broad range of readers, from those interested in the general questions of ethnicity and community in the United States to scholars working on the more specific issues of Iranian culture." International Journal of Middle East Studies
"Naficy's own blend of rigorous research, well presented data, and thorough knowledge of the theories to which he refers is an illustration of the kind of a successful syncretism he observes in the material he studies." Canadian Review of Comparative Literature
"This is an excellent study of the understudied world of Iranian popular culture in exile. An indispensable source of knowledge about contemporary Iran and life in exile in the vast diaspora formed in the wake of the 1978-79 revolution." Iranian Studies
"Naficy blends together the psychological and cultural backgrounds and aspirations of users and producers with the political economy of the ethnic media, and the way in which this local political economy not only articulates with the larger economy of the U.S. and world economy, but psychologically and culturally transforms its participants." Michael M. J. Fischer
Stretching from the years during the Second World War when young couples jitterbugged across the dance floor at the Zenda Ballroom, through the early 1950s when honking tenor saxophones could be heard at the Angelus Hall, to the Spanish-language cosmopolitanism of the late 1950s and 1960s, Mexican American Mojo is a lively account of Mexican American urban culture in wartime and postwar Los Angeles as seen through the evolution of dance styles, nightlife, and, above all, popular music. Revealing the links between a vibrant Chicano music culture and postwar social and geographic mobility, Anthony Macías shows how by participating in jazz, the zoot suit phenomenon, car culture, rhythm and blues, rock and roll, and Latin music, Mexican Americans not only rejected second-class citizenship and demeaning stereotypes, but also transformed Los Angeles.
Macías conducted numerous interviews for Mexican American Mojo, and the voices of little-known artists and fans fill its pages. In addition, more famous musicians such as Ritchie Valens and Lalo Guerrero are considered anew in relation to their contemporaries and the city. Macías examines language, fashion, and subcultures to trace the history of hip and cool in Los Angeles as well as the Chicano influence on urban culture. He argues that a grass-roots “multicultural urban civility” that challenged the attempted containment of Mexican Americans and African Americans emerged in the neighborhoods, schools, nightclubs, dance halls, and auditoriums of mid-twentieth-century Los Angeles. So take a little trip with Macías, via streetcar or freeway, to a time when Los Angeles had advanced public high school music programs, segregated musicians’ union locals, a highbrow municipal Bureau of Music, independent R & B labels, and robust rock and roll and Latin music scenes.
When we see children playing in a supervised playground or hear about a school being renovated, we seldom wonder about who mobilized the community resources to rebuild the school or staff the park. Mexican American Women Activists tells the stories of Mexican American women from two Los Angeles neighborhoods and how they transformed the everyday problems they confronted into political concerns. By placing these women's experiences at the center of her discussion of grassroots political activism, Mary Pardo illuminates the gender, race, and class character of community networking. She shows how citizens help to shape their local environment by creating resources for churches, schools, and community services and generates new questions and answers about collective action and the transformation of social networks into political networks.
By focusing on women in two contiguous but very different communities -- the working-class, inner-city neighborhood of Boyle Heights in Eastside Los Angeles and the racially mixed middle-class suburb of Monterey Park -- Pardo is able to bring class as ell as gender and ethnic concerns to bear on her analysis in ways that shed light on the complexity of mobilizing for urban change.
Unlike many studies, the stories told here focus on women's strengths rather than on their problems. We follow the process by which these women empowered themselves by using their own definitions of social justice and their own convictions about the importance of traditional roles. Rather than becoming political participants in spite of their family responsibilities, women in both neighborhoods seem to have been more powerful because they had responsibilities, social networks, and daily routines separate from the men in their communities.
Pardo asserts that the decline of real wages and the growing income gap means that unforunately most women will no longer be able to focus their energies on unpaid community work. She reflects on the consequences of this change for women's political involvement, as well as on the politics of writing about women and politics.
In the early decades of the twentieth-century, Main Street was the heart of Los Angeles’s Mexican immigrant community. It was also the hub for an extensive, largely forgotten film culture that thrived in L.A. during the early days of Hollywood. Drawing from rare archives, including the city’s Spanish-language newspapers, Colin Gunckel vividly demonstrates how this immigrant community pioneered a practice of transnational media convergence, consuming films from Hollywood and Mexico, while also producing fan publications, fiction, criticism, music, and live theatrical events.
Mexico on Main Street locates this film culture at the center of a series of key debates concerning national identity, ethnicity, class, and the role of Mexicans within Hollywood before World War II. As Gunckel shows, the immigrant community’s cultural elite tried to rally the working-class population toward the cause of Mexican nationalism, while Hollywood sought to position them as part of a lucrative transnational Latin American market. Yet ironically, both Hollywood studios and Mexican American cultural elites used the media to present negative depictions of working-class Mexicans, portraying their behaviors as a threat to middle-class respectability. Rather than simply depicting working-class immigrants as pawns of these power players, however, Gunckel reveals their active participation in the era’s film culture.
Gunckel’s innovative approach combines media studies, urban history, and ethnic studies to reconstruct a distinctive, richly layered immigrant film culture. Mexico on Main Street demonstrates how a site-specific study of cultural and ethnic issues challenges our existing conceptions of U.S. film history, Mexican cinema, and the history of Los Angeles.
For more than eighty years, the famous unsolved murder of William Desmond Taylor, the legendary bisexual film director, has generated debate and controversy. Now, best-selling author Charles Higham has solved the crime. Higham uncovers the corruption and intrigue of Los Angeles in the Roaring Twenties—and the film industry moguls’ complete domination of the city’s authorities.
When it was discovered that a famous star of the day had probably killed Taylor, a massive cover-up began—from the removal of crucial evidence to the naming of innocent people as killers—which has continued until now to protect the truth. Murder in Hollywood goes beyond the killing to unearth unknown details about the life of Taylor before his arrival in Hollywood, as well as the stories and histories buried by the crooked authorities and criminals involved the case. The author’s exclusive interviews with the culpable star, his unique possession of long-vanished police records, and the support of the present-day Los Angeles county coroner—who examined the evidence as if the murder had taken place now—have ensured a hair-raising thriller.
Charles Higham successfully presents the most plausible and convincing solution yet to the mystery. In the process he paints a vivid portrait of Hollywood in the 1920s—from its major stars to its bisexual subculture. The result is a compelling answer to a long-standing mystery and a fascinating study of a place, and an industry that, as today, let people reinvent themselves. Murder in Hollywood is more extraordinary than any crime of fiction and more exciting than any action adventure movie.
In the 1920s, thousands of white migrants settled in the Los Angeles suburb of South Gate. Six miles from downtown and adjacent to Watts, South Gate and its neighboring communities served as L.A.'s Detroit, an industrial belt for mass production of cars, tires, steel, and other durable goods. Blue-collar workers built the suburb literally from the ground up, using sweat equity rather than cash to construct their own homes.
As Becky M. Nicolaides shows in My Blue Heaven, this ethic of self-reliance and homeownership formed the core of South Gate's identity. With post-World War II economic prosperity, the community's emphasis shifted from building homes to protecting them as residents tried to maintain their standard of living against outside threats—including the growing civil rights movement—through grassroots conservative politics based on an ideal of white homeowner rights. As the citizens of South Gate struggled to defend their segregated American Dream of suburban community, they fanned the flames of racial inequality that erupted in the 1965 Watts riots.
No two cities are more symbolic of the modern American metropolis than New York and Los Angeles. But while New York boasts a recently revitalized urban center, Los Angeles is the classic example of sprawl and decentralization, with multiple clusters of economic and social activity dispersed throughout its surrounding area.
This volume presents advanced studies that consider this fundamental difference between New York and Los Angeles while comparing and contrasting politics and culture in each region. An esteemed group of contributors from a wide variety of disciplines considers issues that include immigration, the effects of race and class on residence, the efficacy of public schools, the value of welfare reform, the meaning of mayoral politics, the function of charter reform, and the respective roles of the cinema and art scenes in each city.
Capturing much of what is new and vibrant in urban studies today, New York and Los Angeles will prove to be must reading for scholars in that field, as well as in sociology, political science, and government.
Andrew Beveridge, Mehdi Bozorgmehr, Geoffrey DeVerteuil, Susan S. Fainstein, Robert Gedeon, Saverio Giovacchini, David L. Gladstone, David Halle, Jack Katz, Karen M. Kaufmann, Rebecca Kim, Mark Levitan, Kevin Rafter, Georges Sabagh, David O. Sears, Heidi Sommer, Raphael J. Sonenshein, András Szántó, Lois Takahashi, Susan Weber, Jennifer Wolch, Julia Wrigley, Min Zhou
This is the first study of Hollywood by an anthropologist. Jorja Prover examines how different groups of individuals, separated from one another superficially by ethnicity, race, and sex, function as writers in Hollywood. She describes the white “majority” Hollywood writers and explores their concerns and creative processes, and then discusses other writers who, until recently, have been virtually invisible in the entertainment industry—women, the physically challenged, gays, African Americans, Latinos, and Asians. In detailing their efforts at gaining professional acceptance, these writers introduce new, previously unmentioned issues involving access, advancement, talent, sexual harassment, and discrimination.
The O. J. Simpson case captured the attention of the public like no other event in media history, and the Simpson criminal trial is arguably the most notable example of the media's ability to transform litigation. This collection of original essays provides a critical analysis of the Simpson criminal and civil trials. Edited by communications professor Janice Schuetz and professional trial consultant Lin S. Lilley, the book focuses on telelitigation, the media's transformation of sensational trials, with celebrity defendants and victims, into telemediated forms.
The contributors—Ann Burnett, Patricia M. Ganer, Ann M. Gill, Diane Furno-Lamude, Lin S. Lilley, and Janice Schuetz—describe media spectacles, analyze the opening statements of trial attorneys in both cases, investigate the testimony of Mark Fuhrman in the criminal trial and O. J. Simpson in the civil trial, analyze the summations of trial attorneys in both cases, look at the processes of jury decision making, and identify the unique legal and social outcomes of the trials.
The discussions focus on five "hot button" legal issues sparked by the Simpson trials: the perceived unfairness of the jury system; unprecedented calls for jury reform in both civil and criminal arenas; the fairness issues of jury nullification, wherein a jury disregards the law in a criminal case in favor of leniency; wealth and the question of "buying" justice; and ethical questions about the ways the Simpson trials were conducted, in particular the ways in which Simpson attorney Johnnie Cochran and the "Dream Team" repeatedly nudged and occasionally crossed the ethical line.
In 2003, an FBI-led task force known as Operation Fly Trap attempted to dismantle a significant drug network in two Bloods-controlled, African American neighborhoods in Los Angeles. The operation would soon be considered an enormous success, noted for the precision with which the task force targeted and removed gang members otherwise entrenched in larger communities. In Operation Fly Trap, Susan A. Phillips questions both the success of this operation and the methods used to conduct it. Based on in-depth ethnographic research with Fly Trap participants, Phillips’s work brings together police narratives, crime statistics, gang cultural histories, and extensive public policy analysis to examine the relationship between state persecution and the genesis of violent social systems.
Crucial to Phillips’s contribution is the presentation of the voices and perspectives of both the people living in impoverished communities and the agents that police them. Phillips positions law enforcement surveillance and suppression as a critical point of contact between citizen and state. She tracks the bureaucratic workings of police and FBI agencies and the language, ideologies, and methods that prevail within them, and shows how gangs have adapted, seeking out new locations, learning to operate without hierarchies, and moving their activities more deeply underground. Additionally, she shows how the targeted efforts of task forces such as Fly Trap wreak sweeping, sustained damage on family members and the community at large. Balancing her roles as even-handed reporter and public scholar, Phillips presents multiple flaws within the US criminal justice system and builds a powerful argument that many law enforcement policies in fact nurture, rather than prevent, violence in American society.
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.
Project Blowed is a legendary hiphop workshop based in Los Angeles. It began in 1994 when a group of youths moved their already renowned open-mic nights from the Good Life, a Crenshaw district health food store, to the KAOS Network, an arts center in Leimert Park. The local freestyle of articulate, rapid-fire, extemporaneous delivery, the juxtaposition of meaningful words and sounds, and the way that MCs followed one another without missing a beat, quickly became known throughout the LA underground. Leimert Park has long been a center of African American culture and arts in Los Angeles, and Project Blowed inspired youth throughout the city to consider the neighborhood the epicenter of their own cultural movement. The Real Hiphop is an in-depth account of the language and culture of Project Blowed, based on the seven years Marcyliena Morgan spent observing the workshop and the KAOS Network. Morgan is a leading scholar of hiphop, and throughout the volume her ethnographic analysis of the LA underground opens up into a broader examination of the artistic and cultural value of hiphop.
Morgan intersperses her observations with excerpts from interviews and transcripts of freestyle lyrics. Providing a thorough linguistic interpretation of the music, she teases out the cultural antecedents and ideologies embedded in the language, emphases, and wordplay. She discusses the artistic skills and cultural knowledge MCs must acquire to rock the mic, the socialization of hiphop culture’s core and long-term members, and the persistent focus on skills, competition, and evaluation. She brings attention to adults who provided material and moral support to sustain underground hiphop, identifies the ways that women choose to participate in Project Blowed, and vividly renders the dynamics of the workshop’s famous lyrical battles.
Reviews the Los Angeles Fire Department’s hiring practices as of June 2014 and outlines a recommended new firefighter hiring process that is intended to increase efficiency of the hiring process, bolster the evidence supporting the validity of it, and make it more transparent and inclusive.
In the 1960s and 1970s, the United States and Japan went through massive welfare expansions that sparked debates about citizenship. At the heart of these disputes stood African Americans and Koreans. Reinventing Citizenship offers a comparative study of African American welfare activism in Los Angeles and Koreans’ campaigns for welfare rights in Kawasaki. In working-class and poor neighborhoods in both locations, African Americans and Koreans sought not only to be recognized as citizens but also to become legitimate constituting members of communities.
Local activists in Los Angeles and Kawasaki ardently challenged the welfare institutions. By creating opposition movements and voicing alternative visions of citizenship, African American leaders, Tsuchiya argues, turned Lyndon B. Johnson’s War on Poverty into a battle for equality. Koreans countered the city’s and the nation’s exclusionary policies and asserted their welfare rights. Tsuchiya’s work exemplifies transnational antiracist networking, showing how black religious leaders traveled to Japan to meet Christian Korean activists and to provide counsel for their own struggles.
Reinventing Citizenship reveals how race and citizenship transform as they cross countries and continents. By documenting the interconnected histories of African Americans and Koreans in Japan, Tsuchiya enables us to rethink present ideas of community and belonging.
In the 1940s, American movies changed. Flashbacks began to be used in outrageous, unpredictable ways. Soundtracks flaunted voice-over commentary, and characters might pivot from a scene to address the viewer. Incidents were replayed from different characters’ viewpoints, and sometimes those versions proved to be false. Films now plunged viewers into characters’ memories, dreams, and hallucinations. Some films didn’t have protagonists, while others centered on anti-heroes or psychopaths. Women might be on the verge of madness, and neurotic heroes lurched into violent confrontations. Combining many of these ingredients, a new genre emerged—the psychological thriller, populated by women in peril and innocent bystanders targeted for death.
If this sounds like today’s cinema, that’s because it is. In Reinventing Hollywood, David Bordwell examines the full range and depth of trends that crystallized into traditions. He shows how the Christopher Nolans and Quentin Tarantinos of today owe an immense debt to the dynamic, occasionally delirious narrative experiments of the Forties. Through in-depth analyses of films both famous and virtually unknown, from Our Town and All About Eve to Swell Guy and The Guilt of Janet Ames, Bordwell assesses the era’s unique achievements and its legacy for future filmmakers. Reinventing Hollywood is a groundbreaking study of how Hollywood storytelling became a more complex art and essential reading for lovers of popular cinema.
The mosaics in the collection of the J. Paul Getty Museum span the second through the sixth centuries AD and reveal the diversity of compositions found throughout the Roman Empire during this period. Elaborate floors of stone and glass tesserae transformed private dwellings and public buildings alike into spectacular settings of vibrant color, figural imagery, and geometric design. Scenes from mythology, nature, daily life, and spectacles in the arena enlivened interior spaces and reflected the cultural ambitions of wealthy patrons. This online catalogue documents all of the mosaics in the Getty Museum’s collection, presenting their artistry in new color photography as well as the contexts of their discovery and excavation across Rome's expanding empire—from its center in Italy to provinces in southern Gaul, North Africa, and ancient Syria.
Reflecting the Getty's commitment to open content, Roman Mosaics in the J. Paul Getty Museum is available online at www.getty.edu/publications/romanmosaics and may be downloaded free of charge in multiple formats. For readers who wish to have a bound reference copy, this paperback edition has been made available for sale.
The publication of this online catalogue is issued on the occasion of the exhibition, Roman Mosaics across the Empire, on view at the Getty Villa from March 30 through September 12, 2016.
In Los Angeles, night after night, the city's salsa clubs become social arenas where hierarchies of gender, race, and class, and of nationality, citizenship, and belonging are enacted on and off the dance floor. In an ethnography filled with dramatic narratives, Cindy García describes how local salseras/os gain social status by performing an exoticized L.A.–style salsa that distances them from club practices associated with Mexicanness. Many Latinos in Los Angeles try to avoid "dancing like a Mexican," attempting to rid their dancing of techniques that might suggest that they are migrants, poor, working-class, Mexican, or undocumented. In L.A. salsa clubs, social belonging and mobility depend on subtleties of technique and movement. With a well-timed dance-floor exit or the lift of a properly tweezed eyebrow, a dancer signals affiliation not only with a distinctive salsa style but also with a particular conceptualization of latinidad.
Driven by the pressures of poverty and civil strife at home, large numbers of Central Americans came to the Los Angeles area during the 1980's. Neither purely economic migrants, though they were in search of stable work, nor official refugees, although they carried the scars of war and persecution, Guatemalans and Salvadorans were even denied the aid given to refugees such as Cubans and Vietnamese. In addition, these immigrants sought refuge in a city undergoing massive economic and demographic shifts of its own. The result was -- and is -- a complex interaction that will help to reconceptualize the migration experience.
Based on twenty years of work with the Los Angeles Central American community and filled with facts, figures, and personal narratives, Seeking Community in a Global City presents this saga from many perspectives. The authors examine the forces in Central America that sent thousands of people streaming across international borders. They discuss economic, political, and demographic changes in the Los Angeles region and the difficulties the new immigrants faced in negotiating a new, urban environment. They look at family roles, networking, work strategies, and inter-ethnic relations. But they also consider policy issues and alliances, changing expectations, shifting priorities, and the reciprocal effect of the migrants and the city on each other.
On May 8, 1959, the evening news shocked Los Angeles residents, who saw LA County sheriffs carrying a Mexican American woman from her home in Chavez Ravine not far from downtown. Immediately afterward, the house was bulldozed to the ground. This violent act was the last step in the forced eviction of 3,500 families from the unique hilltop barrio that in 1962 became the home of the Los Angeles Dodgers.
John H. M. Laslett offers a new interpretation of the Chavez Ravine tragedy, paying special attention to the early history of the barrio, the reform of Los Angeles's destructive urban renewal policies, and the influence of the evictions on the collective memory of the Mexican American community.
In addition to examining the political decisions made by power brokers at city hall, Shameful Victory argues that the tragedy exerted a much greater influence on the history of the Los Angeles civil rights movement than has hitherto been appreciated. The author also sheds fresh light on how the community grew, on the experience of individual home owners who were evicted from the barrio, and on the influence that the event had on the development of recent Chicano/a popular music, drama, and literature.
Los Angeles. A city that is synonymous with celebrity and mass-market culture, is also, according to David James, synonymous with social alienation and dispersal. In the communities of Los Angeles, artists, cultural institutions and activities exist in ways that are often concealed from sight, obscured by the powerful presence of Hollywood and its machinations. In this significant collection of original essays, The Sons and Daughters of Los reconstructs the city of Los Angeles with new cultural connections. Explored here are the communities that offer alternatives to the picture of L..A. as a conglomeration of studios and mass media. Each essay examines a particular piece of, or place in, Los Angeles cultural life: from the Beyond Baroque Poetry Foundation, the Woman's Building, to Highways, and LACE, as well as the achievements of these grassroots initiatives. Also included is critical commentary on important artists, including Harry Gamboa, Jr., and others whose work have done much to shape popular culture in L.A. The cumulative effect of reading this book is to see a very different city take shape, one whose cultural landscape is far more innovative and reflective of the diversity of the city's people than mainstream notions of it suggest. The Sons and Daughters of Los offers a substantive and complicated picture of the way culture plays itself it out on the smallest scale—in one of the largest metropolises on earth—contributing to a richer, more textured understanding of the vibrancy of urban life and art.
Named a Best Art Book of 2017 by the New York Times and Artforum
In South of Pico Kellie Jones explores how the artists in Los Angeles's black communities during the 1960s and 1970s created a vibrant, productive, and engaged activist arts scene in the face of structural racism. Emphasizing the importance of African American migration, as well as L.A.'s housing and employment politics, Jones shows how the work of black Angeleno artists such as Betye Saar, Charles White, Noah Purifoy, and Senga Nengudi spoke to the dislocation of migration, L.A.'s urban renewal, and restrictions on black mobility. Jones characterizes their works as modern migration narratives that look to the past to consider real and imagined futures. She also attends to these artists' relationships with gallery and museum culture and the establishment of black-owned arts spaces. With South of Pico, Jones expands the understanding of the histories of black arts and creativity in Los Angeles and beyond.
Space of Detention is a powerful ethnographic account and spatial analysis of the “transnational gang crisis” between the United States and El Salvador. Elana Zilberg seeks to understand how this phenomenon became an issue of central concern for national and regional security, and how La Mara Salvatrucha, a gang founded by Salvadoran immigrants in Los Angeles, came to symbolize the “gang crime–terrorism continuum.” She follows Salvadoran immigrants raised in Los Angeles, who identify as—or are alleged to be—gang members and who are deported back to El Salvador after their incarceration in the United States. Analyzing zero-tolerance gang-abatement strategies in both countries, Zilberg shows that these measures help to produce the very transnational violence and undocumented migration that they are intended to suppress. She argues that the contemporary fixation with Latino immigrant and Salvadoran street gangs, while in part a product of media hype, must also be understood in relation to the longer history of U.S. involvement in Central America, the processes of neoliberalism and globalization, and the intersection of immigration, criminal, and antiterrorist law. These forces combine to produce what Zilberg terms “neoliberal securityscapes.”
A quarter of young adults in the U.S. today are the children of immigrants, and Latinos are the largest minority group. In Stagnant Dreamers, sociologist and social policy expert María Rendón follows 42 young men from two high-poverty Los Angeles neighborhoods as they transition into adulthood. Based on in-depth interviews and ethnographic observations with them and their immigrant parents, Stagnant Dreamers describes the challenges they face coming of age in the inner city and accessing higher education and good jobs, and demonstrates how family-based social ties and community institutions can serve as buffers against neighborhood violence, chronic poverty, incarceration, and other negative outcomes.
Neighborhoods in East and South Central Los Angeles were sites of acute gang violence that peaked in the 1990s, shattering any romantic notions of American life held by the immigrant parents. Yet, Rendón finds that their children are generally optimistic about their life chances and determined to make good on their parents’ sacrifices. Most are strongly oriented towards work. But despite high rates of employment, most earn modest wages and rely on kinship networks for labor market connections. Those who made social connections outside of their family and neighborhood contexts, more often found higher quality jobs. However, a middle-class lifestyle remains elusive for most, even for college graduates.
Rendón debunks fears of downward assimilation among second-generation Latinos, noting that most of her subjects were employed and many had gone on to college. She questions the ability of institutions of higher education to fully integrate low-income students of color. She shares the story of one Ivy League college graduate who finds himself working in the same low-wage jobs as his parents and peers who did not attend college. Ironically, students who leave their neighborhoods to pursue higher education are often the most exposed to racism, discrimination, and classism.
Rendón demonstrates the importance of social supports in helping second-generation immigrant youth succeed. To further the integration of second-generation Latinos, she suggests investing in community organizations, combating criminalization of Latino youth, and fully integrating them into higher education institutions. Stagnant Dreamers presents a realistic yet hopeful account of how the Latino second generation is attempting to realize its vision of the American dream.
Jesse Lee Kercheval
plus many more
Witty, sexy, gritty, outrageous, emotional, hilarious, honest, courageous. What do these words describe? A growing movement in American literary circles: Stand Up Poetry.
Over twenty years ago, Charles Harper Webb discovered a vibrant and invigorating poetry scene in southern California. Featuring some of America's best contemporary poets, this scene, according to Webb, “showed insight, imagination, craft, philosophical depth, but most of all, it was funny, and it was fun.” Stand Up Poetry: The Poetry of Los Angeles and Beyond (1990) was the result of Webb's enthusiasm for this poetic genre.
A decade later, the popularity of performance poetry, poetry slams, and poetry readings is on the rise, and Webb has expanded his anthology to include a greater sampling of poets from across the country. From Charles Bukowski to Billy Collins and Allison Joseph, the poets included in this collection are popular and emerging, classical and experimental, young and old; yet all exhibit the characteristics so important to Stand Up Poetry—humor, performability, accessibility, individuality. Most important, these poems are enjoyable when read silently or aloud, on the page or on the stage.
Stand Up Poetry: An Expanded Anthology is at its core a celebration of poetry offering readers a wonderful lesson in the power of words to entertain and inspire.
Stardust Monuments spotlights the enduring efforts to memorialize and canonize the history and meaning of Hollywood and American film culture. In this engaging analysis, Alison Trope explores the tensions between art and commerce as they intersect in a range of nonprofit and for-profit institutions and products. An insightful tour of Hollywood’s past, present, and future, Stardust Monuments examines the establishment of film libraries and museums beginning in the mid 1930s, the many failed attempts to open a Hollywood museum ranging from the 1960s to today, and the more successful recent corporate efforts to use Hollywood’s past in theme restaurants and parks, classic movie channels, and DVD boxed sets. This fascinating narrative details the ongoing struggle to champion and codify Hollywood’s legacy, a struggle engaged in by Hollywood stars and corporate executives, as well as memorabilia collectors and users of IMDb.
Barbara Myerhoff's groundbreaking work in reflexivity and narrative ethnography broke with tradition by focusing not on the raw ethnographic data, but on her interaction with those she studied. Myerhoff's unfinished projects, including her final talks on storytelling, ritual, and the "culture of aging and Yiddishkeit," offer a magisterial summary of her life's work.
"The beauty of Stories as Equipment for Living is the quality of being a compilation of rescued fragments, bits and pieces of a great master's writing and thinking that were coming towards synthesis but had never reached a finished form prior to her death. This collection is an examination of the place of narrative in human life, the synthetic nature of culture and the constant search for visibility particularly by those relegated for one reason or another to the margins. A thought-provoking book worthy of extended reflection."
---Jack Kugelmass, Professor of Anthropology and Director of Jewish Studies, University of Florida
"Stories as Equipment for Living achieves a nice balance between preserving Myerhoff's work in its original form and reconstructed contexts, but presenting it in a manner relevant to readers a generation after her death. The book documents Myerhoff's growing involvement with Jewish culture, the actual process of anthropological work through field notes, and the picture of how she always was bouncing the fine details of this combined professional and personal venture off the 'big questions' of anthropology in its broadest sense."
---Harvey E. Goldberg, Professor of Sociology and Anthropology, Hebrew University, Israel
"These essays capture the rhythm of Barbara Myerhoff's words and her vivid and distinctive train of thought, bringing the reader into the classroom of one of anthropology's finest lecturers. As an anthropologist with a poet's gift for language, she utilizes the tools of ethnography and extraordinary powers of observation---a remarkable 'ethnographic eye'---to explore the outward expressions and inner lives of the Fairfax neighborhood of L.A. These stories are not only glorious introductions to the study of culture, but provide in their revelations a reason for studying it. They are required reading for anyone passionate to know what an anthropologist can teach us about communities and ultimately about ourselves."
---Steve Zeitlin, Director, City Lore: The New York Center for Urban Folk Culture
"Master of the third voice, the voice of collaboration, Myerhoff is at once a consummate listener and inspired storyteller. This book offers a rare and luminous opening into the working process and wisdom of one of the great anthropologists of the twentieth century."
---Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett, Professor of Performance Studies at New York University and coauthor of They Called Me Mayer July: Painted Memories of a Jewish Childhood in Poland Before the Holocaust
"Myerhoff and her collaborators have given her 'Hasidim,' her disciples old and new, a final and precious gift."
---Jonathan Boyarin, The Robert M. Beren Distinguished Professor of Modern Jewish Studies at the University of Kansas and author of Thinking in Jewish
Barbara Myerhoff was a renowned anthropologist who did pioneering work in gerontology, Jewish studies, folklore, and narrative anthropology. She is best known for her ethnography of and personal involvement with a community of elderly immigrant Jews in California. Her writings and lectures have had an enormous impact on all of these areas of study, and her books are widely celebrated, especially Number Our Days, whose companion documentary film won an Academy Award.
Marc Kaminsky is a psychotherapist, a poet, a writer, and the former codirector of the Institute on Humanities, Arts and Aging of the Brookdale Center on Aging.
Mark Weiss is a writer, an editor, a translator, and a poet; his books include the widely praised Across the Line/Al Otro Lado.
Deena Metzger is a novelist, a poet, and the founding codirector (with Marc Kaminsky) of the Myerhoff Center.
Thomas R. Cole is the Beth and Toby Grossman Professor and Director of the McGovern Center for Health, Humanities, and the Human Spirit at the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston, and a Professor of Humanities in the Department of Religious Studies at Rice University; his expertise lies in the history of aging and humanistic gerontology.
Sometime near the start of the 1990s, the future became a place of national decline. The United States had entered a period of great anxiety fueled by the shrinking of the white middle class, the increasingly visible misery of poor urban blacks, and the mass immigration of nonwhites. Perhaps more than any other event marking the passage through these dark years, the 1992 Los Angeles riots have sparked imaginative and critical works reacting to this profound pessimism. Focusing on a wide range of these creative works, Min Hyoung Song shows how the L.A. riots have become a cultural-literary event—an important reference and resource for imagining the social problems plaguing the United States and its possible futures.
Song considers works that address the riots and often the traumatic place of the Korean American community within them: the independent documentary Sa-I-Gu (Korean for April 29, the date the riots began), Chang-rae Lee’s novel Native Speaker, the commercial film Strange Days, and the experimental drama of Anna Deavere Smith, among many others. He describes how cultural producers have used the riots to examine the narrative of national decline, manipulating language and visual elements, borrowing and refashioning familiar tropes, and, perhaps most significantly, repeatedly turning to metaphors of bodily suffering to convey a sense of an unraveling social fabric. Song argues that these aesthetic experiments offer ways of revisiting the traumas of the past in order to imagine more survivable futures.
The history of medicine is much more than the story of doctors, nurses, and hospitals. Seeking to understand the patient’s perspective, historians scour the archives, searching for rare personal accounts. Bringing together a trove of more than 400 family letters by Charles Dwight Willard, Suffering in the Land of Sunshine provides a unique window into the experience of sickness.
A Los Angeles civic leader at the turn of the twentieth century, Willard is well known to historians of the West, but exclusively for his public life as a booster and reformer. Willard’s evocative story offers fresh insights into several critical issues, including how concepts of gender, class, and race shape patients’ representations of their illness, how expectations of cure affect the illness experience, how different cultures constrain the coping strategies of the sick, and why robust health is such an exalted value in certain societies.
On a typical weekday, men of the Beverly-La Brea Orthodox community wake up early, beginning their day with Talmud reading and prayer at 5:45am, before joining Los Angeles’ traffic. Those who work “Jewish jobs”—teachers, kosher supervisors, or rabbis—will stay enmeshed in the Orthodox world throughout the workday. But even for the majority of men who spend their days in the world of gentiles, religious life constantly reasserts itself. Neighborhood fixtures like Jewish schools and synagogues are always after more involvement; evening classes and prayers pull them in; the streets themselves seem to remind them of who they are. And so the week goes, culminating as the sabbatical observances on Friday afternoon stretch into Saturday evening. Life in this community, as Iddo Tavory describes it, is palpably thick with the twin pulls of observance and sociality.
In Summoned, Tavory takes readers to the heart of the exhilarating—at times exhausting—life of the Beverly-La Brea Orthodox community. Just blocks from West Hollywood’s nightlife, the Orthodox community thrives next to the impure sights, sounds, and smells they encounter every day. But to sustain this life, as Tavory shows, is not simply a moral decision they make. To be Orthodox is to be constantly called into being. People are reminded of who they are as they are called upon by organizations, prayer quorums, the nods of strangers, whiffs of unkosher food floating through the street, or the rarer Anti-Semitic remarks. Again and again, they find themselves summoned both into social life and into their identity as Orthodox Jews. At the close of Tavory’s fascinating ethnography, we come away with a better understanding of the dynamics of social worlds, identity, interaction and self—not only in Beverly-La Brea, but in society at large.
In its early days, rap was understood as the poetry of the “inner city,” which usually meant New York. Few expected anything as hard-edged as gangsta rap to emerge from Los Angeles, home of surf and sun. Felicia Viator tells the story of LA’s self-styled “ghetto reporters,” whose music forced America to see an urban crisis it preferred to ignore.
In 1923, the film director Victor Seastrom (né Sjöström), then Sweden’s most renowned filmmaker, was recruited to Hollywood by Goldwyn Pictures, where he made eight silent pictures and one talkie in seven years, among them a 1926 version of The Scarlet Letter. What elements of Swedish cinema did he bring with him to the States, and how were these techniques transformed by Hollywood? This is the first book-length study dedicated to the films of Sjöström (1879–1960) and how he functioned in the studio system of 1920s Hollywood. Bo Florin explores the ways the director applied his austere and naturalistic film style in a radically different context and discusses how his films were received in Hollywood.
A nation's collective memory does not simply exist. It is created. But what factors influence its form and content? And what roles do the news media play in fashioning our collective memory? Here Jill A. Edy observes the process of negotiating a meaning for the past as it unfolds in the news, exploring the ways that news practices, the relationships between actors who make the news, the expectations of news audiences, and the impact of current events affect the development of collective memories in a mass society.Using the 1965 Watts riots and the 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago as case studies, Edy creates a useful framework for understanding how, over time, conflicting versions of events are resolved, what forms the resolutions take, and how those resolutions influence the representation of current news stories. Anyone who is interested in political communication and the role of media in public culture will find a wealth of insights in this valuable new book.
Though notorious for its polluted air today, the city of Los Angeles once touted itself as a health resort. After the arrival of the transcontinental railroad in 1876, publicists launched a campaign to portray the city as the promised land, circulating countless stories of miraculous cures for the sick and debilitated. As more and more migrants poured in, however, a gap emerged between the city’s glittering image and its dark reality.
Emily K. Abel shows how the association of the disease with “tramps” during the 1880s and 1890s and Dust Bowl refugees during the 1930s provoked exclusionary measures against both groups. In addition, public health officials sought not only to restrict the entry of Mexicans (the majority of immigrants) during the 1920s but also to expel them during the 1930s.
Abel’s revealing account provides a critical lens through which to view both the contemporary debate about immigration and the U.S. response to the emergent global tuberculosis epidemic.
Karen Kaufmann's groundbreaking study shows that perceptions of interracial conflict can cause voters in local elections to focus on race, rather than party attachments or political ideologies. Using public opinion data to examine mayoral elections in New York and Los Angeles over the past 35 years, Kaufmann develops a contextual theory of local voting behavior that accounts for the Republican victories of the 1990s in these overwhelmingly Democratic cities and the "liberal revivals" that followed. Her conclusions cast new light on the interactions between government institutions, local economies, and social diversity. The Urban Voter offers a critical analysis of urban America's changing demographics and the ramifications of these changes for the future of American politics.
This book will interest scholars and students of urban politics, racial politics, and voting behavior; the author's interdisciplinary approach also incorporates theoretical insights from sociology and social psychology. The Urban Voter is appropriate for both undergraduate and graduate level courses.
Karen Kaufmann is Assistant Professor in the Department of Government and Politics at the University of Maryland, College Park.
Nestled between Santa Monica and Marina del Rey, Venice is a Los Angeles community filled with apparent contradictions. There, people of various races and classes live side by side, a population of astounding diversity bound together by geographic proximity. From street to street, and from block to block, million dollar homes stand near housing projects and homeless encampments; and upscale boutiques are just a short walk from the (in)famous Venice Beach where artists and carnival performers practice their crafts opposite cafés and ragtag tourist shops. In Venice: A Contested Bohemia in Los Angeles, Andrew Deener invites the reader on an ethnographic tour of this legendary California beach community and the people who live there.
In writing this book, the ethnographer became an insider; Deener lived as a resident of Venice for close to six years. Here, he brings a scholarly eye to bear on the effects of gentrification, homelessness, segregation, and immigration on this community. Through stories from five different parts of Venice—Oakwood, Rose Avenue, the Boardwalk, the Canals, and Abbot Kinney Boulevard— Deener identifies why Venice maintained its diversity for so long and the social and political factors that threaten it. Drenched in the details of Venice’s transformation, the themes and explanations will resonate far beyond this one city.
Deener reveals that Venice is not a single locale, but a collection of neighborhoods, each with its own identity and conflicts—and he provides a cultural map infinitely more useful than one that merely shows streets and intersections. Deener's Venice appears on these pages fully fleshed out and populated with a stunning array of people. Though the character of any neighborhood is transient, Deener's work is indelible and this book will be studied for years to come by scholars across the social sciences.
Graffiti is as ubiquitous as telephone poles in America's cities; it is as old as the earliest civilizations. The most public medium in the country today, graffiti can signal territory, love, or liberation. Ironically, graffiti is understood by only a fraction of those who encounter it. Usually read as a sign of urban decay and as a loss of control over the physical environment, graffiti has become one of the most potent cultural languages of our age. Wallbangin' is an unprecedented, in-depth look at this phenomenon as it is embodied in the neighborhoods of one of its epicenters, Los Angeles.
Anthropologist Susan Phillips enters the lives of the African-American and Chicano gang members to write a comprehensive guide to their symbolic and visual expression. She not only decodes the graffiti—explaining how, for instance, gang boundaries are visually delimited and how "memorial" graffiti functions—but she also places it in the context of the changing urban landscapes within the city. Graffiti, she argues, is inextricably linked to political change, to race, and to art, and she demonstrates how those connections are played out in contemporary L.A. Wallbangin' is, on this level, an iconography of street imagery. But it is also a very personal narrative about entering the world of L.A. street gangs—a world of pride, enemies, affirmation, and humanity where gang members use graffiti to redefine their social and political position in society.
To many outsiders, graffiti is cryptic, senseless scribbling. But Phillips explains it as an ingenious and creative solution to the disenfranchisement felt by those who produce it. With personal narratives, provocative photography, and contemporary voices, Wallbangin' unlocks the mysteries behind street-level ideologies and their visual manifestations.
The Mexican American woman zoot suiter, or pachuca, often wore a V-neck sweater or a long, broad-shouldered coat, a knee-length pleated skirt, fishnet stockings or bobby socks, platform heels or saddle shoes, dark lipstick, and a bouffant. Or she donned the same style of zoot suit that her male counterparts wore. With their striking attire, pachucos and pachucas represented a new generation of Mexican American youth, which arrived on the public scene in the 1940s. Yet while pachucos have often been the subject of literature, visual art, and scholarship, The Woman in the Zoot Suit is the first book focused on pachucas.
Two events in wartime Los Angeles thrust young Mexican American zoot suiters into the media spotlight. In the Sleepy Lagoon incident, a man was murdered during a mass brawl in August 1942. Twenty-two young men, all but one of Mexican descent, were tried and convicted of the crime. In the Zoot Suit Riots of June 1943, white servicemen attacked young zoot suiters, particularly Mexican Americans, throughout Los Angeles. The Chicano movement of the 1960s–1980s cast these events as key moments in the political awakening of Mexican Americans and pachucos as exemplars of Chicano identity, resistance, and style. While pachucas and other Mexican American women figured in the two incidents, they were barely acknowledged in later Chicano movement narratives. Catherine S. Ramírez draws on interviews she conducted with Mexican American women who came of age in Los Angeles in the late 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s as she recovers the neglected stories of pachucas. Investigating their relative absence in scholarly and artistic works, she argues that both wartime U.S. culture and the Chicano movement rejected pachucas because they threatened traditional gender roles. Ramírez reveals how pachucas challenged dominant notions of Mexican American and Chicano identity, how feminists have reinterpreted la pachuca, and how attention to an overlooked figure can disclose much about history making, nationalism, and resistant identities.
Los Angeles is a city of delicate racial and ethnic balance. As evidenced by the 1965 Watts violence, the 1992 Rodney King riots, and this year's award-winning film Crash, the city's myriad racial groups coexist uneasily together, often on the brink of confrontation. In fact, Los Angeles is highly segregated, with racial and ethnic groups clustered in homogeneous neighborhoods. These residential groupings have profound effects on the economic well-being and quality of life of residents, dictating which jobs they can access, which social networks they can tap in to, and which schools they attend. In Won't You Be My Neighbor?, sociologist Camille Zubrinsky Charles explores how modern racial attitudes shape and are shaped by the places in which people live. Using in-depth survey data and information from focus groups with members of L.A.'s largest racial and ethnic groups, Won't You Be My Neighbor? explores why Los Angeles remains a segregated city. Charles finds that people of all backgrounds prefer both racial integration and a critical mass of same-race neighbors. When asked to reveal their preferred level of racial integration, people of all races show a clear and consistent order of preference, with whites considered the most highly desired neighbors and blacks the least desirable. This is even true among recent immigrants who have little experience with American race relations. Charles finds that these preferences, which are driven primarily by racial prejudice and minority-group fears of white hostility, taken together with financial considerations, strongly affect people's decisions about where they live. Still, Charles offers reasons for optimism: over time and with increased exposure to other racial and ethnic groups, people show an increased willingness to live with neighbors of other races. In a racially and ethnically diverse city, segregated neighborhoods can foster distrust, reinforce stereotypes, and agitate inter-group tensions. Won't You Be My Neighbor? zeroes in on segregated neighborhoods to provide a compelling examination of the way contemporary racial attitudes shape, and are shaped by, the places where we live.
A massive population shift transformed Los Angeles in the first decades of the twentieth century. Americans from across the country relocated to the city even as an unprecedented transnational migration brought people from Asia, Europe, and Mexico. Together, these newcomers forged a multiethnic alliance of anarchists, labor unions, and leftists dedicated to challenging capitalism, racism, and often the state. David M. Struthers draws on the anarchist concept of affinity to explore the radicalism of Los Angeles's interracial working class from 1900 to 1930. Uneven economic development created precarious employment and living conditions for laborers. The resulting worker mobility led to coalitions that, inevitably, remained short lived. As Struthers shows, affinity helps us understand how individual cooperative actions shaped and reshaped these alliances. It also reveals social practices of resistance that are often too unstructured or episodic for historians to capture. What emerges is an untold history of Los Angeles and a revolutionary movement that, through myriad successes and failures, produced powerful examples of racial cooperation.
Through interviews with three generations of Yalálag Zapotecs (“Yaláltecos”) in Los Angeles and Yalálag, Oaxaca, this book examines the impact of international migration on this community. It traces five decades of migration to Los Angeles in order to delineate migration patterns, community formation in Los Angeles, and the emergence of transnational identities of the first and second generations of Yalálag Zapotecs in the United States, exploring why these immigrants and their descendents now think of themselves as Mexican, Mexican Indian immigrants, Oaxaqueños, and Latinos—identities they did not claim in Mexico.
Based on multi-site fieldwork conducted over a five-year period, Adriana Cruz-Manjarrez analyzes how and why Yalálag Zapotec identity and culture have been reconfigured in the United States, using such cultural practices as music, dance, and religious rituals as a lens to bring this dynamic process into focus. By illustrating the sociocultural, economic, and political practices that link immigrants in Los Angeles to those left behind, the book documents how transnational migration has reflected, shaped, and transformed these practices in both their place of origin and immigration.