Can the recent influx of immigrants successfully enter the mainstream of American life, or will many of them fail to thrive and become part of a permanent underclass? Achieving Anew examines immigrant life in school, at work, and in communities and demonstrates that recent immigrants and their children do make substantial progress over time, both within and between generations. From policymakers to private citizens, our national conversation on immigration has consistently questioned the country's ability to absorb increasing numbers of foreign nationals—now nearly one million legal entrants per year. Using census data, longitudinal education surveys, and other data, Michael White and Jennifer Glick place their study of new immigrant achievement within a context of recent developments in assimilation theory and policies regulating who gets in and what happens to them upon arrival. They find that immigrant status itself is not an important predictor of educational achievement. First-generation immigrants arrive in the United States with less education than native-born Americans, but by the second and third generation, the children of immigrants are just as successful in school as native-born students with equivalent social and economic background. As with prior studies, the effects of socioeconomic background and family structure show through strongly. On education attainment, race and ethnicity have a strong impact on achievement initially, but less over time. Looking at the labor force, White and Glick find no evidence to confirm the often-voiced worry that recent immigrants and their children are falling behind earlier arrivals. On the contrary, immigrants of more recent vintage tend to catch up to the occupational status of natives more quickly than in the past. Family background, educational preparation, and race/ethnicity all play a role in labor market success, just as they do for the native born, but the offspring of immigrants suffer no disadvantage due to their immigrant origins. New immigrants continue to live in segregated neighborhoods, though with less prevalence than native black-white segregation. Immigrants who arrived in the 1960s are now much less segregated than recent arrivals. Indeed, the authors find that residential segregation declines both within and across generations. Yet black and Mexican immigrants are more segregated from whites than other groups, showing that race and economic status still remain powerful influences on where immigrants live. Although the picture is mixed and the continuing significance of racial factors remains a concern, Achieving Anew provides compelling reassurance that the recent wave of immigrants is making impressive progress in joining the American mainstream. The process of assimilation is not broken, the advent of a new underclass is not imminent, and the efforts to argue for the restriction of immigration based on these fears are largely mistaken.
Allegheny City, known today as Pittsburgh’s North Side, was the third-largest city in Pennsylvania when it was controversially annexed by the City of Pittsburgh in 1907. Founded in 1787 as a reserve land tract for Revolutionary War veterans in compensation for their service, it quickly evolved into a thriving urban center with its own character, industry, and accomplished residents. Among those to inhabit the area, which came to be known affectionately as “The Ward,” were Andrew Carnegie, Mary Cassatt, Gertrude Stein, Stephen Foster, and Martha Graham. Once a station along the underground railroad, home to the first wire suspension bridge, and host to the first World Series, the North Side is now the site of Heinz Field, PNC Park, the Andy Warhol Museum, the National Aviary, and world headquarters for corporations such as Alcoa and the H. J. Heinz Company.
Dan Rooney, longtime North Side resident, joins local historian Carol Peterson in creating this highly engaging history of the cultural, industrial, and architectural achievements of Allegheny City from its humble beginnings until the present day. The authors cover the history of the city from its origins as a simple colonial outpost and agricultural center to its rapid emergence alongside Pittsburgh as one of the most important industrial cities in the world and an engine of the American economy. They explore the life of its people in this journey as they experienced war and peace, economic boom and bust, great poverty and wealth—the challenges and opportunities that fused them into a strong and durable community, ready for whatever the future holds. Supplemented by historic and contemporary photos, the authors take the reader on a fascinating and often surprising street-level tour of this colorful, vibrant, and proud place.
Residential patterns are reflections of social structure; to ask, "who lives in which neighborhoods," is to explore a sorting-out process that is based largely on socioeconomic status, ethnicity, and life cycle characteristics. This benchmark volume uses census data, with its uniquely detailed information on small geographic areas, to bring into focus the familiar yet often vague concept of neighborhood. Michael White examines nearly 6,000 census tracts (approximating neighborhoods) in twenty-one representative metropolitan areas, from Atlanta to Salt Lake City, Newark to San Diego. The availability of statistics spanning several decades and covering a wide range of demographic characteristics (including age, race, occupation, income, and housing quality) makes possible a rich analysis of the evolution and implications of differences among neighborhoods. In this complex mosaic, White finds patterns and traces them over time—showing, for example, how racial segregation has declined modestly while socioeconomic segregation remains constant, and how population diffusion gradually affects neighborhood composition. His assessment of our urban settlement system also illuminates the social forces that shape contemporary city life and the troubling policy issues that plague it. A Volume in the Russell Sage Foundation Census Series
"Robert A. Slayton's Back of the Yards is one of the finest accounts I have ever read on an urban, working-class neighborhood in twentieth-century America. Its focus on family, politics, and worklife is penetrating and its conclusions reinforce an emerging scholarly picture of ordinary people exercising unique forms of power."—John Bodnar, author of The Transplanted: A History of Immigrants in Urban America
Between the early 1950s and the accelerated demolition and construction of Beijing's “old city” in preparation for the 2008 Olympics, the residents of Dashalar—one of the capital city's poorest neighborhoods and only a stone's throw from Tian’anmen Square—lived in dilapidated conditions without sanitation. Few had stable employment. Today, most of Dashalar's original inhabitants have been relocated, displaced by gentrification. In Beijing from Below Harriet Evans captures the last gasps of subaltern life in Dashalar. Drawing on oral histories that reveal memories and experiences of several neighborhood families, she reflects on the relationships between individual, family, neighborhood, and the state; poverty and precarity; gender politics and ethical living; and resistance to and accommodation of party-state authority. Evans contends that residents' assertion of belonging to their neighborhood signifies not a nostalgic clinging to the past, but a rejection of their marginalization and a desire for recognition. Foregrounding the experiences of the last of Dashalar's older denizens as key to understanding Beijing's recent history, Evans complicates official narratives of China's economic success while raising crucial questions about the place of the subaltern in history.
Nazareth, the largest Arab city in Israel, is a surprising example of ethnic harmony in a region dominated by conflict. A recent trend toward integration of its historical Greek Orthodox, Roman Catholic, and Muslim quarters however, has disrupted the harmony. In Beyond the Basilica: Christians and Muslims in Nazareth, Chad F. Emmett provides penetrating analysis of the complex relationship between the structure of Nazareth’s quarters and the relations between its ethnic communities.
Emmett describes both the positive and negative effects of Nazareth’s residential patterns. He shows that the addition of new and ethnically mixed quarters has promoted mixed schools, joint holiday celebrations, a common political culture, and social networks that cross ethnic boundaries. But he also finds that tensions exist among Christian groups and between Muslims and Christians in regard to intersectarian marriages, religious conversion, attempts to establish a joint Christian cemetery, and the emergence of a local Islamic party.
Extensive interviews with leaders of religious groups, political parties, and residents reveal the way in which members of each ethnic community perceive one another. A survey of 300 families gives a wealth of details about the make-up of Nazareth’s population, including residential histories, religion, level of religious conviction, friendship and shopping patterns, and much more. Fourteen maps trace changes in the distribution of religious groups and political affiliation in Nazareth from the mid-nineteenth century to the present.
Beyond the Basilica will interest cultural geographers, historians, demographers, political scientists, and anyone who would like to learn more about an ethnically divided community in the residents cooperate more than they fight.
In the decades following World War II, cities across the United States saw an influx of African American families into otherwise homogeneously white areas. This racial transformation of urban neighborhoods led many whites to migrate to the suburbs, producing the phenomenon commonly known as white flight. In Block by Block, Amanda I. Seligman draws on the surprisingly understudied West Side communities of Chicago to shed new light on this story of postwar urban America.
Seligman's study reveals that the responses of white West Siders to racial changes occurring in their neighborhoods were both multifaceted and extensive. She shows that, despite rehabilitation efforts, deterioration in these areas began long before the color of their inhabitants changed from white to black. And ultimately, the riots that erupted on Chicago's West Side and across the country in the mid-1960s stemmed not only from the tribulations specific to blacks in urban centers but also from the legacy of accumulated neglect after decades of white occupancy. Seligman's careful and evenhanded account will be essential to understanding that the "flight" of whites to the suburbs was the eventual result of a series of responses to transformations in Chicago's physical and social landscape, occurring one block at a time.
From Paris to Rio, everyone’s curious about hot, new Brooklyn. The Brooklyn Experience, Ellen Freudenheim’s fourth comprehensive Brooklyn guidebook, offers a true insider’s guide, complete with photographs, itineraries, and insights into one of the most creative, dynamic cities in the modern world.
Walk over the Brooklyn Bridge at dawn or sunset, discover thirty-eight unique Brooklyn neighborhoods, and experience the borough like a native. Find out where to go to the beach and to eat great pizza, what to do with the kids, how to enjoy free and cheap activities, and where to savor Brooklyn’s famous cuisines. Visit cool independent shops, greenmarkets, festivals, and delve into the vibrant new cultural scene at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, Barclays Center, and the lively exploding neighborhoods of DUMBO, Williamsburg, and Bushwick.
Included in the book are essays and the pithy, sometimes funny comments of sixty cultural, literary, and culinary movers and shakers, culled from exclusive interviews with experts from the James Beard Foundation to the cofounder of the famous Brooklyn Book Festival, as well as MacArthur “genius” award winners, to young entrepreneurs, hipsters, and activists, all of whom have something to say about Brooklyn’s stunning renaissance. Neighborhood profiles are rich in user-friendly information and details, including movies, celebrities, and novels associated with each neighborhood. There are also 800 listings of great restaurants, bars, shops, parks, cultural institutions, and historical sites, complete with contact information.
Targeting the independent, curious traveler, The Brooklyn Experience includes a dozen “do-it-yourself” tours, including a visit to Woody Allen’s childhood neighborhood, and amazing Revolutionary and Civil War sites.
Freudenheim draws clear—and sometimes surprising—connections between old and new Brooklyn. Written by an author with an astounding knowledge of all Brooklyn has to offer, The Brooklyn Experience will guide both first-time and repeat visitors, and will be a fun resource for Brooklynites who enjoy exploring their own hometown.
“Which neighborhood?” It’s one of the first questions you’re asked when you move to Chicago. And the answer you give—be it Bucktown, Bronzeville, or Bridgeport—can give your inquisitor a good idea of who you are, especially in a metropolis with 230 very different neighborhoods and suburbs to choose from.
Many of us, in fact, know little of the neighborhoods beyond those where we work, play, and live. This is especially true in Chicagoland, a region that spans over 4,400 square miles and is home to more than 9.5 million residents. In Chicago Neighborhoods and Suburbs, historian Ann Durkin Keating sheds new light on twenty-first-century Chicago by providing a captivating yet compact guide to the Midwest’s largest city. Keating charts Chicago’s evolution with comprehensive, cross-referenced entries on all seventy-seven community areas, along with many suburbs and neighborhoods both extant and long forgotten, from Albany Park to Zion. Thoughtful interpretive essays by urban historians Michael Ebner, Henry Binford, Janice Reiff, Susan Hirsch, and Robert Bruegmann explore how the city’s communities have changed and grown throughout the years, and sixty historic and contemporary photographs and additional maps add depth to each entry.
From the South Side to the West Side to the North Side, just about every local knows how distinctive Chicago’s neighborhoods are. Few of us, however, know exactly how they came to be. Chicago Neighborhoods and Suburbs brings the city—its inimitable neighborhoods, industries, and individuals—to life, making it the perfect guidebook for anyone with an interest in Chicago and its history.
East Boston has long been known as an Italian neighborhood and Southie as an Irish one, while nearby North Quincy has seen in recent decades an influx of Chinese Americans and immigrants. Such urban spaces in America can become intimately intertwined with ethnic identities (Little Italy, Greektown, Chinatown, Little Havana). Yet local residents often readily acknowledge an underlying diversity—both historically and as a result of more recent changes—that complicates such stereotypes.
Digging into the ever-shifting terrain of American ethnicity and urban spaces, Anthony Bak Buccitelli investigates folk practices, social memory, and local histories in three Boston-area neighborhoods. He looks at the ways locals represent their neighborhoods and themselves via events, symbols, stories, and landmarks, from the shamrock to the Chinese flag, whether the St. Patrick’s Day parade in Southie or the Columbus Day parade in East Boston, from urban graffiti and websites to the Dorchester Heights Monument. City of Neighborhoods exposes the processes of selection and emphasis that produce, sustain, challenge, and change understandings of urban spaces as ethnic places.
Honorable mention, Wayland Hand Prize for Folklore and History, American Folklore Society
Social scientists have long argued over the links between crime and place. The authors of Communities and Crime provide an intellectual history that traces how varying images of community have evolved over time and influenced criminological thinking and criminal justice policy.
The authors outline the major ideas that have shaped the development of theory, research, and policy in the area of communities and crime. Each chapter examines the problem of the community through a defining critical or theoretical lens: the community as social disorganization; as a system of associations; as a symptom of larger structural forces; as a result of criminal subcultures; as a broken window; as crime opportunity; and as a site of resilience.
Focusing on these changing images of community, the empirical adequacy of these images, and how they have resulted in concrete programs to reduce crime, Communities and Crime theorizes about and reflects upon why some neighborhoods produce so much crime. The result is a tour of the dominant theories of place in social science today.
Candice Rai’s Democracy’s Lot is an incisive exploration of the limitations and possibilities of democratic discourse for resolving conflicts in urban communities. Rai roots her study of democratic politics and publics in a range of urban case studies focused on public art, community policing, and urban development. These studies examine the issues that erupted within an ethnically and economically diverse Chicago neighborhood over conflicting visions for a vacant lot called Wilson Yard. Tracing how residents with disparate agendas organized factions and deployed language, symbols, and other rhetorical devices in the struggle over Wilson Yard’s redevelopment and other contested public spaces, Rai demonstrates that rhetoric is not solely a tool of elite communicators, but rather a framework for understanding the agile communication strategies that are improvised in the rough-and-tumble work of democratic life.
Wilson Yard, a lot eight blocks north of Wrigley Field in Chicago’s gentrifying Uptown neighborhood, is a diverse enclave of residents enlivened by recent immigrants from Guatemala, Mexico, Vietnam, Ethiopia, and elsewhere. The neighborhood’s North Broadway Street witnesses a daily multilingual hubbub of people from a wide spectrum of income levels, religions, sexual identifications, and interest groups. When a fire left the lot vacant, this divided community projected on Wilson Yard disparate and conflicting aspirations, the resolution of which not only determined the fate of this particular urban space, but also revealed the lot of democracy itself as a process of complex problem-solving. Rai’s detailed study of one block in an iconic American city brings into vivid focus the remarkable challenges that beset democratic urban populations anywhere on the globe—and how rhetoric supplies a framework to understand and resolve those challenges.
Based on exhaustive field work, Rai uses rhetorical ethnography to study competing publics, citizenship, and rhetoric in action, exploring “rhetorical invention,” the discovery or development by individuals of the resources or methods of engaging with and persuading others. She builds a case for democratic processes and behaviors based not on reflexive idealism but rather on the hard work and practice of democracy, which must address apathy, passion, conflict, and ambivalence.
More than half a century after the first Jim Crow laws were dismantled, the majority of urban neighborhoods in the United States remain segregated by race. The degree of social and economic advantage or disadvantage that each community experiences—particularly its crime rate—is most often a reflection of which group is in the majority. As Ruth Peterson and Lauren Krivo note in Divergent Social Worlds, "Race, place, and crime are still inextricably linked in the minds of the public." This book broadens the scope of single-city, black/white studies by using national data to compare local crime patterns in five racially distinct types of neighborhoods. Peterson and Krivo meticulously demonstrate how residential segregation creates and maintains inequality in neighborhood crime rates. Based on the authors' groundbreaking National Neighborhood Crime Study (NNCS), Divergent Social Worlds provides a more complete picture of the social conditions underlying neighborhood crime patterns than has ever before been drawn. The study includes economic, social, and local investment data for nearly nine thousand neighborhoods in eighty-seven cities, and the findings reveal a pattern across neighborhoods of racialized separation among unequal groups. Residential segregation reproduces existing privilege or disadvantage in neighborhoods—such as adequate or inadequate schools, political representation, and local business—increasing the potential for crime and instability in impoverished non-white areas yet providing few opportunities for residents to improve conditions or leave. And the numbers bear this out. Among urban residents, more than two-thirds of all whites, half of all African Americans, and one-third of Latinos live in segregated local neighborhoods. More than 90 percent of white neighborhoods have low poverty, but this is only true for one quarter of black, Latino, and minority areas. Of the five types of neighborhoods studied, African American communities experience violent crime on average at a rate five times that of their white counterparts, with violence rates for Latino, minority, and integrated neighborhoods falling between the two extremes. Divergent Social Worlds lays to rest the popular misconception that persistently high crime rates in impoverished, non-white neighborhoods are merely the result of individual pathologies or, worse, inherent group criminality. Yet Peterson and Krivo also show that the reality of crime inequality in urban neighborhoods is no less alarming. Separate, the book emphasizes, is inherently unequal. Divergent Social Worlds lays the groundwork for closing the gap—and for next steps among organizers, policymakers, and future researchers. A Volume in the American Sociological Association's Rose Series in Sociology
With major differences in size, urban plans, and population density, the capitals of New World states had large heterogeneous societies, sometimes multiethnic and highly specialized, making these cities amazing backdrops for complex interactions.
For over fifty years numerous public intellectuals and social theorists have insisted that community is dead. Some would have us believe that we act solely as individuals choosing our own fates regardless of our surroundings, while other theories place us at the mercy of global forces beyond our control. These two perspectives dominate contemporary views of society, but by rejecting the importance of place they are both deeply flawed. Based on one of the most ambitious studies in the history of social science, Great American City argues that communities still matter because life is decisively shaped by where you live.
To demonstrate the powerfully enduring impact of place, Robert J. Sampson presents here the fruits of over a decade’s research in Chicago combined with his own unique personal observations about life in the city, from Cabrini Green to Trump Tower and Millennium Park to the Robert Taylor Homes. He discovers that neighborhoods influence a remarkably wide variety of social phenomena, including crime, health, civic engagement, home foreclosures, teen births, altruism, leadership networks, and immigration. Even national crises cannot halt the impact of place, Sampson finds, as he analyzes the consequences of the Great Recession and its aftermath, bringing his magisterial study up to the fall of 2010.
Following in the influential tradition of the Chicago School of urban studies but updated for the twenty-first century, Great American City is at once a landmark research project, a commanding argument for a new theory of social life, and the story of an iconic city.
This book investigates the efforts of homeowners to maintain and improve their dwellings. Their behavior, it has found, depends on economic variables as well as the sociological structure of their neighborhoods. Residential satisfaction, expectations of the neighborhood, and mobility plans were taken into account.
Multivariate statistical analyses of models were conducted using household data from Minneapolis and Wooster, Ohio. Three important findings emerged. First, homeowners' sense of solidarity with their neighbors is as significant in determining their efforts at home upkeep as are their income or age. Second, the optimism of homeowners toward increases in property values results in behavior opposite to that produced by optimism about neighborhood quality of life. This implies that different kinds of predictable gaming behavior occur among homeowners, depending on the neighborhoods in which they live. Third, both short-term and extremely long-term plans to move prove damaging to home upkeep.
The results of this study form the basis for a better understanding of such residential phenomena as class succession, racial transition, and gentrification. Galster's findings will also be valuable for analyzing policies that attempt to encourage neighborhood reinvestment.
Do you want to age independently in your own home and neighborhood? Staying home, aging in place, is most people’s preference, but most American housing and communities are not adapted to the needs of older people. And with the fastest population growth among people over 65, finding solutions for successful aging is important not only for individual families, but for our whole society. In Independent for Life, former HUD Secretary Henry Cisneros and a team of experts on aging, architecture, construction, health, finance, and politics assess the current state of housing and present new possibilities that realistically address the interrelated issues of housing, communities, services, and financial concerns.Independent for Life covers a wide range of smart solutions, including remodeling current housing and building new homes for accessibility and safety, retrofitting existing neighborhoods to connect needed services and amenities, and planning new communities that work well for people of all ages. Case studies show how the proposals can be implemented. The authors offer action plans for working with policy makers at local, state, and national levels to address the larger issues of aging in place, including family financial security, real estate markets, and the limitations of public support. Lists of essential resources, including a detailed “to do” list of aging in place priorities and an individual home assessment, complete the volume.
How do survivors recover from the worst urban flood in American history, a disaster that destroyed nearly the entire physical landscape of a city, as well as the mental and emotional maps that people use to navigate their everyday lives? This question has haunted the survivors of Hurricane Katrina and informed the response to the subsequent flooding of New Orleans across many years.
Left to Chance takes us into two African American neighborhoods—working-class Hollygrove and middle-class Pontchartrain Park—to learn how their residents have experienced “Miss Katrina” and the long road back to normal life. The authors spent several years gathering firsthand accounts of the flooding, the rushed evacuations that turned into weeks- and months-long exile, and the often confusing and exhausting process of rebuilding damaged homes in a city whose local government had all but failed. As the residents’ stories make vividly clear, government and social science concepts such as “disaster management,” “restoring normality,” and “recovery” have little meaning for people whose worlds were washed away in the flood. For the neighbors in Hollygrove and Pontchartrain Park, life in the aftermath of Katrina has been a passage from all that was familiar and routine to an ominous world filled with raw existential uncertainty. Recovery and rebuilding become processes imbued with mysteries, accidental encounters, and hasty adaptations, while victories and defeats are left to chance.
Urban theorists have tried for decades to define exactly what a neighborhood is. But behind that daunting existential question lies a much murkier problem: never mind how you define them—how do you make neighborhoods productive and fair for their residents? In Making Our Neighborhoods, Making Our Selves, George Galster delves deep into the question of whether American neighborhoods are as efficient and equitable as they could be—socially, financially, and emotionally—and, if not, what we can do to change that. Galster aims to redefine the relationship between places and people, promoting specific policies that reduce inequalities in housing markets and beyond. Drawing on economics, sociology, geography, and psychology, Making Our Neighborhoods, Making Our Selves delivers a clear-sighted explanation of what neighborhoods are, how they come to be—and what they should be.
With its extraordinary uniform street grid, its magnificent lake-side park, and innovative architecture and public sculpture, Chicago is one of the most planned cities of the modern era. Yet over the past few decades Chicago has come to epitomize some of the worst evils of urban decay: widespread graft and corruption, political stalemates, troubled race relations, and economic decline. Broad-shouldered boosterism can no longer disguise the city's failure to keep pace with others, its failure to attract new "sunrise" industries and world-class events. For Chicago, as for other rust-belt cities, new ways of planning and managing the urban environment are now much more than civic beautification; they are the means to survival.
Gerald D. Suttles here offers an irreverent, highly critical guide to both the realities and myths of land-use planning and development in Chicago from 1976 through 1987.
Despite the pundits who have written its epitaph and the latter-day refugees who have fled its confines for the half-acre suburban estate, the city neighborhood has endured as an idea central to American culture. In A Nation of Neighborhoods, Benjamin Looker presents us with the city neighborhood as both an endless problem and a possibility.
Looker investigates the cultural, social, and political complexities of the idea of “neighborhood” in postwar America and how Americans grappled with vast changes in their urban spaces from World War II to the Reagan era. In the face of urban decline, competing visions of the city neighborhood’s significance and purpose became proxies for broader debates over the meaning and limits of American democracy. By studying the way these contests unfolded across a startling variety of genres—Broadway shows, radio plays, urban ethnographies, real estate documents, and even children’s programming—Looker shows that the neighborhood ideal has functioned as a central symbolic site for advancing and debating theories about American national identity and democratic practice.
Meaningful places offer a vital counterbalance to the forces of globalization and sameness that are overtaking our world, and are an essential element in the search for solutions to current sustainability challenges. In Native to Nowhere, author Tim Beatley draws on extensive research and travel to communities across North America and Europe to offer a practical examination of the concepts of place and place-building in contemporary life. Tim Beatley reviews the many current challenges to place, considers trends and factors that have undermined place and place commitments, and discusses in detail a number of innovative ideas and compelling visions for strengthening place.
Native to Nowhere brings together a wide range of new ideas and insights about sustainability and community, and introduces readers to a host of innovative projects and initiatives. Native to Nowhere is a compelling source of information and ideas for anyone seeking to resist place homogenization and build upon the unique qualities of their local environment and community.
In this pre-World War II analysis of working-class areas of Tokyo, primarily its Honjo ward, Hastings shows that bureaucrats, particularly in the Home Ministry, were concerned with the needs of their citizens and took significant steps to protect the city's working families and the poor. She also demonstrates that the public participated broadly in politics, through organizations such as reservist groups, national youth leagues, neighborhood organizations, as well as growing suffrage and workplace organizations.
Recent realizations that prehispanic cities in Mesoamerica were fundamentally different from western cities of the same period have led to increasing examination of the neighborhood as an intermediate unit at the heart of prehispanic urbanization. This book addresses the subject of neighborhoods in archaeology as analytical units between households and whole settlements.
The contributions gathered here provide fieldwork data to document the existence of sociopolitically distinct neighborhoods within ancient Mesoamerican settlements, building upon recent advances in multi-scale archaeological studies of these communities. Chapters illustrate the cultural variation across Mesoamerica, including data and interpretations on several different cities with a thematic focus on regional contrasts. This topic is relatively new and complex, and this book is a strong contribution for three interwoven reasons. First, the long history of research on the “Teotihuacan barrios” is scrutinized and withstands the test of new evidence and comparison with other Mesoamerican cities. Second, Maya studies of dense settlement patterns are now mature enough to provide substantial case studies. Third, theoretical investigation of ancient urbanization all over the world is now more complex and open than it was before, giving relevance to Mesoamerican perspectives on ancient and modern societies in time and space.
This volume will be of interest not only to scholars and student specialists of the Mesoamerican past but also to social scientists and urbanists looking to contrast ancient cultures worldwide.
Perhaps the most alarming phenomenon in American cities has been the transformation of many neighborhoods into isolated ghettos where poverty is the norm and violent crime, drug use, out-of-wedlock births, and soaring school dropout rates are rampant. Public concern over these destitute areas has focused on their most vulnerable inhabitants—children and adolescents. How profoundly does neighborhood poverty endanger their well-being and development? Is the influence of neighborhood more powerful than that of the family? Neighborhood Poverty: Context and Consequences for Children approaches these questions with an insightful and wide-ranging investigation into the effect of community poverty on children's physical health, cognitive and verbal abilities, educational attainment, and social adjustment. This two-volume set offers the most current research and analysis from experts in the fields of child development, social psychology, sociology and economics. Drawing from national and city-based sources, Volume I reports the empirical evidence concerning the relationship between children and community. As the essays demonstrate, poverty entails a host of problems that affects the quality of educational, recreational, and child care services. Poor neighborhoods usually share other negative features—particularly racial segregation and a preponderance of single mother families—that may adversely affect children. Yet children are not equally susceptible to the pitfalls of deprived communities. Neighborhood has different effects depending on a child's age, race, and gender, while parenting techniques and a family's degree of community involvement also serve as mitigating factors. Volume II incorporates empirical data on neighborhood poverty into discussions of policy and program development. The contributors point to promising community initiatives and suggest methods to strengthen neighborhood-based service programs for children. Several essays analyze the conceptual and methodological issues surrounding the measurement of neighborhood characteristics. These essays focus on the need to expand scientific insight into urban poverty by drawing on broader pools of ethnographic, epidemiological, and quantitative data. Volume II explores the possibilities for a richer and more well-rounded understanding of neighborhood and poverty issues. To grasp the human cost of poverty, we must clearly understand how living in distressed neighborhoods impairs children's ability to function at every level. Neighborhood Poverty explores the multiple and complex paths between community, family, and childhood development. These two volumes provide and indispensible guide for social policy and demonstrate the power of interdisciplinary social science to probe complex social issues.
Perhaps the most alarming phenomenon in American cities has been the transformation of many neighborhoods into isolated ghettos where poverty is the norm and violent crime, drug use, out-of-wedlock births, and soaring school dropout rates are rampant. Public concern over these destitute areas has focused on their most vulnerable inhabitants—children and adolescents. How profoundly does neighborhood poverty endanger their well-being and development? Is the influence of neighborhood more powerful than that of the family? Neighborhood Poverty approaches these questions with an insightful and wide-ranging investigation into the effect of community poverty on children's physical health, cognitive and verbal abilities, educational attainment, and social adjustment. This two-volume set offers the most current research and analysis from experts in the fields of child development, social psychology, sociology and economics. Drawing from national and city-based sources, Volume I reports the empirical evidence concerning the relationship between children and community. As the essays demonstrate, poverty entails a host of problems that affects the quality of educational, recreational, and child care services.Poor neighborhoods usually share other negative features—particularly racial segregation and a preponderance of single mother families—that may adversely affect children. Yet children are not equally susceptible to the pitfalls of deprived communities. Neighborhood has different effects depending on a child's age, race, and gender, while parenting techniques and a family's degree of community involvement also serve as mitigating factors. Volume II incorporates empirical data on neighborhood poverty into discussions of policy and program development. The contributors point to promising community initiatives and suggest methods to strengthen neighborhood-based service programs for children. Several essays analyze the conceptual and methodological issues surrounding the measurement of neighborhood characteristics. These essays focus on the need to expand scientific insight into urban poverty by drawing on broader pools of ethnographic, epidemiological, and quantitative data. Volume II explores the possibilities for a richer and more well-rounded understanding of neighborhood and poverty issues. To grasp the human cost of poverty, we must clearly understand how living in distressed neighborhoods impairs children's ability to function at every level. Neighborhood Poverty explores the multiple and complex paths between community, family, and childhood development. These two volumes provide and indispensable guide for social policy and demonstrate the power of interdisciplinary social science to probe complex social issues.
How can we help distressed neighborhoods recover from a generation of economic loss and reposition themselves for success in today's economy? While many have proposed solutions to the problems of neighborhoods suffering from economic disinvestment, John Kromer has actually put them to work successfully as Philadelphia’s housing director. Part war story, part how-to manual, and part advocacy for more effective public policy, Neighborhood Recovery describes how a blending of public-sector leadership and community initiative can bring success to urban communities. Kromer’s framework for neighborhood recovery addresses issues such as
· neighborhood strategic planning
· home ownership and financing
· the role of community-based organizations
· public housing
· work-readiness and job training for neighborhood residents
· housing for homeless people and others with specialized needs
· the importance of advocacy in influencing and advancing
neighborhood reinvestment policy.
Neighborhood Recovery presents a policy approach that cities can use to improve the physical condition of their neighborhoods and help urban residents compete for good jobs in the metropolitan economy. Kromer’s experience in Philadelphia reveals challenges and opportunities that can decisively influence the future of neighborhoods in many other American cities.
In 1990, Hartford, Connecticut, ranked as the eight poorest city in the country by the census; the real estate market was severely depressed; downtown insurance companies were laying off and the retail department stores were closing; public services were strained; and demolition sites abandoned for lack of funds pockmarked the streets. Hartford's problems are typical of those experienced in numerous U.S. cities affected by a lingering recession.
The harsh economic times felt throughout the city's workplaces and neighborhoods precipitated the formation of grassroots alliances between labor and community organizations. Coming together to create new techniques, their work has national implications for the development of alternative strategies for stimulating economic recovery.
Louise B. Simmons, a former Hartford City Councilperson, offers an insider's view of these coalitions, focusing on three activist unions—rhe New England Health Care Employees Union, the Hotel and Restaurant Employees, and the United Auto Workers—and three community groups—Hartford Areas Rally Together, Organized North Easterners-Clay Hill and North End, and Asylum Hill Organizing Project. Her in-depth analysis illustrates these groups' successes and difficulties in working together toward a new vision of urban politics.
In the series Labor and Social Change, edited by Paula Rayman and Carmen Sirianni.
Pittsburgh: An Urban Portrait
Franklin Toker University of Pittsburgh Press, 1989 Library of Congress F159.P63T65 1994 | Dewey Decimal 917.48860443
From its founding in 1758, Pittsburgh has experienced several epic transformations. It began its existence as a fortress, on a site originally selected by George Washington. A hundred years later, and well into our own time, no other American city was as intensively industrialized, only to be later consigned to “rustbelt” status. Remade as a thriving twenty-first-century city and an international center for science, medicine, biotechnology, and financial services, Pittsburgh is now routinely acclaimed as one of the most promising and livable of America's cities. Franklin Toker shows us why.
Toker highlights this remarkable story of urban reinvention by focusing on what makes Pittsburgh so resilient and appealing - its strong neighborhoods and their surprisingly rich architectural history. The many unique, lively urban communities that make up Pittsburgh are a treasure trove of every imaginable style of structure, from Victorian to Bauhaus, Gothic to Art Deco, and from Industrial to Green. These ordinary homes expressed the aspirations of people who came from around the world to settle in Pittsburgh, while they built the city itself into an economic powerhouse. With the wealth generated by this everyday work, local captains of industry could build their own monumental additions to Pittsburgh's urban landscape, including two of America's greatest buildings: H. H. Richardson's Allegheny Courthouse and Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater.
With accessible prose, Toker examines Pittsburgh in its historical context (from Indian settlement to postmodern city), in its regional setting (from the playgrounds of the Laurel Highlands to the hard-working mill towns dotting the landscape), and from the street level (leading the reader on a personal tour through every neighborhood). Lavishly illustrated with photos and maps, Pittsburgh: A New Portrait reveals the true colors of a truly great American city.
Why, even in the same high-crime neighborhoods, do robbery, drug dealing, and assault occur much more frequently on some blocks than on others? One popular theory is that a weak sense of community among neighbors can create conditions more hospitable for criminals, and another proposes that neighborhood disorder—such as broken windows and boarded-up buildings—makes crime more likely. But in his innovative new study, Peter K. B. St. Jean argues that we cannot fully understand the impact of these factors without considering that, because urban space is unevenly developed, different kinds of crimes occur most often in locations that offer their perpetrators specific advantages.
Drawing on Chicago Police Department statistics and extensive interviews with both law-abiding citizens and criminals in one of the city’s highest-crime areas, St. Jean demonstrates that drug dealers and robbers, for example, are primarily attracted to locations with businesses like liquor stores, fast food restaurants, and check-cashing outlets. By accounting for these important factors of spatial positioning, he expands upon previous research to provide the most comprehensive explanation available of why crime occurs where it does.
What does it take to mobilize a grass-roots force dedicated to bringing new life into a decaying neighborhood? Can any one person or group successfully halt physical deterioration, drug-related crime, or the encroachment of clusters of factories, highways, and other noxious land uses? Michael Greenberg demonstrates in this book that it can and has been done against all odds.
Restoring America's Neighborhoods profiles twenty-four such cases from across the United States. It tells the story of people determined to make the blighted, crime-ridden urban enclaves in which they live and work a better place for everybody. These are people from many different walks of life: ministers working to bring jobs to their communities; city planners and federal employees trying to relocated residents of potential disaster areas; and locals taking matters into their own hands to create a healthier, more pleasing living environment for their children. Greenberg's is a heartening account of courage and unwavering resolve as well as of hope that individuals can make a difference, that violent criminals and uncaring bureaucrats need not carry the day. He calls them "streetfighters," a fitting tribute to their efforts to take back their neighborhoods, block by block and street by street.
In this new volume, Michael A. Pagano curates essays focusing on the neighborhood's role in urban policy solutions. The papers emerged from dynamic discussions among policy makers, researchers, public intellectuals, and citizens at the 2014 UIC Urban Forum. As the writers show, the greater the city, the more important its neighborhoods and their distinctions.
The topics focus on sustainable capital and societal investments in people and firms at the neighborhood level. Proposed solutions cover a range of possibilities for enhancing the quality of life for individuals, households, and neighborhoods. These include everything from microenterprises to factories; from social spaces for collective and social action to private facilities; from affordable housing and safety to gated communities; and from neighborhood public education to cooperative, charter, and private schools.
Contributors: Andy Clarno, Teresa Córdova, Nilda Flores-González, Pedro A. Noguera, Alice O'Connor, Mary Pattillo, Janet Smith, Nik Theodore, Elizabeth S. Todd-Breland, Stephanie Truchan, and Rachel Weber.
Seattle, often called the “Emerald City,” did not achieve its green, clean, and sustainable environment easily. This thriving ecotopia is the byproduct of continuing efforts by residents, businesses, and civic leaders alike. In Seattle and the Roots of Urban Sustainability, Jeffrey Craig Sanders examines the rise of environmental activism in Seattle amidst the “urban crisis” of the 1960s and its aftermath.
Like much activism during this period, the environmental movement began at the grassroots level—in local neighborhoods over local issues. Sanders links the rise of local environmentalism to larger movements for economic, racial, and gender equality and to a counterculture that changed the social and political landscape. He examines emblematic battles that erupted over the planned demolition of Pike Place Market, a local landmark, and environmental organizing in the Central District during the War on Poverty. Sanders also relates the story of Fort Lawton, a decommissioned army base, where Audubon Society members and Native American activists feuded over future land use.
The rise and popularity of environmental consciousness among Seattle’s residents came to influence everything from industry to politics, planning, and global environmental movements. Yet, as Sanders reveals, it was in the small, local struggles that urban environmental activism began.
The first part of this book presents a fresh and encouraging report on the state of racial integration in America's neighborhoods. It shows that while the majority are indeed racially segregated, a substantial and growing number are integrated, and remain so for years.
Still, many integrated neighborhoods do unravel quickly, and the second part of the book explores the root causes. Instead of panic and "white flight" causing the rapid breakdown of racially integrated neighborhoods, the author argues, contemporary racial change is driven primarily by the decision of white households not to move into integrated neighborhoods when they are moving for reasons unrelated to race. Such "white avoidance" is largely based on the assumptions that integrated neighborhoods quickly become all black and that the quality of life in them declines as a result.
The author concludes that while this explanation may be less troubling than the more common focus on racial hatred and white flight, there is still a good case for modest government intervention to promote the stability of racially integrated neighborhoods. The final chapter offers some guidelines for policymakers to follow in crafting effective policies.
"Anthropologists Murphy and Stepick trace urbanization in the capital city of the state of Oaxaca for more than 2,000 years. Their study represents a micro perspective that describes the colonias populares, the poor neighborhoods, and the struggles of Oaxacans to survive and improve life in marginal communities.... The book is well organized, with excellent annotated footnotes and a reading list."
This may be the only book that analyzes the urbanization of one area from its origins more than two thousand years ago to the present. Arthur Murphy and Alex Stepick examine Oaxaca, Mexico, where they have been doing research regularly for the last twenty years. Paying particular attention to neighborhoods, families, and economic activities, they focus on issues of poverty and inequality.
Oaxaca is a city marked by socioeconomic inequality that has felt the alternating trends of integration into and isolation from the broader world. It is a city in which tens of thousands of households resolutely try to adapt, to survive and pass on something of themselves to their children. With rich ethnographic material and historical research, Murphy and Stepick describe gender roles, the dynamic nature of households, the importance of compadrazgo (co-godparenthood) as a social institution, class-based political struggles and strikes, and the role of children in redeeming their parents from poverty.
Individual life histories emerge from their research, each representing diverse class, familial, and economic structures within Oaxacan society.
"Murphy and Stepick catch Oaxaca at a special time in its history. When the illustrious works of theory in the academic disciplines have faded, when Foucault is a footnote and deconstruction derided, books like this one will still be valuable. A portrait of a city during the most difficult period of its country's recent economic history."
--Henry A. Selby (from the Foreword)
In a powerful, revealing portrait of city life, Anderson explores the dilemma of both blacks and whites, the underclass and the middle class, caught up in the new struggle not only for common ground—prime real estate in a racially changing neighborhood—but for shared moral community. Blacks and whites from a variety of backgrounds speak candidly about their lives, their differences, and their battle for viable communities.
"The sharpness of his observations and the simple clarity of his prose recommend his book far beyond an academic audience. Vivid, unflinching, finely observed, Streetwise is a powerful and intensely frightening picture of the inner city."—Tamar Jacoby, New York Times Book Review
"The book is without peer in the urban sociology literature. . . . A first-rate piece of social science, and a very good read."—Glenn C. Loury, Washington Times
"[Keating] chronicles efforts to break down suburban racial barriers in housing throughout the United States.... Keating's data also point up our urgent need to focus public policy on depopulated and increasingly impoverished and homogeneous urban centers. As he convincingly demonstrates, private and government attempts at suburban integration, as well as special urban integrationist projects, have achieved spotty results at best."
Whether through affirmative housing policies or mandatory legislation, there have been numerous efforts to integrate America's neighborhoods, especially the historically white, affluent suburbs. Though much of suburbia has rejected such measures out of a fear of losing their communities to an influx of low-income, inner-city, and primarily African American residents, several metropolitan areas have been successful in creating greater racial diversity. W. Dennis Keating documents the desirability, feasibility, and legality of implementing housing diversity policies in the suburbs.
At the heart of this book is the troubling dilemma that the private housing market will inevitably resist race-conscious policies that can be effective only if embraced and supported by individual home buyers and renters, politicians, realtors, financial institutions, and insurers. In the Cleveland, Ohio, metropolitan area, pro-integrative policies have resulted in some examples of long-term racial diversity, particularly in Cleveland Heights and Shaker Heights.
Keating compares Cleveland's suburbs to suburbs around the country that have both failed and succeeded in reducing housing discrimination. While there have been occasional fair housing victories over the last three decades, Keating's analysis points toward strategies for greater progress in the future.
More than forty million visitors per year travel to Sin City to visit the gambling mecca of the world. But gambling is only one part of the city’s story. In this carefully documented history, Geoff Schumacher tracks the rise of Las Vegas, including its vital role during World War II; the rise of the Strip in the 1950s; the explosive growth of the 1990s; and the colossal collapse triggered by the real estate bust and economic crisis of the mid-2000s. Schumacher surveys the history of the iconic casinos, debunking myths and highlighting key players such as Howard Hughes, Kirk Kerkorian, and Steve Wynn.
Schumacher’s history also profiles the Las Vegas where more than two million people live. He explores the neighborhoods sprawling beyond the Strip’s neon gleam and uncovers a diverse community offering much more than table games, lounge acts, and organized crime. Schumacher discusses contemporary Las Vegas, charting its course from the nation’s fastest-growing metropolis to one of the Great Recession’s most battered victims.
Sun, Sin & Suburbia will appeal to tourists looking to understand more than the glitz and glitter of Las Vegas and to newcomers who want to learn about their new hometown. It will also be an essential addition to any longtime Nevadan’s library of local history.
First published in 2012 by Stephens Press, this paperback edition is now available from the University of Nevada Press.
Our traditional image of Chicago—as a gritty metropolis carved into ethnically defined enclaves where the game of machine politics overshadows its ends—is such a powerful shaper of the city’s identity that many of its closest observers fail to notice that a new Chicago has emerged over the past two decades. Larry Bennett here tackles some of our more commonly held ideas about the Windy City—inherited from such icons as Theodore Dreiser, Carl Sandburg, Daniel Burnham, Robert Park, Sara Paretsky, and Mike Royko—with the goal of better understanding Chicago as it is now: the third city.
Bennett calls contemporary Chicago the third city to distinguish it from its two predecessors: the first city, a sprawling industrial center whose historical arc ran from the Civil War to the Great Depression; and the second city, the Rustbelt exemplar of the period from around 1950 to 1990. The third city features a dramatically revitalized urban core, a shifting population mix that includes new immigrant streams, and a growing number of middle-class professionals working in new economy sectors. It is also a city utterly transformed by the top-to-bottom reconstruction of public housing developments and the ambitious provision of public works like Millennium Park. It is, according to Bennett, a work in progress spearheaded by Richard M. Daley, a self-consciously innovative mayor whose strategy of neighborhood revitalization and urban renewal is a prototype of city governance for the twenty-first century. The Third City ultimately contends that to understand Chicago under Daley’s charge is to understand what metropolitan life across North America may well look like in the coming decades.
Stick ball, stoop sitting, pickle barrel colloquys: The neighborhood occupies a warm place in our cultural memory—a place that Kenneth A. Scherzer contends may have more to do with ideology and nostalgia than with historical accuracy. In this remarkably detailed analysis of neighborhood life in New York City between 1830 and 1875, Scherzer gives the neighborhood its due as a complex, richly textured social phenomenon and helps to clarify its role in the evolution of cities. After a critical examination of recent historical renderings of neighborhood life, Scherzer focuses on the ecological, symbolic, and social aspects of nineteenth-century community life in New York City. Employing a wide array of sources, from census reports and church records to police blotters and brothel guides, he documents the complex composition of neighborhoods that defy simple categorization by class or ethnicity. From his account, the New York City neighborhood emerges as a community in flux, born out of the chaos of May Day, the traditional moving day. The fluid geography and heterogeneity of these neighborhoods kept most city residents from developing strong local attachments. Scherzer shows how such weak spatial consciousness, along with the fast pace of residential change, diminished the community function of the neighborhood. New Yorkers, he suggests, relied instead upon the "unbounded community," a collection of friends and social relations that extended throughout the city. With pointed argument and weighty evidence, The Unbounded Community replaces the neighborhood of nostalgia with a broader, multifaceted conception of community life. Depicting the neighborhood in its full scope and diversity, the book will enhance future forays into urban history.
The archaeology of four New Orleans neighborhoods that were replaced by public housing projects
Uprooted: Race, Public Housing, and the Archaeology of Four Lost New Orleans Neighborhoods uses archaeological research on four neighborhoods that were razed during the construction of public housing in World War II–era New Orleans. Although each of these neighborhoods was identified as a “slum” historically, the material record challenges the simplicity of this designation. D. Ryan Gray provides evidence of the inventiveness of former residents who were marginalized by class, color, or gender and whose everyday strategies of survival, subsistence, and spirituality challenged the city’s developing racial and social hierarchies.
These neighborhoods initially appear to have been quite distinct, ranging from the working-class Irish Channel, to the relatively affluent Creole of Color–dominated Lafitte area, to the former location of Storyville, the city’s experiment in semilegal prostitution. Archaeological and historical investigations suggest that race was the crucial factor in the areas’ selection for clearance. Each neighborhood manifested a particular perceived racial disorder, where race intersected with ethnicity, class, or gender in ways that defied the norms of Jim Crow segregation.
Gray’s research makes use of both primary documents—including census records, city directories, and even the brothel advertising guides called “Blue Books”—and archaeological data to examine what this entailed at a variety of scales, reconstructing narratives of the households and communities affected by clearance. Public housing, both in New Orleans and elsewhere, imposed a new kind of control on urban life that had the effect of making cities both more segregated and less equal. The story of the neighborhoods that were destroyed provides a reminder that their erasure was not an inevitable outcome, and that a more equitable and just city is still possible today. A critical examination of the rise of public housing helps inform the ongoing debates over its demise, especially in light of the changing face of post-Katrina New Orleans.
In Urban Lowlands, Steven T. Moga looks closely at the Harlem Flats in New York City, Black Bottom in Nashville, Swede Hollow in Saint Paul, and the Flats in Los Angeles, to interrogate the connections between a city’s actual landscape and the poverty and social problems that are often concentrated at its literal lowest points. Taking an interdisciplinary perspective on the history of US urban development from the nineteenth to the mid-twentieth century, Moga reveals patterns of inequitable land use, economic dispossession, and social discrimination against immigrants and minorities. In attending to the landscapes of neighborhoods typically considered slums, Moga shows how physical and policy-driven containment has shaped the lives of the urban poor, while wealth and access to resources have been historically concentrated in elevated areas—truly “the heights.” Moga’s innovative framework expands our understanding of how planning and economic segregation alike have molded the American city.
For decades, North American cities racked by deindustrialization and population loss have followed one primary path in their attempts at revitalization: a focus on economic growth in downtown and business areas. Neighborhoods, meanwhile, have often been left severely underserved. There are, however, signs of change. This collection of studies by a distinguished group of political scientists and urban planning scholars offers a rich analysis of the scope, potential, and ramifications of a shift still in progress. Focusing on neighborhoods in six cities—Baltimore, Chicago, Denver, Los Angeles, Phoenix, and Toronto—the authors show how key players, including politicians and philanthropic organizations, are beginning to see economic growth and neighborhood improvement as complementary goals. The heads of universities and hospitals in central locations also find themselves facing newly defined realities, adding to the fluidity of a new political landscape even as structural inequalities exert a continuing influence.
While not denying the hurdles that community revitalization still faces, the contributors ultimately put forth a strong case that a more hospitable local milieu can be created for making neighborhood policy. In examining the course of experiences from an earlier period of redevelopment to the present postindustrial city, this book opens a window on a complex process of political change and possibility for reform.
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.
Almost every American city has or had neighborhoods like Clifton, which developed in the mid-nineteenth century as a silk-stocking suburb with a more diverse population than most observers noticed. Incorporated by Cincinnati in the late nineteenth century, Clifton had a reputation as a better-than-average place in which to live, a view that persisted until the end of the twentieth century.
In Visions of Place, Zane L. Miller treats ideas about the nature of cities—including their neighborhoods and their suburbs—as the dynamic factors in Clifton’s experience and examines the changes in Clifton's social, physical, civic, and political structure resulting from these transforming notions. These structural shifts involved a variety of familiar nineteenth- and twentieth-century urban phenomena, including not only the switch from suburban village to city neighborhood and the salience of interracial fears but also the rise of formal city planning and conflicts among Protestants, Catholics, and Jews over the future of Clifton's religious and ethnic ambiance.
Miller concludes with a policy analysis of current and future prospects for neighborhoods like Clifton and the cities and metropolitan areas of which they form a part.
An urban neighborhood remakes itself every day—and unmakes itself, too. Houses and stores and streets define it in one way. But it’s also people—the people who make it their home, some eagerly, others grudgingly. A neighborhood can thrive or it can decline, and neighbors move in and move out. Sometimes they stay but withdraw behind fences and burglar alarms. If a neighborhood becomes no longer a place of sociability and street life, but of privacy indoors and fearful distrust outdoors, is it still a neighborhood?
In the late 1960s and 1970s Carlo Rotella grew up in Chicago’s South Shore neighborhood—a place of neat bungalow blocks and desolate commercial strips, and sharp, sometimes painful social contrasts. In the decades since, the hollowing out of the middle class has left residents confronting—or avoiding—each other across an expanding gap that makes it ever harder for them to recognize each other as neighbors. Rotella tells the stories that reveal how that happened—stories of deindustrialization and street life; stories of gorgeous apartments with vistas onto Lake Michigan and of Section 8 housing vouchers held by the poor. At every turn, South Shore is a study in contrasts, shaped and reshaped over the past half-century by individual stories and larger waves of change that make it an exemplar of many American urban neighborhoods. Talking with current and former residents and looking carefully at the interactions of race and class, persistence and change, Rotella explores the tension between residents’ deep investment of feeling and resources in the physical landscape of South Shore and their hesitation to make a similar commitment to the community of neighbors living there.
Blending journalism, memoir, and archival research, The World Is Always Coming to an End uses the story of one American neighborhood to challenge our assumptions about what neighborhoods are, and to think anew about what they might be if we can bridge gaps and commit anew to the people who share them with us. Tomorrow is another ending.