An important new ethnographic study of São Paulo’s favelas revealing the widespread use of race-based police repression in Brazil
While Black Lives Matter still resonates in the United States, the movement has also become a potent rallying call worldwide, with harsh police tactics and repressive state policies often breaking racial lines. In The Anti-Black City, Jaime Amparo Alves delves into the dynamics of racial violence in Brazil, where poverty, unemployment, residential segregation, and a biased criminal justice system create urban conditions of racial precarity.
The Anti-Black City provocatively offers race as a vital new lens through which to view violence and marginalization in the supposedly “raceless” São Paulo. Ironically, in a context in which racial ambiguity makes it difficult to identify who is black and who is white, racialized access to opportunities and violent police tactics establish hard racial boundaries through subjugation and death. Drawing on two years of ethnographic research in prisons and neighborhoods on the periphery of this mega-city, Alves documents the brutality of police tactics and the complexity of responses deployed by black residents, including self-help initiatives, public campaigns against police violence, ruthless gangs, and self-policing of communities.
The Anti-Black City reveals the violent and racist ideologies that underlie state fantasies of order and urban peace in modern Brazil. Illustrating how “governing through death” has become the dominant means for managing and controlling ethnic populations in the neoliberal state, Alves shows that these tactics only lead to more marginalization, criminality, and violence. Ultimately, Alves’s work points to a need for a new approach to an intractable problem: how to govern populations and territories historically seen as “ungovernable.”
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.
This collection of essays challenges long-entrenched ideas about the history, nature, and significance of the informal neighborhoods that house the vast majority of Latin America's urban poor. Until recently, scholars have mainly viewed these settlements through the prisms of crime and drug-related violence, modernization and development theories, populist or revolutionary politics, or debates about the cultures of poverty. Yet shantytowns have proven both more durable and more multifaceted than any of these perspectives foresaw. Far from being accidental offshoots of more dynamic economic and political developments, they are now a permanent and integral part of Latin America's urban societies, critical to struggles over democratization, economic transformation, identity politics, and the drug and arms trades. Integrating historical, cultural, and social scientific methodologies, this collection brings together recent research from across Latin America, from the informal neighborhoods of Rio de Janeiro and Mexico City, Managua and Buenos Aires. Amid alarmist exposés, Cities from Scratch intervenes by considering Latin American shantytowns at a new level of interdisciplinary complexity.
Contributors. Javier Auyero, Mariana Cavalcanti, Ratão Diniz, Emilio Duhau, Sujatha Fernandes, Brodwyn Fischer, Bryan McCann, Edward Murphy, Dennis Rodgers
Orlando Patterson returns to Jamaica, his birthplace, to reckon with its history and culture. Locals claim to be some of the world’s happiest people, and their successes in music and athletics are legendary. Yet the country remains violent and poor. In Jamaica the dilemmas of globalization and postcolonial politics are thrown into stark relief.
The populations of American cities have always included poor people, but the predicament of the urban poor has worsened over time. Their social capital, that is, the connections and organizations that traditionally enabled them to form communities, has shredded. Economically comfortable Americans have come to increasingly care less about the plight of the urban poor and to think of them in terms of “us and them.” Considered lazy paupers in the early nineteenth century, the urban poor came to be seen as a violent criminal “underclass” by the end of the twentieth. Living primarily in the nation’s deindustrialized inner cities and making up nearly 15 percent of the population, today’s urban poor are oppressed people living in the midst of American affluence. This book examines how law works for, against, and with regard to the urban poor, with “law” being understood broadly to include not only laws but also legal proceedings and institutions. Law is too complicated and variable to be seen as simply a club used to beat down the urban poor, but it does work largely in negative ways for them. An essential text for both law students and those drawn to areas of social justice, Containment and Condemnation shows how law helps create, expand, and perpetuate contemporary urban poverty.
Conservatives often condemn the poor, particularly African-Americans, for having children out of wedlock, joblessness, dropping out of school, or tolerating crime. Liberals counter that, with more economic opportunity, the poor differ little from the nonpoor in these areas. In answer to both, Coping with Poverty points to the survival strategies of the poor and their multiple roles as parents, neighbors, relatives, and workers. Their attempts to balance multiple obligations occur within a context of limited information, social support, and resources. Their decisions may not always be the wisest, but they "make sense" in context.
Contributors use qualitative research methods to explore the influence of community, workplace, and family upon strategies for dealing with poverty. Promising young scholars delve into poor black inner-city neighborhoods and suburbs and middle-income black urban communities, exploring experiences at all stages of life, including high-school students, young parents, employed older men, and unemployed mothers. Two chapters discuss the role of qualitative research in poverty studies, specifically examining how this research can be used to improve policymaking.
The volume's contribution is in the diversity of experiences it highlights and in how the general themes it illustrates are similar across different age/gender groups. The book also suggests an approach to policymaking that seeks to incorporate the experiences and the needs of the poor themselves, in the hope of creating more successful and more relevant poverty policy. It is especially useful for undergraduate and graduate courses in sociology, public policy, urban studies, and African-American Studies, as its scope makes it THE basic reader of qualitative studies of poverty.
Sheldon Danziger is Director of the Poverty Research and Tranining Center and Professor of Social Work and Public Policy, University of Michigan. Ann Chih Lin is Assistant Professor of Political Science and Public Policy, University of Michigan.
Who really benefits from urban revival? Cities, from trendy coastal areas to the nation’s heartland, are seeing levels of growth beyond the wildest visions of only a few decades ago. But vast areas in the same cities house thousands of people living in poverty who see little or no new hope or opportunity. Even as cities revive, they are becoming more unequal and more segregated. What does this mean for these cities—and the people who live in them?
In The Divided City, urban practitioner and scholar Alan Mallach shows us what has happened over the past 15 to 20 years in industrial cities like Pittsburgh, Detroit, Cleveland, and Baltimore, as they have undergone unprecedented, unexpected revival. He draws from his decades of experience working in America’s cities, and pulls in insightful research and data, to spotlight these changes while placing them in their larger economic, social, and political context. Mallach explores the pervasive significance of race in American cities and looks closely at the successes and failures of city governments, nonprofit entities, and citizens as they have tried to address the challenges of change.
The Divided City offers strategies to foster greater equality and opportunity. Mallach makes a compelling case that these strategies must be local in addition to being concrete and focusing on people’s needs—education, jobs, housing and quality of life. Change, he argues, will come city by city, not through national plans or utopian schemes.
This is the first book to provide a comprehensive, grounded picture of the transformation of America’s older industrial cities. It is neither a dystopian narrative nor a one-sided "the cities are back" story, but a balanced picture rooted in the nitty-gritty reality of these cities. The Divided City is imperative for anyone who cares about cities and who wants to understand how to make today’s urban revival work for everyone.
The most accurate and comprehensive picture of homelessness to date, this study offers a powerful explanation of its causes, proposes short- and long-term solutions, and documents the striking contrasts between the homeless of the 1950s and 1960s and the contemporary homeless population, which is younger and contains more women, children, and blacks.
In his first year working in Los Angeles’s Skid Row, Forrest Stuart was stopped on the street by police fourteen times. Usually for doing little more than standing there.
Juliette, a woman he met during that time, has been stopped by police well over one hundred times, arrested upward of sixty times, and has given up more than a year of her life serving week-long jail sentences. Her most common crime? Simply sitting on the sidewalk—an arrestable offense in LA.
Why? What purpose did those arrests serve, for society or for Juliette? How did we reach a point where we’ve cut support for our poorest citizens, yet are spending ever more on policing and prisons? That’s the complicated, maddening story that Stuart tells in Down, Out and Under Arrest, a close-up look at the hows and whys of policing poverty in the contemporary United States. What emerges from Stuart’s years of fieldwork—not only with Skid Row residents, but with the police charged with managing them—is a tragedy built on mistakes and misplaced priorities more than on heroes and villains. He reveals a situation where a lot of people on both sides of this issue are genuinely trying to do the right thing, yet often come up short. Sometimes, in ways that do serious harm.
At a time when distrust between police and the residents of disadvantaged neighborhoods has never been higher, Stuart’s book helps us see where we’ve gone wrong, and what steps we could take to begin to change the lives of our poorest citizens—and ultimately our society itself—for the better.
Only 3% of all Americans believe they live in bad neighborhoods. But 30% to 45% of those who live in places with crime and illegal drug sales, rats and stray dogs, hazardous waste sites, factory pollution, and abandoned and blighted buildings rate their neighborhood as poor quality. Even when these neighborhoods have good schools, parks, and other amenities, their resident's ratings do not go up. This holds true no matter who is asked - young, old, men or women, middle class, working class, or on welfare. Local health and planning officials corroborate resident perceptions. It is particularly noticeable that stress from living near a toxic waste site - the hazard that gets the biggest attention in terms of dollars spent - is low on the resident's list of fears about their neighborhoods. They'd much prefer to see the money put to fixing the immediate dangers on their block. But because federal and state government policies for protecting public health, lowering crime, and saving the environment are divided into separate bureaucratic cubby-holes, effective planning to improve these stressed neighborhoods is difficult. Beginning with the call for a definition of "environment" that fits the realities of these places, the authors argue for and propose policy initiatives that address all the desperate needs of these beleaguered neighborhoods. This book is essential reading for students, academics, and professionals in environmental studies, public health, urban studies and planning, as well as grassroots community organizers.
Few scholars have explored the collective experiences of women living in the inner city and the innovative strategies they develop to navigate daily life in this setting. The Grind illustrates the lived experiences of poor African American women and the creative strategies they develop to manage these events and survive in a community commonly exposed to violence.
Alexis S. McCurn draws on nearly two years of naturalistic field research among adolescents and adults in Oakland, California to provide an ethnographic account of how black women accomplish the routine tasks necessary for basic survival in poor inner-city neighborhoods and how the intersections of race, gender, and class shape how black women interact with others in public. This book makes the case that the daily consequences of racialized poverty in the lives of African Americans cannot be fully understood without accounting for the personal and collective experiences of poor black women.
In 1968, the Kerner Commission concluded that America was heading toward “two societies, one black, one white—separate and unequal.” Today, America’s communities are experiencing increasing racial tensions and inequality, working-class resentment over the unfulfilled American Dream, white supremacy violence, toxic inaction in Washington, and the decline of the nation’s example around the world.
In Healing Our Divided Society, Fred Harris, the last surviving member of the Kerner Commission, along with Eisenhower Foundation CEO Alan Curtis, re-examine fifty years later the work still necessary towards the goals set forth in The Kerner Report. This timely volume unites the interests of minorities and white working- and middle-class Americans to propose a strategy to reduce poverty, inequality, and racial injustice. Reflecting on America’s urban climate today, this new report sets forth evidence-based policies concerning employment, education, housing, neighborhood development, and criminal justice based on what has been proven to work—and not work.
Contributors include: Oscar Perry Abello, Elijah Anderson, Anil N.F. Aranha, Jared Bernstein, Henry G. Cisneros, Elliott Currie, Linda Darling-Hammond, Martha F. Davis, E. J. Dionne, Jr., Marian Wright Edelman, Delbert S. Elliott, Carol Emig, Jeff Faux, Ron Grzywinski, Michael P. Jeffries, Lamar K. Johnson, Celinda Lake, Marilyn Melkonian, Gary Orfield, Diane Ravitch, Laurie Robinson, Herbert C. Smitherman, Jr., Joseph Stiglitz, Dorothy Stoneman, Kevin Washburn, Valerie Wilson, Gary Younge, Julian E. Zelizer, and the editors
While much has been written on post-apartheid social movements in South Africa, most discussion centers on ideal forms of movements, disregarding the reality and agency of the activists themselves. In Living Politics, Kerry Ryan Chance radically flips the conversation by focusing on the actual language and humanity of post-apartheid activists rather than the external, idealistic commentary of old.
Tracking everyday practices and interactions between poor residents and state agents in South Africa’s shack settlements, Chance investigates the rise of nationwide protests since the late 1990s. Based on ethnography in Durban, Cape Town, and Johannesburg, the book analyzes the criminalization of popular forms of politics that were foundational to South Africa’s celebrated democratic transition. Chance argues that we can best grasp the increasingly murky line between “the criminal” and “the political” with a “politics of living” that casts slum and state in opposition to one another. Living Politics shows us how legitimate domains of politics are redefined, how state sovereignty is forcibly enacted, and how the production of new citizen identities crystallize at the intersections of race, gender, and class.
For the middle class and the affluent, local ties seem to matter less and less these days, but in the inner city, your life can be irrevocably shaped by what block you live on. Living the Drama takes a close look at three neighborhoods in Boston to analyze the many complex ways that the context of community shapes the daily lives and long-term prospects of inner-city boys.
David J. Harding studied sixty adolescent boys growing up in two very poor areas and one working-class area. In the first two, violence and neighborhood identification are inextricably linked as rivalries divide the city into spaces safe, neutral, or dangerous. Consequently, Harding discovers, social relationships are determined by residential space. Older boys who can navigate the dangers of the streets serve as role models, and friendships between peers grow out of mutual protection. The impact of community goes beyond the realm of same-sex bonding, Harding reveals, affecting the boys’ experiences in school and with the opposite sex. A unique glimpse into the world of urban adolescent boys, Living the Drama paints a detailed, insightful portrait of life in the inner city.
North Lawndale, a neighborhood that lies in the shadows of Chicago’s Loop, is surrounded by some of the city’s finest medical facilities, Yet, it is one of the sickest, most medically underserved communities in the country.
Mama Might Be Better Off Dead immerses readers in the lives of four generations of a poor, African-American family in the neighborhood, who are beset with the devastating illnesses that are all too common in America’s inner-cities. Headed by Jackie Banes, who oversees the care of a diabetic grandmother, a husband on kidney dialysis, an ailing father, and three children, the Banes family contends with countless medical crises. From visits to emergency rooms and dialysis units, to trials with home care, to struggles for Medicaid eligibility, Laurie Kaye Abraham chronicles their access—or more often, lack thereof—to medical care. Told sympathetically but without sentimentality, their story reveals an inadequate health care system that is further undermined by the direct and indirect effects of poverty.
Both disturbing and illuminating, Mama Might Be Better Off Dead is an unsettling, profound look at the human face of health care in America. Published to great acclaim in 1993, the book in this new edition includes an incisive foreword by David Ansell, a physician who worked at Mt. Sinai Hospital, where much of the Banes family’s narrative unfolds.
Mama Might Be Better Off Dead is an unsettling, profound look at the human face of health care. Both disturbing and illuminating, it immerses readers in the lives of four generations of a poor, African-American family beset with the devastating illnesses that are all too common in America's inner-cities.
The story takes place in North Lawndale, a neighborhood that lies in the shadows of Chicago's Loop. Although surrounded by some of the city's finest medical facilities, North Lawndale is one of the sickest, most medically underserved communities in the country. Headed by Jackie Banes, who oversees the care of a diabetic grandmother, a husband on kidney dialysis, an ailing father, and three children, the Banes family contends with countless medical crises. From visits to emergency rooms and dialysis units, to trials with home care, to struggles for Medicaid eligibility, Abraham chronicles their access (or lack of access) to medical care.
Told sympathetically but without sentimentality, their story reveals an inadequate health care system that is further undermined by the direct and indirect effects of poverty. When people are poor, they become sick easily. When people are sick, their families quickly become poorer.
Embedded in the family narrative is a lucid analysis of the gaps, inconsistencies, and inequalities the poor face when they seek health care. This book reveals what health care policies crafted in Washington, D. C. or state capitals look like when they hit the street. It shows how Medicaid and Medicare work and don't work, the Catch-22s of hospital financing in the inner city, the racial politics of organ transplants, the failure of childhood immunization programs, the vexed issues of individual responsibility and institutional paternalism. One observer puts it this way: "Show me the poor woman who finds a way to get everything she's entitled to in the system, and I'll show you a woman who could run General Motors."
Abraham deftly weaves these themes together to make a persuasive case for health care reform while unflinchingly presenting the complexities that will make true reform as difficult as it is necessary. Mama Might Be Better Off Dead is a book with the power to change the way health care is understood in America. For those seeking to learn what our current system of health care promises and what it delivers, it offers a place for the debate to begin.
What happens when the market tries to help the poor? In many parts of the world today, neoliberal development programs are offering ordinary people the tools of free enterprise as the means to well-being and empowerment. Schemes to transform the poor into small-scale entrepreneurs promise them the benefits of the market and access to the rewards of globalization. Markets of Dispossession is a theoretically sophisticated and sobering account of the consequences of these initiatives.
Julia Elyachar studied the efforts of bankers, social scientists, ngo members, development workers, and state officials to turn the craftsmen and unemployed youth of Cairo into the vanguard of a new market society based on microenterprise. She considers these efforts in relation to the alternative notions of economic success held by craftsmen in Cairo, in which short-term financial profit is not always highly valued. Through her careful ethnography of workshop life, Elyachar explains how the traditional market practices of craftsmen are among the most vibrant modes of market life in Egypt. Long condemned as backward, these existing market practices have been seized on by social scientists and development institutions as the raw materials for experiments in “free market” expansion. Elyachar argues that the new economic value accorded to the cultural resources and social networks of the poor has fueled a broader process leading to their economic, social, and cultural dispossession.
Moral Politics in the Philippines offers an in-depth examination of the political participation and discourse of the urban poor in Manila. After the ousting of Ferdinando Marcos in 1986, society in the Philippines fractured along socioeconomic lines. The educated middle class began to recognize themselves as moral citizens and political participants while condemning the poor as immoral “masses” who earn money illegally and support corrupt leaders. Conversely, the poor believe themselves to be morally upright and criticize the rich as arrogant oppressors. Wataru Kusaka looks at the dangers of this moralization of politics during the last several decades, and he analyzes the damaging effects it has had on democracy by excluding much of society and marginalizing the interests of those most in need of resources.
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.
"This book...will undoubtedly influence the course of future homeless research and policy. It represents the most comprehensive statement today of the realities of Skid Row life and of the pitfalls of contrasting 'new' and 'old' homeless populations."
--American Journal of Sociology
Blending detailed historical perspective with contemporary survey research, Charles Hoch and Robert Slayton argue that the answers to one of the most pressing problems of our time come from the poor themselves. Their examination of the Skid Row single room occupancy hotel (SRO) reveals how communities formed by low-income single-person households have for decades offered the security, personal autonomy, and privacy for the "old" homeless that the "new" homeless lack. And they show how public urban renewal efforts, which destroyed the bulk of these hotels with the intent to rid the inner city of the Skid Row homeless, actually laid the foundation for today's urban homeless crisis.
Focusing on Chicago from 1870 to the present, but including case studies in other cities, Hoch and Slayton analyze how these SRO hotels operated in the past and claim that the term "flop house" really described a wide range of shelter types available to the poor according to their economic conditions.
Based on their research, the authors conclude that policies for solving the homeless problem should focus mainly not on the homeless people, but on the institutional actors who benefit directly and indirectly from their predicament. This means changing public policies that encourage the destruction of affordable housing, especially SRO hotels, and implementing preservation, rehabilitation, and new construction policies instead.
"The authors argue that government attitudes rooted in New Deal philosophy, and public confusion of this group's characteristics with those of a stereotypical Skid Row deviant, have resulted in inadequate planning for dealing with people who have a legitimate social problem and need enlightened attention. Recommended for professionals and academics."
"Hoch and Slayton seem more savvy...about the political implications of housing and land-use policies. And they aren't shy about naming names, which makes their study more comprehensive and compelling."
"New Homeless and Old breaks with the tradition of previous research in several welcome respects...the approach taken is refreshingly eclectic, weaving together historical materials, survey evidence, and intimate knowledge of the local scene. In a devastating critique of advocates' ameliorative efforts, they show bow both compassion--and entitlement--based appeals have encouraged 'shelterization,' thus threatening to institutionalize the homelessness problem."
In 2005 Waverly Duck was called to a town he calls Bristol Hill to serve as an expert witness in the sentencing of drug dealer Jonathan Wilson. Convicted as an accessory to the murder of a federal witness and that of a fellow drug dealer, Jonathan faced the death penalty, and Duck was there to provide evidence that the environment in which Jonathan had grown up mitigated the seriousness of his alleged crimes. Duck’s exploration led him to Jonathan’s church, his elementary, middle, and high schools, the juvenile facility where he had previously been incarcerated, his family and friends, other drug dealers, and residents who knew him or knew of him. After extensive ethnographic observations, Duck found himself seriously troubled and uncertain: Are Jonathan and others like him a danger to society? Or is it the converse—is society a danger to them?
Duck’s short stay in Bristol Hill quickly transformed into a long-term study—one that forms the core of No Way Out. This landmark book challenges the common misconception of urban ghettoes as chaotic places where drug dealing, street crime, and random violence make daily life dangerous for their residents. Through close observations of daily life in these neighborhoods, Duck shows how the prevailing social order ensures that residents can go about their lives in relative safety, despite the risks that are embedded in living amid the drug trade. In a neighborhood plagued by failing schools, chronic unemployment, punitive law enforcement, and high rates of incarceration, residents are knit together by long-term ties of kinship and friendship, and they base their actions on a profound sense of community fairness and accountability. Duck presents powerful case studies of individuals whose difficulties flow not from their values, or a lack thereof, but rather from the multiple obstacles they encounter on a daily basis.
No Way Out explores how ordinary people make sense of their lives within severe constraints and how they choose among unrewarding prospects, rather than freely acting upon their own values. What emerges is an important and revelatory new perspective on the culture of the urban poor.
Extreme poverty, which intensified in India during colonial rule, peaked in the 1920s—after decades of imperialist exploitation, famine, and disease—a time when architects, engineers, and city authorities proposed a new type of housing for India’s urban poor and industrial workers. As Farhan Karim argues, economic scarcity became a central inspiration for architectural modernism in the subcontinent.
As India moved from colonial rule to independence, the Indian government, business entities, international NGOs, and intergovernmental agencies took major initiatives to modernize housing conditions and the domestic environment of the state’s low-income population. Of Greater Dignity than Riches traces multiple international origins of austerity as an essential ingredient of postcolonial development. By prescribing model villages, communities, and ideal houses for the working class, this project of austerity eventually reduced poverty into a stylized architectural representation. In this rich and original study, Karim explains the postwar and postcolonial history of low-cost housing as an intertwined process of global transferences of knowledge, Cold War cultural politics, postcolonial nationalism, and the politics of economic development.
In contemporary Manila, slums and squatter settlements are peppered throughout the city, often pushing right up against the walled enclaves of the privileged, creating the complex geopolitical pattern of Marco Z. Garrido’s “patchwork city.” Garrido documents the fragmentation of Manila into a mélange of spaces defined by class, particularly slums and upper- and middle-class enclaves. He then looks beyond urban fragmentation to delineate its effects on class relations and politics, arguing that the proliferation of these slums and enclaves and their subsequent proximity have intensified class relations. For enclave residents, the proximity of slums is a source of insecurity, compelling them to impose spatial boundaries on slum residents. For slum residents, the regular imposition of these boundaries creates a pervasive sense of discrimination. Class boundaries then sharpen along the housing divide, and the urban poor and middle class emerge not as labor and capital but as squatters and “villagers,” Manila’s name for subdivision residents. Garrido further examines the politicization of this divide with the case of the populist president Joseph Estrada, finding the two sides drawn into contention over not just the right to the city, but the nature of democracy itself.
The Patchwork City illuminates how segregation, class relations, and democracy are all intensely connected. It makes clear, ultimately, that class as a social structure is as indispensable to the study of Manila—and of many other cities of the Global South—as race is to the study of American cities.
"[An] alarming report, a rigorous study packed with charts, tables, 1990 census data and [Jargowsky's] own extensive field work.... His careful analysis of enterprise zones, job-creation strategies, local economic development schemes and housing and tax policies rounds out an essential handbook for policy makers, a major contribution to public debate over ways to reverse indigence." —Publishers Weekly "A data-rich description and a conceptually innovative explanation of the spread of neighborhood poverty in the United States between 1970 and 1990. Urban scholars and policymakers alike should find Jargowsky's compelling arguments thought-provoking. "—Library Journal "A powerful book that allows us to really understand how ghettos have been changing over time and the forces behind these changes. It should be required reading of anyone who cares about urban poverty." —David Ellwood, Malcolm Wiener Professor of Public Policy, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University Poverty and Place documents the geographic spread of the nation's ghettos and shows how economic shifts have had a particularly devastating impact on certain regions, particularly in the rust-belt states of the Midwest. Author Paul Jargowsky's thoughtful analysis of the causes of ghetto formation clarifies the importance of widespread urban trends, particularly those changes in the labor and housing markets that have fostered income inequality and segregated the rich from the poor. Jargowsky also examines the sources of employment that do exist for ghetto dwellers, and describes how education and family structure further limit their prospects. Poverty and Place shows how the spread of high poverty neighborhoods has particularly trapped members of poor minorities, who account for nearly four out of five ghetto residents. Poverty and Place sets forth the facts necessary to inform the public understanding of the growth of concentrated poverty, and confronts essential questions about how the spiral of urban decay in our nation's cities can be reversed.
William Goldsmith Temple University Press, 1992 Library of Congress HV4045.G65 1992 | Dewey Decimal 362.50973091734
Paul Davidoff Award, Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning, 1993
"A passionately argued, provocative book that takes us back to the long neglected emphasis on the cities that was so distinctive a part of the original War On Poverty. But now, at issue is the city of the 21st century."
"Economic and political forces no longer combat poverty--they generate poverty!" exclaim William Goldsmith and Edward Blakely in their report on the plight of American's urban poor. Focusing on the reality of separation--social segmentation, economic inequality, and geographic isolation--the authors examine the presence and persistence of urban poverty, the transformation of national industry into a global economy, and the dilemmas of local reform. Goldsmith and Blakely document the appalling conditions of poor and minority people in central cities, examining those conditions in relation to inequalities in the national distributions of income and wealth. They analyze the connections between the structure and movement of the new global economy and the problems of the poorest Americans. They demonstrate how globalized markets and production arrangements have worsened the opportunities facing most American cities and workers. Noting that neither economic growth nor public subsidy has solved the problems of the poor, Goldsmith and Blakely propose that the very separation that exacerbates poverty be used to motive restructure.
The authors maintain that when those in power locally respond to the pressure exerted by those suffering from inequality and isolation, community-level institutions will be restructured. These multi-local coalitions of small businesses and neighborhood organizations need to press for reallocation of federal resources in favor of domestic needs and redirection of the national economic favor of workers and common citizens.
"This is a major work that will influence debate on the issue of American urban poverty into the next century. The authors argue that the recent upsurge in urban poverty has been generated by a particular set of American political responses to changes in the international and national economies, exacerbated by a long process of federally subsidized suburbanization and by racial discrimination. The difference [from Wilson's the Truly Disadvantaged] is that Goldsmith and Blakely's policy recommendations are more comprehensive and have a greater focus on strategies 'from the bottom up.'"
--Joe T. Darden, Dean of Urban Affairs Programs, Michigan State University
"Goldsmith and Blakely present a vivid, factually accurate account of the post-1970s rise in inequality, underemployment, poverty, and collapsing societal infrastructures. Having outlined the dimensions of national disaster, they do not give up hope. Rather, they advocate the improved industrial policy, expanded opportunity for education, and increased family support.... Their provocative optimism, although guarded, is a refreshing challenge, much needed in this period of pessimism and cynicism."
--Robin M. Williams, Jr., Henry Scarborough Professor of Social Science, Emeritus, Cornell University
“Economic and political forces no longer combat poverty—they generate poverty!" exclaim William Goldsmith and Edward Blakely in their report on the plight of American's urban poor. In this revised and updated edition of their 1992 book Separate Societies,the authors present a compelling examination of the damaging divisions that isolate poor city minority residents from the middle-class suburban majority. They pay special attention to how the needs of the permanently poor have been unmet through the alternating years of promises and neglect, and propose a progressive turn away from 30 years of conservative policies.
Separate Societies vividly documents how the urban working class has been pushed out of industrial jobs through global economic restructuring, and how the Wall Street meltdown has aggravated underemployment, depleted public services, and sharpened racial and class inequalities.
The authors insist that the current U.S. approach puts Americans out of work and lowers the standard of living for all. As such, Goldsmith and Blakely urge the Obama administration to create better urban policy and foster better metropolitan management to effectively and efficiently promote equality.
"Shantytown Protest is one of the richest and most interesting accounts of popular mobilizations in urban Latin America that I have ever seen. The description of popular resistance under conditions of extreme material scarcity and ruthless military repression is fascinating. The book is a major contribution to the research literatures on Third World urbanization and Latin America politics."
--Alejandro Portes, John Dewey Professor of Sociology and International Relations, The Johns Hopkins University
In 1973 armed forces launched a violent attack against the Chilean presidential palace and Santiago's slums and shantytowns. For ten years, only the Catholic Church was able to defy the military regime. Then, in 1983, students, workers, and shantytown residents stormed the streets demanding the resignation of Augusto Pinochet. The protests raged for three years and, in 1989, democratic elections were held. The following year a new civilian government took office.
Cathy Lisa Schneider examines this democratic transition from the bottom up, looking at the struggles of poor people to create and sustain organized resistance, to risk their lives to fight tyranny. Both an oral history based on over a hundred interviews collected in shantytowns and a comparative sociological study that explores political differences among different shantytowns in Santiago, this book analyzes the context in which the urban poor make choices about their lives, and the political histories that shape their vision.
"With an anthropologist's sympathetic ear, an activist's reasoned zeal, a social scientist's theoretical sensibility, and a journalist's deft pen, Cathy Schneider has brought to life Chile's burgeoning shantytown politics of the 1980s. From the overthrow of Allende to the fall of Pinochet, she chronicles and explains the swirling of popular struggles. Read her and learn."
--Charles Tilly, Director, Center for Studies of Social Change, New School for Social Research
"Cathy Schneider's book shows how democratic nation-building depends not only on how elites maneuver, but crucially on how ordinary citizens mobilize on behalf of democracy. She has successfully brought together Latin American studies and social science, the human drama of the shantytown protests with the analytical perspectives of social movement studies."
--Sidney Tarrow, Professor of Government, Cornell University
Neighborhood support groups have always played a key role in helping the poor survive, but combating poverty requires more than simply meeting the needs of day-to-day subsistence. Social Capital and Poor Communities shows the significant achievements that can be made through collective strategies, which empower the poor to become active partners in revitalizing their neighborhoods. Trust and cooperation among residents and local organizations such as churches, small businesses, and unions form the basis of social capital, which provides access to resources that would otherwise be out of reach to poor families. Social Capital and Poor Communities examines civic initiatives that have built affordable housing, fostered small businesses, promoted neighborhood safety, and increased political participation. At the core of each initiative lie local institutions—church congregations, parent-teacher groups, tenant associations, and community improvement alliances. The contributors explore how such groups build networks of leaders and followers and how the social power they cultivate can be successfully transferred from smaller goals to broader political advocacy. For example, community-based groups often become platforms for leaders hoping to run for local office. Church-based groups and interfaith organizations can lobby for affordable housing, job training programs, and school improvement. Social Capital and Poor Communities convincingly demonstrates why building social capital is so important in enabling the poor to seek greater access to financial resources and public services. As the contributors make clear, this task is neither automatic nor easy. The book's frank discussions of both successes and failures illustrate the pitfalls—conflicts of interest, resistance from power elites, and racial exclusion—that can threaten even the most promising initiatives. The impressive evidence in this volume offers valuable insights into how goal formation, leadership, and cooperation can be effectively cultivated, resulting in a remarkable force for change and a rich public life even for those communities mired in seemingly hopeless poverty. A Volume in the Ford Foundation Series on Asset Building
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 Truly Disadvantaged should spur critical thinking in many quarters about the causes and possible remedies for inner city poverty. As policy makers grapple with the problems of an enlarged underclass they—as well as community leaders and all concerned Americans of all races—would be advised to examine Mr. Wilson's incisive analysis."—Robert Greenstein, New York Times Book Review
"'Must reading' for civil-rights leaders, leaders of advocacy organizations for the poor, and for elected officials in our major urban centers."—Bernard C. Watson, Journal of Negro Education
"Required reading for anyone, presidential candidate or private citizen, who really wants to address the growing plight of the black urban underclass."—David J. Garrow, Washington Post Book World
Selected by the editors of the New York Times Book Review as one of the sixteen best books of 1987.
Winner of the 1988 C. Wright Mills Award of the Society for the Study of Social Problems.
Renowned American sociologist William Julius Wilson takes a look at the social transformation of inner city ghettos, offering a sharp evaluation of the convergence of race and poverty. Rejecting both conservative and liberal interpretations of life in the inner city, Wilson offers essential information and a number of solutions to policymakers. The Truly Disadvantaged is a wide-ranging examination, looking at the relationship between race, employment, and education from the 1950s onwards, with surprising and provocative findings. This second edition also includes a new afterword from Wilson himself that brings the book up to date and offers fresh insight into its findings.
“The Truly Disadvantaged should spur critical thinking in many quarters about the causes and possible remedies for inner city poverty. As policymakers grapple with the problems of an enlarged underclass they—as well as community leaders and all concerned Americans of all races—would be advised to examine Mr. Wilson's incisive analysis.”—Robert Greenstein, New York Times Book Review
While the problems facing our cities increase in number and magnitude, there are few coordinated mechanisms in place for effecting change. In an effort to bridge existing gaps in communication and information, Burton A. Weisbrod and James C. Worthy, in conjunction with Northwestern University's Center for Urban Affairs and Policy Research, organized a conference to address these issues. The Urban Crisis collects the papers from this conference, opening a dialogue between academicians and practitioners and offering a blueprint for improving both the process and the substance of policy.
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.
Urban Poverty, Political Participation, and the State offers an unparalleled longitudinal view of how the urban poor saw themselves and their neighborhoods and how they behaved and organized to provide their neighborhoods with basic goods and services. Grounding research on theoretical notions from Albert Hirschman and an analytical framework from Verba and Nie, Dietz produces findings that hold great interest for comparativists and students of political behavior in general.
Though many argue that the fall of Rome around 400 C.E. had little effect on the rural poor of the western Mediterranean, Karen Eva Carr argues persuasively to the contrary. Vandals to Visigoths shows how the empire's collapse significantly transformed the lives of rural people. Even after the dust settled from the Germanic invasions, landscape archaeology shows the surviving rural population defending themselves in isolated hill-forts and cut off from the larger Mediterranean world.
Vandals to Visigoths uses archaeological survey data as a springboard to a theoretical discussion of rural survival strategies in the non-industrial world and the ways in which these strategies are affected by government actions. Carr draws on historical, archaeological, and ethnographic comparanda to conclude that the larger, more powerful Roman government was more advantageous for the rural poor than the weaker Vandal and Visigothic regimes. Though Carr agrees that the lives of the rural people and the free slaves were miserable, she shows through her data and theory that they became even more wretched after the decline of the empire.
Vandals to Visigoths will appeal to historians of Rome, as well as of Early Medieval Europe and Spain. Anthropologists, economists, and political scientists who study Late Antiquity and the medieval period will also be interested, as it discusses the broader implications of the role of government in the lives of early medieval Spain's subjects.
Karen Eva Carr is Associate Professor of History, Portland State University.
Looking at their photo of railroad tracks, a group of preteen students in South Central Los Angeles see either "a way out of the ghetto," or a "dirty, bad environment." Such are the impressions expressed in the poignant "We Live in the Shadow": Inner-City Kids Tell Their Stories through Photographs.
In Elaine Bell Kaplan's perceptive book, at-risk youth were given five-dollar cameras to tell stories about their world. Their photos and stories show us their response to negative inner-city teen images. We follow them into their schools, and we hear about their creative coping strategies. While these kids see South Central as dangerous, they also see themselves as confident enough to not let the inner city take them down. They refuse to be labeled as "ghetto thugs," as outsiders sometimes do. These outsiders include police, teachers, and other groups representing the institutional voices governing their daily lives.
The kids in "We Live in the Shadow": Inner-City Kids Tell Their Stories through Photographs have developed a multilayered view of society. This impressive book gives voice to their resilience.
If 88% of Americans believe that education and training resources should be available to the jobless and more than two-thirds of employers have identified workforce and skills shortages as top priorities, why aren't we, as a society, able to provide that training in such a way that it leads to long-term economic security? This book looks at the politics of local and regional workforce development: the ways politicians and others concerned with the workforce systems have helped or hindered that process. Contributors examine the current systems that are in place in these cities and the potential for systemic reform through case studies of Denver, Milwaukee, Philadelphia, St. Louis, and Seattle.Published in association with the Annie E. Casey Foundation.