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The Unheavenly City: The Nature and the Future of Our Urban Crisis Paperback – January 1, 1970


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 308 pages
  • Publisher: Little Brown & Co; 1st edition (1970)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B000K0AZGO
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.3 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,410,514 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By anarchteacher on April 20, 2008
Format: Paperback
It is almost four decades since Edward Banfield's highly controversial The Unheavenly City was published but it is still making waves.

While Banfield had many brilliant observations on race, crime, and other hot topics in his book, it was his innovative redefinition of the concept of social class that is most memorable and which has drawn the most controversy.

Banfield carefully defined class membership, not in terms of income status, such as government statistical poverty levels, but in terms of orientation toward the future, or time preference.

The more pronounced one's "future orientation" was, the higher one's social class.

Multicultural critics of this idea now claim it is "cultural racism" to value or promote "future time orientation."

Known to economists and other social scientists as "low time-preference," this is what is called setting goals or encouraging purposeful "middle class values" such as punctuality, thrift, foresight, deferred self-gratification of needs or wants, and self-discipline as opposed to "underclass values" or "high time-preference" behaviors such as improvidence, hedonism, purposelessness, immediate self-gratification of needs or wants, and capricious spontaneity or irresponsibility.

The Unheavenly City continues to define the real class struggle in America.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By John F. Heeckt on September 3, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a book, dated as it may be, that should be required reading for all our elected representatives and leaders.
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