From Publishers Weekly
Sociologists Wilson of Harvard (When Work Disappears
) and Taub of the University of Chicago analyze four working- and lower-middle-class Chicago neighborhoods to assess why some reach the "tipping point" of rapid ethnic change. Based on research conducted from 1993 to 1995, the conclusions remain timely. In the predominantly white "Beltway," civic-minded residents maintained community solidarity. In "Dover," a mixed-ethnic community with an influx of Mexican-Americans, white members of existing associations made no attempt at outreach, and the churches remained ethnically divided. Whites and Latinos united only regarding schools—though fueled by anti-black sentiment. The largely Mexican (and transient) "Archer Park" had weak civic institutions, as kinship ties remained most important. "Groveland," a mostly African-American community, remained stable; residents—many of whom held civil service or unionized jobs—expressed greater racial tolerance than elsewhere. The authors' conclusion: the stronger neighborhood social organizations are, the longer it takes a neighborhood to "tip." To better manage change, diverse communities must join in common goals, such as improving the schools. The unresolved shadow over all this is society's unwillingness to repair inner-city ghettos, since their presence heightens racial and class tensions in nearby neighborhoods. Author tour.(Oct. 23)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
“Improving conditions in America’s urban neighborhoods will require a deeper understanding of the complex dynamics that divide residents along racial, ethnic and class lines. This compelling and exhaustively researched book makes an invaluable contribution to that endeavor. The focus is on Chicago, but policymakers and concerned citizens from every city in America will learn a great deal from Wilson and Taub’s work.”
–Former Senator John Edwards
“[There Goes the Neighborhood
] does what few books about race relations and class structure do–it offers a dispassionate analysis of the facts, not what we might hope for, but what is. Wilson & Taub bring the best of social science to bear on these issues; their call is for each of us to face up to what these facts mean for our country and for each of as citizens.”
–Former Senator Bill Bradley
“A powerful sociological study of how the steady influx of Latinos are changing urban neighborhood dynamics and the black-white divide. A major piece of scholarship. It should be read by all those concerned with immigration and America's urban, multiethnic future.”
–Lawrence D. Bobo, Martin Luther King Jr. Centennial Professor and Director, Center for Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity and Program in African and African American Studies, Stanford University
“Writing in the tradition of the ‘Chicago School,’ two leading students of the city show how ethnic and racial change is not an inevitable linear process. [The book shows how] white, black, and Latino working class neighborhoods are shaped primarily by the character of local social organization and the larger context of public policy. Absorbing and thought-provoking.”
–Ira Katznelson, Ruggles Professor of Political Science and History at Columbia University and the author of When Affi...