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Working-Class Heroes: Protecting Home, Community, and Nation in a Chicago Neighborhood Paperback – February 17, 2003


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Working-Class Heroes: Protecting Home, Community, and Nation in a Chicago Neighborhood + Ain't No Makin' It: Aspirations and Attainment in a Low-Income Neighborhood, 3rd Edition
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 217 pages
  • Publisher: University of California Press (February 17, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0520235436
  • ISBN-13: 978-0520235434
  • Product Dimensions: 0.6 x 6 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,257,759 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"As defenders of civilization living in an imperiled world, the workers kefalas studied believe an immaculate household, a well-maintained property, a clean and safe neighborhood, and a righteous nation are worth living and fighting for. Her skillful ethnography truly captures the complexity of their cultural world."

From the Inside Flap

"Scrubbing behind their refrigerators, manicuring their lawns, reciting the pledge of allegiance in rainy parking lots, the people of Beltway mold their community with precision and grace. Firm in their convictions about what makes up a decent place to live, and fierce in their efforts to protect this place from the forces that threaten it, Beltway's residents have found in Kefalas a sharp-eyed yet sympathetic interpreter of their behavior, their homes, and their dreams. Ethnography rarely penetrates this deeply."—Wendy Griswold, author of Bearing Witness

"The perspective of working or lower-middle class whites on issues of race and culture is often ignored, misunderstood or treated with contempt by social scientists. Kefalas's perceptive portrayal and penetrating analysis of a white working-class neighborhood in Chicago provides an important and much needed contrast. In this well-written book, Kefalas advances our understanding of the socioeconomic insecurities of ordinary white Americans in a changing urban world and shows how these insecurities influence their world views and efforts to provide meaning and order in their daily lives."—William Julius Wilson, author of The Bridge over the Racial Divide

"Not since Jonathan Rieder's Canarsie has an urban ethnographer presented as nuanced an examination of the defended working-class neighborhood and its inhabitants. Kefalas's meticulous Chicago fieldwork argues that her subjects rise above the old racial order as they fight against crime and other threats. Working-Class Heroes will provoke endless seminar discussion and debate, and ongoing research. It establishes its author as an important new voice in urban ethnography."—Mitchell Duneier, author of Sidewalk and Slim's Table

"Working Class Heroes is an important and original contribution because it demonstrates very convincingly how the stable white lower-middle class defines its identity and its status through its environment and how group boundaries are shaped by ecological factors. As defenders of civilization living in an imperiled world, the workers Kefalas studied believe an immaculate household, a well-maintained property, a clean and safe neighborhood, and a righteous nation are worth living and fighting for. Her skillful ethnography truly captures the complexity of their cultural world and clarifies neglected aspects of the cultural dimension of inequality."—Michele Lamont, author of The Dignity of Working Men: Morality and the Boundaries of Race, Class, and Immigration

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

By Susan G. Heneghan on January 25, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I live in this neighborhood and was delighted to see this book. Read it and passed it on to other neighbors. Didn't quite get the point of the fake names of the schools, parks,etc.? But it was nice to see this kind of study on a middle class caucasian neighborhood.
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