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There Goes the Neighborhood: Racial, Ethnic, and Class Tensions in Four Chicago Neighborhoods and Their Meaning for America Paperback – October 9, 2007
Frequently Bought Together
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. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
“Timely...Important and troubling.”
“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.”
—Senator John Edwards
“Profoundly sobering. . . . Careful and convincing.”
—The Washington Post Book World
“Offers a dispassionate analysis of the facts. . . . Wilson and 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 us as citizens.”
—Senator Bill Bradley
Top Customer Reviews
The authors' analysis of the problems is much weaker. They do a good job comparing the varying degrees of racial tension among the neighborhoods and finding explanations for this variation in both the racially-structured competition over resources and the very American confusion of racial difference with class inequality. Yet they don't go deeper into the social structures that actually create these dilemmas.
They regard competitive racial identities and the existence of class as almost forces of nature that can never be eliminated, and their prescriptions are therefore remarkably timid: increase federal funding for city programs and try to convince privileged urban and suburban citizens that extending aid to the poor will help the metropolitan area as a whole economically and socially.
This may be an attractive agenda to the policymakers who see nothing fundamentally wrong with the severe inequalities and social tensions produced by a racially stratified neoliberal capitalism. But to those who believe that breaking down racial boundaries and ending class divisions are both possible and urgent tasks, a more ambitious program will be necessary.
Maybe it's that I'm Chicago-familiar, but I was invariably wondering why the real names of the neighborhoods had to be hidden for this book. As I read, I often tried to figure out exactly where each of the places were/are as there are no such neighborhoods as "Beltway," "Dover," "Archer Park," "Groveland." The authors alert readers to the name-changes; yet, they don't say why this might have been necessary in a serious book of this sort. "Racial, Ethnic and Class Tensions" explained? -More like "described." --Not a bad work. I learned a few things but expected much more detail in what was an overly compact, quick read.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
helps you think about your neighborhoods and why they are stratified stratified the way they are. Good read for anyonePublished on August 5, 2013 by Laura
OMG!!!!! I was excited when I had to read this book for a class, but angered when I read this little nugget of racism, and by racism I mean by the author's views against any one... Read morePublished on October 17, 2010 by Brooke Biernat
The book contained informative information which I could relate to within my community and surrounding areas.Published on September 17, 2010 by Amazon Customer
I'm about 3/4's through the book, but I feel like I've read enough to offer an objective review. I like the book and found it an interesting look at society and racial views and... Read morePublished on May 21, 2010 by DBDR
After figuring out the names of the real neighborhoods from the census data (which I thought was unnecessary to hide there names, so here they are: Beltway = Clearing, Dover =... Read morePublished on May 19, 2008 by Thomas