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Social Sciences > Sociology > Urban Sociology

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Latino Migrants in the Jewish State Cover

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Latino Migrants in the Jewish State

Undocumented Lives in Israel

Barak Kalir

In the 1990s, thousands of non-Jewish Latinos arrived in Israel as undocumented immigrants. Based on his fieldwork in South America and Israel, Barak Kalir follows these workers from their decision to migrate to their experiences finding work, establishing social clubs and evangelical Christian churches, and putting down roots in Israeli society. While the State of Israel rejected the presence of non-Jewish migrants, many citizens accepted them. Latinos grew to favor cultural assimilation to Israeli society. In 2005, after a large-scale deportation campaign that drew criticism from many quarters, Israel made the historic decision to legalize the status of some undocumented migrant families on the basis of their cultural assimilation and identification with the State. By doing so, the author maintains, Israel recognized the importance of practical belonging for understanding citizenship and national identity.

Latino Urban Ethnography and the Work of Elena Padilla Cover

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Latino Urban Ethnography and the Work of Elena Padilla

Merida M. Rua

This study reclaims and builds upon the classic work of anthropologist Elena Padilla. The volume includes an annotated edition of Padilla's 1947 University of Chicago master's thesis, which broke with traditional urban ethnographies and examined racial identities and interethnic relations. Weighing the importance of gender and the interplay of labor, residence, and social networks, Padilla examined the integration of Puerto Rican migrants into the social and cultural life of the larger community where they settled. Also included are four original essays that foreground the significance of Padilla's early study about Latinos in Chicago. Contributors discuss the implications of her groundbreaking contributions to urban ethnographic traditions and to the development of Puerto Rican studies and Latina/o studies._x000B__x000B_Contributors are Nicholas De Genova, Zaire Zenit Dinzey-Flores, Elena Padilla, Ana Y. Ramos-Zayas, Merida M. Rúa, and Arlene Torres.

Livable Cities? Cover

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Livable Cities?

Urban Struggles for Livelihood and Sustainability

Peter Evans

The sprawling cities of the developing world are vibrant hubs of economic growth, but they are also increasingly ecologically unsustainable and, for ordinary citizens, increasingly unlivable. Pollution is rising, affordable housing is decreasing, and green space is shrinking. Since three-quarters of those joining the world's population during the next century will live in Third World cities, making these urban areas more livable is one of the key challenges of the twenty-first century. This book explores the linked issues of livelihood and ecological sustainability in major cities of the developing and transitional world. Livable Cities? identifies important strategies for collective solutions by showing how political alliances among local communities, nongovernmental organizations, and public agencies can help ordinary citizens live better lives.

Living with Risk Cover

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Living with Risk

Precarity and Bangkok's Urban Poor

Tamaki Endo

The informal economy in Bangkok, Thailand, offers upward mobility but is fraught with risk. For members of the urban lower class, residence and occupation are closely inter-connected. Shifts in priorities in housing, occupation and education as family circumstances change affect the way they deploy their limited financial resources, while home fires and job lay-offs make it necessary for poor communities to accommodate frequent changes of residence and variations in production and consumption. People with limited resources are extremely sensitive to uncertainty. Living with Risk examines how lower class communities in the inner city and the urban fringe of Bangkok view their employment prospects and living conditions, and how they manage risk. The author draws on two case studies, one considering the situation of women who became self-employed after losing factory jobs during Thailand’s economic restructuring in the late 1990s, and the second a community displaced by a devastating fire. The book’s detailed examination of the dynamics of the informal economy makes a substantial contribution to the literature on development economics in urban areas.

Local Protests, Global Movements Cover

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Local Protests, Global Movements

Capital, Community, and State in San Francisco

A history of the antigentrification and housing rights movement in San Francisco, Local Protests, Global Movements examines the ability of local urban movements to engage in meaningful contestation with private real estate capital and area governmental leaders in the era of urban neoliberalism.

Using San Francisco as an illuminating case study, Beitel analyzes the innovative ways urban social movements have organized around issues regarding land use, housing, urban ecology, and health care on the local level to understand the changing nature of protest formation around the world.

Reconciling the passing of New Left Ideals and the emergence of mobilization on a global scale, he assesses the limits of contemporary urban movements as conduits for advancing a radical political program. Beitel argues these limits reflect recurrent problems of internal fragmentation, and the manner in which liberal democratic institutions structure processes of political participation and interest representation.


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Long Shadow, The

Family Background, Disadvantaged Urban Youth, and the Transition to Adulthood

West Baltimore stands out in the popular imagination as the quintessential “inner city”—gritty, run-down, and marred by drugs and gang violence. Indeed, with the collapse of manufacturing jobs in the 1970s, the area experienced the rapid onset of poverty and high unemployment, with few public resources available to alleviate its economic distress. But in stark contrast to the image of a perpetual “urban underclass” depicted in television by shows like The Wire, sociologists Karl Alexander, Doris Entwisle, and Linda Olson present a more nuanced portrait of Baltimore’s inner city residents that employs important new research on the significance of early-life opportunities available to low-income populations. Based on a decades-long study, The Long Shadow focuses on children who grew up in west Baltimore neighborhoods, tracing how their early lives in the inner city have ultimately affected their long-term well-being. For 25 years, the authors of The Long Shadow tracked the life progress of a group of almost 800 predominantly low-income Baltimore school children through the Beginning School Study Youth Panel (BSSYP). The study monitored the children’s transitions to young adulthood with special attention to how opportunities available to them as early as first grade shaped their socioeconomic status as adults. The authors’ fine-grained analysis confirms that the children who lived in more cohesive neighborhoods, had stronger families, and attended better schools tended to maintain a higher economic status later in life. As young adults, they held higher-income jobs and had achieved more personal milestones (such as marriage) than their lower-status counterparts. Differences in race and gender further stratified life opportunities for the Baltimore children. As one of the first studies to closely examine the outcomes of inner-city whites in addition to African Americans, data from the BSSYP shows that by adulthood, white men in the study, despite attaining less education on average, were more likely to be employed than any other group due to family connections and long-standing racial biases in Baltimore’s industrial economy. Gender imbalances in the subjects’ incomes were also evident: the women, who were more likely to be working in low-wage service and clerical jobs, earned less than men. African American women doubly disadvantaged insofar as they were less likely to be in a stable relationship than white women, and therefore less likely to benefit from a second income. Combining original interviews with Baltimore families, teachers, and other community members with the empirical data gathered from the authors’ groundbreaking research, The Long Shadow unravels the complex connections between socioeconomic origins and socioeconomic destinations to reveal a startling and much-needed examination of who succeeds and why.

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Los Angeles and the Automobile

The Making of the Modern City

Scott L. Bottles

More comprehensive than any other book on this topic, Los Angeles and the Automobile places the evolution of Los Angeles within the context of American political and urban history.

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The Los Angeles Plaza

Sacred and Contested Space

By William David Estrada

City plazas worldwide are centers of cultural expression and artistic display. They are settings for everyday urban life where daily interactions, economic exchanges, and informal conversations occur, thereby creating a socially meaningful place at the core of a city. At the heart of historic Los Angeles, the Plaza represents a quintessential public space where real and imagined narratives overlap and provide as many questions as answers about the development of the city and what it means to be an Angeleno. The author, a social and cultural historian who specializes in nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Los Angeles, is well suited to explore the complex history and modern-day relevance of the Los Angeles Plaza. From its indigenous and colonial origins to the present day, Estrada explores the subject from an interdisciplinary and multiethnic perspective, delving into the pages of local newspapers, diaries and letters, and the personal memories of former and present Plaza residents, in order to examine the spatial and social dimensions of the Plaza over an extended period of time. The author contributes to the growing historiography of Los Angeles by providing a groundbreaking analysis of the original core of the city that covers a long span of time, space, and social relations. He examines the impact of change on the lives of ordinary people in a specific place, and how this change reflects the larger story of the city.

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Love, Sorrow, And Rage

Alisse Waterston

Love, Sorrow, and Rage gives powerful voice to women like Nora Gaines and Dixie Register, who tell use what it's like to live on the streets of New York, how it feels to lose your mind, about the taste of crack cocaine and the sweetness of friendship. In this novel-like narrative of homelessness and hope, poor women share a table, their meals, and their intimacies with author Alisse Waterston. On the pages of this impassioned ethnography, Waterston puts mythic, demonized bag ladies to rest, and in so doing, brings ordinary women to life.

From drug addiction and the spread of AIDS to the growing gap between rich and poor in the U.S., the topics in this book get front-page coverage in daily newspapers across the country. Waterston seeks to understand, to explain, and to solve the human crisis that surrounds us. Towards this end, she challenges us to look at the ways in which our society and the workings of our political, economic, and popular culture contribute to the suffering experienced by our most vulnerable citizens. An important corrective to popular depictions of the urban poor, Love, Sorrow, and Rage provides a penetrating analysis of the causes and consequences of poverty. It offers a deeper understanding of what leads to and perpetuates poverty and of the human complex of love, sorrow, and rage felt by those who experience it.

Love, Sorrow, and Rage will engage readers interested in urban studies, women's studies, social issues and policies, anthropology, sociology, political economy, and New York City life.

Majoritarian Cities Cover

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Majoritarian Cities

Policy Making and Inequality in Urban Politics

Neil Kraus

Neil Kraus evaluates both the influence of public opinion on local policy-making and the extent to which public policy addresses economic and social inequalities. Drawing on several years of fieldwork and multiple sources of data, including surveys and polls; initiatives, referenda, and election results; government documents; focus groups; interviews; and a wide assortment of secondary sources, Kraus presents case studies of two Midwestern cities, Minneapolis, Minnesota, and Gary, Indiana. Specifically, he focuses on several major policy decisions in recent decades concerning education, law enforcement, and affordable housing in Minneapolis; and education and riverboat casino development in Gary. Kraus finds that, on these issues, local officials frequently take action that reflects public opinion, yet the resulting policies often fail to meet the needs of the disadvantaged or ameliorate the effects of concentrated poverty. In light of citizens’ current attitudes, he concludes that if patterns of inequality are to be more effectively addressed, scholars and policymakers must transform the debate about the causes and effects of inequality in urban and metropolitan settings.

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