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Women, Cultural Identity, and Community
Brooklyn Waterfront Narratives of the Undesigned and Unplanned
The Accidental Playground explores the remarkable landscape created by individuals and small groups who occupied and rebuilt an abandoned Brooklyn waterfront in Williamsburg. Without formal authority, capital, professional assistance, grand vision, consensus, or coordination with each other, these "vernacular" builders transformed a vacated waterfront railroad yard into a unique setting for recreation and creative endeavor. With the Manhattan skyline as its backdrop, the collapsing piers, eroded bulkhead, and remaining building foundations of the former Brooklyn Eastern District Terminal (BEDT) became the raw materials for various forms of waterside leisure and social spaces. Lacking predetermined rules governing its use, this waterfront evolved into the home turf for unusual and sometimes spectacular recreational, social, and creative subcultures. These included skateboarders who built a short-lived, but nationally renowned skatepark; a twenty-five-piece "public" marching band, fire performance troupes, and a variety of artists, photographers, and filmmakers. At the same time the site also served basic recreational needs of local residents. Collapsing piers became great places to catch fish, sunbathe, or take in the Manhattan skyline; the foundation of a demolished warehouse became an ideal place to practice music or skateboard; rubble-strewn earth became a compelling setting for film and fashion shoots; broken bulkhead became a beach; and thick patches of weeds dotted by ailanthus trees became a jungle. Drawing on a rich mix of documentary strategies including observation, ethnography, photography, and first-person narrative, Daniel Campo probes this accidental playground, allowing those who created it to share and examine their own narratives, perspectives, and conflicts. The multiple constituencies of this Williamsburg waterfront were surprisingly diverse, their stories colorful and provocative. When taken together, Campo argues, they suggest a radical reimagining of urban public space, the waterfront, and the practices by which they are created and maintained. The Accidental Playground, which treats readers to an utterly compelling story, is an exciting and distinctive contribution to the growing literature on the unplanned and the undesigned spaces and activities in cities today.
How New Immigrants Do in American Schools, Jobs, and Neighborhoods
Can the recent influx of immigrants successfully enter the mainstream of American life, or will many of them fail to thrive and become part of a permanent underclass? Achieving Anew examines immigrant life in school, at work, and in communities and demonstrates that recent immigrants and their children do make substantial progress over time, both within and between generations. From policymakers to private citizens, our national conversation on immigration has consistently questioned the country’s ability to absorb increasing numbers of foreign nationals—now nearly one million legal entrants per year. Using census data, longitudinal education surveys, and other data, Michael White and Jennifer Glick place their study of new immigrant achievement within a context of recent developments in assimilation theory and policies regulating who gets in and what happens to them upon arrival. They find that immigrant status itself is not an important predictor of educational achievement. First-generation immigrants arrive in the United States with less education than native-born Americans, but by the second and third generation, the children of immigrants are just as successful in school as native-born students with equivalent social and economic background. As with prior studies, the effects of socioeconomic background and family structure show through strongly. On education attainment, race and ethnicity have a strong impact on achievement initially, but less over time. Looking at the labor force, White and Glick find no evidence to confirm the often-voiced worry that recent immigrants and their children are falling behind earlier arrivals. On the contrary, immigrants of more recent vintage tend to catch up to the occupational status of natives more quickly than in the past. Family background, educational preparation, and race/ethnicity all play a role in labor market success, just as they do for the native born, but the offspring of immigrants suffer no disadvantage due to their immigrant origins. New immigrants continue to live in segregated neighborhoods, though with less prevalence than native black-white segregation. Immigrants who arrived in the 1960s are now much less segregated than recent arrivals. Indeed, the authors find that residential segregation declines both within and across generations. Yet black and Mexican immigrants are more segregated from whites than other groups, showing that race and economic status still remain powerful influences on where immigrants live. Although the picture is mixed and the continuing significance of racial factors remains a concern, Achieving Anew provides compelling reassurance that the recent wave of immigrants is making impressive progress in joining the American mainstream. The process of assimilation is not broken, the advent of a new underclass is not imminent, and the efforts to argue for the restriction of immigration based on these fears are largely mistaken.
Immigrant Families in America
Immigrants and their American-born children represent about one quarter of the United States population. Drawing on rich, in-depth ethnographic research, the fascinating case studies in Across Generations examine the intricacies of relations between the generations in a broad range of immigrant groups—from Latin America, Asia, the Caribbean, and Africa—and give a sense of what everyday life is like in immigrant families.
Moving beyond the cliché of the children of immigrants engaging in pitched battles against tradition-bound parents from the old country, these vivid essays offer a nuanced view that brings out the ties that bind the generations as well as the tensions that divide them. Tackling key issues like parental discipline, marriage choices, educational and occupational expectations, legal status, and transnational family ties, Across Generations brings crucial insights to our understanding of the United States as a nation of immigrants.
Contributors: Leisy Abrego, JoAnn D'Alisera, Joanna Dreby, Yen Le Espiritu, Greta Gilbertson, Nazli Kibria, Cecilia Menj'var, Jennifer E. Sykes, Mary C. Waters, and Min Zhou.
Bilingual Education and Dominican Immigrant Youth in the Heights
Additive Schooling in Subtractive Times documents the unusually successful efforts of one New York City high school to educate Dominican immigrant youth, at a time when Latino immigrants constitute a growing and vulnerable population in the nation’s secondary schools. Based on four and a half years of qualitative research, the book examines the schooling of teens in the Dominican Republic, the social and linguistic challenges the immigrant teens face in Washington Heights, and how Gregorio Luperón High School works with the community to respond to those challenges. The staff at Luperón see their students as emergent bilinguals and adhere to a culturally and linguistically additive approach. After offering a history of the school’s formation, the authors detail the ways in which federal No Child Left Behind policies, New York State accountability measures, and New York City’s educational reforms under Mayor Bloomberg have complicated the school’s efforts. The book then describes the dynamic bilingual pedagogical approach adopted within the school to help students develop academic Spanish and English. Focusing on the lives of twenty immigrant youth, Bartlett and García also show that, although the school achieves high completion rates, the graduating students nevertheless face difficult postsecondary educational and work environments that too often consign them to the ranks of the working poor.
The Gangs of Guatemala City and the Politics of Death
Private Freedom and Public Constraints for Parents and Children
Adult Supervision Required considers the contradictory ways in which contemporary American culture has imagined individual autonomy for parents and children. In many ways, today’s parents and children have more freedom than ever before. There is widespread respect for children’s autonomy as distinct individuals, and a broad range of parenting styles are flourishing. Yet it may also be fair to say that there is an unprecedented fear of children’s and parents’ freedom. Dread about Amber Alerts and “stranger danger” have put an end to the unsupervised outdoor play enjoyed by earlier generations of suburban kids. Similarly, fear of bad parenting has not only given rise to a cottage industry of advice books for anxious parents, but has also granted state agencies greater power to police the family.
Using popular parenting advice literature as a springboard for a broader sociological analysis of the American family, Markella B. Rutherford explores how our increasingly psychological conception of the family might be jeopardizing our appreciation for parents’ and children’s public lives and civil liberties.
Affirmative action is one of the central issues of American politics today, and admission to colleges and universities has been at the center of the debate. While this issue has been discussed for years, there is very little real data on the impact of affirmative action programs on admissions to institutions of higher learning. Susan Welch and John Gruhl in this groundbreaking study look at the impact on admissions of policies developed in the wake of the United States Supreme Court's landmark 1978 Bakke decision. In Bakke, the Court legitimized the use of race as one of several factors that could be considered in admissions decisions, while forbidding the use of quotas. Opponents of affirmative action claim that because of the Bakke decision thousands of less-qualified minorities have been granted admission in preference to more qualified white students; proponents claim that without the affirmative action policies articulated in Bakke, minorities would not have made the gains they have made in higher education. Based on a survey of admissions officers for law and medical schools and national enrollment data, the authors give us the first analysis of the real impact of the Bakke decision and affirmative action programs on enrollments in medical and law schools. Admission to medical schools and law schools is much sought after and is highly competitive. In examining admissions patterns to these schools the authors are able to identify the effects of affirmative action programs and the Bakke decision in what may be the most challenging case. This book will appeal to scholars of race and gender in political science, sociology and education as well as those interested in the study of affirmative action policies. Susan Welch is Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Professor of Political Science, Pennsylvania State University. John Gruhl is Professor of Political Science, University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
South Africa, Race, and Nation in Tanzania
Tracing the expansion of South African business into other areas of Africa in the years after apartheid, Richard A. Schroeder explores why South Africans have not always made themselves welcome guests abroad. By looking at investments in Tanzania, a frontline state in the fight for liberation, Schroeder focuses on the encounter between white South Africans and Tanzanians and the cultural, social, and economic controversies that have emerged as South African firms assume control of local assets. Africa after Apartheid affords a penetrating look at the unexpected results of the expansion of African business opportunities following the demise of apartheid
Blending Canadian and African Lifestyles?
This book aims at educating parents generally but divorcing or divorced ones specifically. The instruction is that the future and interest of the children, whatever the cause of their separation (or calculations for the non-divorcing others), should always be the prime mover for whatever arrangement (or decision) they make. That the world would be a better place if people generally look at the larger picture of things; larger picture people usually being better suited to give children, without definitional distinctions/exclusions, a better future than what they themselves have, irrespective of the societies they live in. The bookís concern for the future of children also draws from the fact that social work departments, with enormous powers over the making or ruining of childrenís future, are often staffed by persons with contrary ideals to those these departments stand for. Africa and Canada are specifically examined but its messages apply across the globe; lessons dished out from both perspectives of a parent and a child who has been through it and seen it all and would not want other children/parents to go through similar experiences simply because of funny definitions of family or of child, classifications often exclusively geared toward making readily available resources for educating children unavailable to some children. There also is much apprehension about some parentsí blatant use of children for accomplishing their own selfish agendas to the total disregard of the future of said children who, paradoxically, do not even feature in their new un-African and un-Canadian definition of family.