Week 11

In William Julius Wilson’s More Than Just Race: Being Black and Poor in the Inner City, Wilson—a prominent African American Sociologist, examines the structural and cultural factors involved in the patterned, or consistent, state of being black and impoverished in the United States. He addresses the culture of racism, and the culture of African-Americans alongside … Continue reading Week 11

Week 10

“Neighborhood Poverty and the Social Isolation of Inner-City African American Families.” In “Neighborhood Poverty and the Social Isolation of Inner-City African American Families”, the idea of isolationism in impoverished African-American communities is explored. Unlike the links between ethnic enclaves in immigrant neighborhoods and economic mobility both inside these communities and in the larger society as … Continue reading Week 10

Week 9

American Project: The Rise and Fall of a Modern Ghetto [Sudhir Alladi Venkatesh] In Venkatesh’s American Project: The Rise and Fall of a Modern Ghetto, the Robert Taylor Homes public housing development (Venkatesh, 1) in Chicago is the focus. Questions such as: what makes a community, how public assistance impacts a community, and what does … Continue reading Week 9

Week 8

“Segregation and the Making of the Underclass” [Douglas S. Massey & Nancy A. Denton] In Massey and Denton’s “Segregation and the Making of the Underclass”, the actual process of racial segregation and the subsequent resulting creation of an ‘underclass’ dominated by African-Americans is explained. Massey and Denton do not hesitate to point out that racially … Continue reading Week 8

Week 7

“The Environment of the Negro” [W.E.B. Du Bois] In Du Bois’ “The Environment of the Negro” approximately 40,000 African-Americans living in inner city Philadelphia (175) were observed, or studied. African-Americans themselves were not just observed, but as the title suggests, special attention was paid to the environments in which they lived. More specifically, great detail … Continue reading Week 7

Week 6

“Cities and the Geographies of ‘Actually Existing Neoliberalism’” [Neil Brenner & Theodore Nik] In “Cities and the Geographies of ‘Actually Existing Neoliberalism’” Brenner and Nik discuss a failing system of neoliberal policy implementations on what appears to be the perfect canvas: a city. Brenner and Nik explore the path to neoliberal politics and policies by … Continue reading Week 6

Week 5

“Human Ecology” [Robert Ezra Park] In Park’s ‘Human Ecology’ he uses nature to explain the origins of community and society, and its function. In fact, he explains the connection between the biology of the natural world and its link to society when he states the following: “Every community has something of the character of an … Continue reading Week 5

Week 4

Heat Wave: A Social Autopsy of Disaster in Chicago [Eric Klinenberg] In Klinenberg’s Heat Wave: A Social Autopsy of Disaster in Chicago the ideas and theories of city living are explored using the unprecedented deaths that occurred during a 1995 Chicago heat wave. In fact, Klinenberg actually lays out his thesis as the following: “This … Continue reading Week 4

Week 3

“Theories of Urbanism” [Claude S. Fischer] In “Theories of Urbanism” Fischer seeks to define “urbanism” as a theory in order for it to be properly studied. He explains his view on theory development in terms of the following metaphor: “To begin a major study without a good theory or theories is like being dropped into … Continue reading Week 3

Week 2

The Metropolis and Mental Life Communities are wherever people are. One could argue that a community could be formed between two people and a resilient fungus on the planet mars. According to Georg Simmel communities are not the focus, nor is it apart of the fundamental focus of the individual, independence is. Simmel argues that … Continue reading Week 2

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