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For over fifty years numerous public intellectuals and social theorists have insisted that community is dead. Some would have us believe that we act solely as individuals choosing our own fates regardless of our surroundings, while other theories place us at the mercy of global forces beyond our control. These two perspectives dominate contemporary views of society, but by rejecting the importance of place they are both deeply flawed. Based on one of the most ambitious studies in the history of social science, Great American City argues that communities still matter because life is decisively shaped by where you live.
To demonstrate the powerfully enduring impact of place, Robert J. Sampson presents here the fruits of over a decade’s research in Chicago combined with his own unique personal observations about life in the city, from Cabrini Green to Trump Tower and Millennium Park to the Robert Taylor Homes. He discovers that neighborhoods influence a remarkably wide variety of social phenomena, including crime, health, civic engagement, home foreclosures, teen births, altruism, leadership networks, and immigration.
Once a thriving metropolis on the banks of the Mississippi, St. Louis, Missouri, is now a ghostly landscape of vacant houses, boarded up storefronts, and abandoned factories. This text examines the causes and consequences of St. Louis's urban crisis.
This book reveals how urban black working-class communities, cultures, and institutions propelled the major African American social movements in the period between the Great Depression and the end of the Great Society. Using the city of St. Louis, Missouri as a case study, the author Clarence Lang undermines the notion that a unified " black community" engaged in the push for equality, justice, and respect. Instead, black social movements of the working class were distinct from, and at times in conflict with, those of the middle class