Wilson, William J., 1935-

When work disappears : the world of the new urban poor / William Julius Wilson. - 1st ed. - New York : Knopf : Distributed by Random House, Inc., 1996. - xxiii, 322 p. : ill. ; 25 cm.

Includes bibliographical references (p. 283-307) and index.

The new urban poverty -- From institutional to jobless ghettos -- Societal changes and vulnerable neighborhoods -- Ghetto-related behavior and the structure of opportunity -- The fading inner-city family -- The meaning and significance of race : employers and inner-city workers -- The social policy challenge -- The American belief system concerning poverty and welfare -- Racial antagonisms and race-based social policy -- A broader vision : social policy options in cross-national perspective.

Wilson explores how the current loss of blue-collar jobs has crucially affected American society. He discusses the effects of the "suburbanization" of employment, which has excluded the black urban poor who remain isolated in neighborhoods of concentrated unemployment, neighborhoods that once featured a sizable proportion of working families. He describes the lack of locally available training and education, and the dissolution of government and private support of local organizations that once supplied job information as well as employment opportunities. And he examines as well the attitudes of employers toward ghetto residents and the resulting effects on hiring policies. Interweaving the voices of scores of inner-city men and women whom he interviewed during years of intensive study, Wilson dismantles the conservative argument that the people of the ghettos lack drive and aspiration. He demonstrates that, on the contrary, their desire and quest for success and a stable life are comparable to those of society at large, but they develop within a context of constraints and opportunity drastically different from those in middle-class society. Finally, Wilson outlines a series of programs that can help both the urban poor and the middle class, programs that are politically feasible at a time when government is battling to reform welfare. He defines a framework of long and short-term solutions to get America's jobless working again, including a twenty-first-century version of the WPA work program, available to all; transportation alternatives to get men and women to jobs in outlying areas; and crucial training and jobs for one of the groups with the highest unemployment rates - new high school graduates. In When Work Disappears, William Julius Wilson, one of the country's most highly praised and influential sociologists, makes a major contribution to the economic and social health of the nation - not only through his analysis of an almost overwhelming problem but through the practical steps he suggests toward a solution.

0394579356 9780394579351

96011803


Urban poor--United States.
African Americans--Employment.
Inner cities--United States.

Afro-Americans Employment Inner cities United States Urban poor United States

HV4045 / .W553 1996

362.5/0973/091732