Normal view MARC view ISBD view

When work disappears : the world of the new urban poor / William Julius Wilson.

By: Wilson, William J, 1935-.
Material type: TextTextPublisher: New York : Knopf : Distributed by Random House, Inc., 1996Edition: 1st ed.Description: xxiii, 322 p. : ill. ; 25 cm.ISBN: 0394579356; 9780394579351.Subject(s): Urban poor -- United States | African Americans -- Employment | Inner cities -- United States | Afro-Americans Employment | Inner cities United States | Urban poor United StatesDDC classification: 362.5/0973/091732 LOC classification: HV4045 | .W553 1996Other classification: 71.68
Contents:
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.
Summary: 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.Summary: 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.Summary: 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.
Tags from this library: No tags from this library for this title. Log in to add tags.
Fiction notes: Click to open in new window
Item type Current location Call number Status Date due Barcode
Book University of Texas At Tyler
Stacks - 3rd Floor
HV4045 .W553 1996 (Browse shelf) Available 0000001295070

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.

Reviews provided by Syndetics

CHOICE Review

Wilson's excellent, well-integrated sequel to his The Truly Disadvantaged (CH, Apr'88) treats both analysis and policy. Using a blend of survey and ethnographic information, Wilson focuses on the devastating effects of the loss of blue collar jobs on individuals, families, and institutions in Chicago's predominately black communities. He refutes the conservative position that responsibility for this situation lies with the poor themselves, their character defects, their rejection of mainstream values, their embrace of a culture of poverty. Instead, he places the blame on forces such as global restructuring, suburbanization of employment, and the consequent erosion of urban tax bases and political power. Drawing in part on the experiences of other industrialized nations, Wilson also develops a framework of long- and short-term solutions to the interrelated problems facing impoverished neighborhoods. A key to the success of such solutions is that they must not be, or be seen to be, race specific. Wilson believes that for such policies to become reality and for ghetto conditions to materially improve a progressive political movement must be developed. This accessible and persuasive book is highly recommended to students and scholars alike, especially to public policy makers who reject victim-blaming demagoguery and want to achieve real solutions to these problems. K. Hadden University of Connecticut

Author notes provided by Syndetics

William Julius Wilson, an American sociologist, received his Ph.D. from Washington State University in 1966 and teaches at the University of Chicago. His scholarly work, written from both historical and sociological perspectives, has concentrated on the condition of African Americans living in inner cities, especially the underclass. He stresses urban divisions separating the middle class from the poor. (Bowker Author Biography)

There are no comments for this item.

Log in to your account to post a comment.