moving to opportunity the story of an american experiment to fight ghetto poverty

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Moving To Opportunity

Author : Xavier de Souza Briggs
ISBN : 0199741867
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 75. 41 MB
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Moving to Opportunity tackles one of America's most enduring dilemmas: the great, unresolved question of how to overcome persistent ghetto poverty. Launched in 1994, the MTO program took a largely untested approach: helping families move from high-poverty, inner-city public housing to low-poverty neighborhoods, some in the suburbs. The book's innovative methodology emphasizes the voices and choices of the program's participants but also rigorously analyzes the changing structures of regional opportunity and constraint that shaped the fortunes of those who "signed up." It shines a light on the hopes, surprises, achievements, and limitations of a major social experiment. As the authors make clear, for all its ambition, MTO is a uniquely American experiment, and this book brings home its powerful lessons for policymakers and advocates, scholars, students, journalists, and all who share a deep concern for opportunity and inequality in our country.

It Takes A Nation

Author : Rebecca M. Blank
ISBN : 9780691004013
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 24. 86 MB
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As Americans experiment with dismantling the nation's welfare system, clichés and slogans proliferate, ranging from charges that the poor are simply lazy to claims that existing antipoverty programs have failed completely. In this impeccably researched book, Rebecca Blank provides the definitive antidote to the scapegoating, guesswork, and outright misinformation of today's welfare debates. Demonstrating that government aid has been far more effective than most people think, she also explains that even private support for the poor depends extensively on public funds. It takes a nation to fight a problem as pervasive and subtle as modern poverty, and this book argues that we should continue to implement a mix of private and public programs. Federal, state, and local assistance should go hand in hand with private efforts at community development and personal empowerment and change. The first part of the book investigates the changing nature of poverty in America. Poverty is harder to combat now than in the past, both because of the changing demographics of who is poor as well as the major deterioration in earnings among less-skilled workers. The second part of the book delves into policies designed to reduce poverty, presenting evidence that many though not all programs have done exactly what they set out to do. The final chapters provide an excellent review of recent policy changes and make workable suggestions for how to improve public assistance programs to assure a safety net, while still encouraging poor adults to find employment and support their families.

Why Don T American Cities Burn

Author : Michael B. Katz
ISBN : 9780812205206
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 60. 50 MB
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At 1:27 on the morning of August 4, 2005, Herbert Manes fatally stabbed Robert Monroe, known as Shorty, in a dispute over five dollars. It was a horrific yet mundane incident for the poor, heavily African American neighborhood of North Philadelphia—one of seven homicides to occur in the city that day and yet not make the major newspapers. For Michael B. Katz, an urban historian and a juror on the murder trial, the story of Manes and Shorty exemplified the marginalization, social isolation, and indifference that plague American cities. Introduced by the gripping narrative of this murder and its circumstances, Why Don't American Cities Burn? charts the emergence of the urban forms that underlie such events. Katz traces the collision of urban transformation with the rightward-moving social politics of late twentieth- and early twenty-first-century America. He shows how the bifurcation of black social structures produced a new African American inequality and traces the shift from images of a pathological black "underclass" to praise of the entrepreneurial poor who take advantage of new technologies of poverty work to find the beginning of the path to the middle class. He explores the reasons American cities since the early 1970s have remained relatively free of collective violence while black men in bleak inner-city neighborhoods have turned their rage inward on one another rather than on the agents and symbols of a culture and political economy that exclude them. The book ends with a meditation on how the political left and right have come to believe that urban transformation is inevitably one of failure and decline abetted by the response of government to deindustrialization, poverty, and race. How, Katz asks, can we construct a new narrative that acknowledges the dark side of urban history even as it demonstrates the capacity of government to address the problems of cities and their residents? How can we create a politics of modest hope?

Neighbourhood Effects Research New Perspectives

Author : Maarten van Ham
ISBN : 9400723091
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 48. 43 MB
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Over the last 25 years a vast body of literature has been published on neighbourhood effects: the idea that living in more deprived neighbourhoods has a negative effect on residents’ life chances over and above the effect of their individual characteristics. The volume of work not only reflects academic and policy interest in this topic, but also the fact that we are still no closer to answering the question of how important neighbourhood effects actually are. There is little doubt that these effects exist, but we do not know enough about the causal mechanisms which produce them, their relative importance in shaping individual’s life chances, the circumstances or conditions under which they are most important, or the most effective policy responses. Collectively, the chapters in this book offer new perspectives on these questions, and refocus the academic debate on neighbourhood effects. The book enriches the neighbourhood effects literature with insights from a wide range of disciplines and countries.

Living The Drama

Author : David J. Harding
ISBN : 0226316661
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 20. 74 MB
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For the middle class and the affluent, local ties seem to matter less and less these days, but in the inner city, your life can be irrevocably shaped by what block you live on. Living the Drama takes a close look at three neighborhoods in Boston to analyze the many complex ways that the context of community shapes the daily lives and long-term prospects of inner-city boys. David J. Harding studied sixty adolescent boys growing up in two very poor areas and one working-class area. In the first two, violence and neighborhood identification are inextricably linked as rivalries divide the city into spaces safe, neutral, or dangerous. Consequently, Harding discovers, social relationships are determined by residential space. Older boys who can navigate the dangers of the streets serve as role models, and friendships between peers grow out of mutual protection. The impact of community goes beyond the realm of same-sex bonding, Harding reveals, affecting the boys’ experiences in school and with the opposite sex. A unique glimpse into the world of urban adolescent boys, Living the Drama paints a detailed, insightful portrait of life in the inner city.

The Geography Of Opportunity

Author : Xavier de Souza Briggs
ISBN : 0815797788
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 43. 68 MB
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A popular version of history trumpets the United States as a diverse "nation of immigrants," welcome to all. The truth, however, is that local communities have a long history of ambivalence toward new arrivals and minorities. Persistent patterns of segregation by race and income still exist in housing and schools, along with a growing emphasis on rapid metropolitan development (sprawl) that encourages upwardly mobile families to abandon older communities and their problems. This dual pattern is becoming increasingly important as America grows more diverse than ever and economic inequality increases. Two recent trends compel new attention to these issues. First, the geography of race and class represents a crucial litmus test for the new "regionalism"—the political movement to address the linked fortunes of cities and suburbs. Second, housing has all but disappeared as a major social policy issue over the past two decades. This timely book shows how unequal housing choices and sprawling development create an unequal geography of opportunity. It emerges from a project sponsored by the Civil Rights Project at Harvard University in collaboration with the Joint Center for Housing Studies and the Brookings Institution. The contributors—policy analysts, political observers, social scientists, and urban planners—document key patterns, their consequences, and how we can respond, taking a hard look at both successes and failures of the past. Place still matters, perhaps more than ever. High levels of segregation shape education and job opportunity, crime and insecurity, and long-term economic prospects. These problems cannot be addressed effectively if society assumes that segregation will take care of itself. Contributors include William Apgar (Harvard University), Judith Bell (PolicyLink), Angela Glover Blackwell (PolicyLink), Allegra Calder (Harvard), Karen Chapple (Cal-Berkeley), Camille Charles (Penn), Mary Cunningham (Urban Institute), Casey Dawkins (Virginia Tech), Stephanie DeLuca (Johns Hopkins), John Goering (CUNY), Edward Goetz (U. of Minnesota), Bruce Katz (Brookings), Barbara Lukermann (U. of Minnesota), Gerrit Knaap (U. of Maryland), Arthur Nelson (Virginia Tech), Rolf Pendall (Cornell), Susan J. Popkin (Urban Institute), James Rosenbaum (Northwestern), Stephen L. Ross (U. of Connecticut), Mara Sidney (Rutgers), Phillip Tegeler (Poverty and Race Research Action Council), Tammy Tuck (Northwestern), Margery Austin Turner (Urban Institute), William Julius Wilson (Harvard).

Our Kids

Author : Robert D. Putnam
ISBN : 9781476769912
Genre : History
File Size : 20. 95 MB
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A New York Times bestseller and “a passionate, urgent” (The New Yorker) examination of the growing inequality gap from the bestselling author of Bowling Alone: why fewer Americans today have the opportunity for upward mobility. Central to the very idea of America is the principle that we are a nation of opportunity. But over the last quarter century we have seen a disturbing “opportunity gap” emerge. We Americans have always believed that those who have talent and try hard will succeed, but this central tenet of the American Dream seems no longer true or at the least, much less true than it was. In Our Kids, Robert Putnam offers a personal and authoritative look at this new American crisis, beginning with the example of his high school class of 1959 in Port Clinton, Ohio. The vast majority of those students went on to lives better than those of their parents. But their children and grandchildren have faced diminishing prospects. Putnam tells the tale of lessening opportunity through poignant life stories of rich, middle class, and poor kids from cities and suburbs across the country, brilliantly blended with the latest social-science research. “A truly masterful volume” (Financial Times), Our Kids provides a disturbing account of the American dream that is “thoughtful and persuasive” (The Economist). Our Kids offers a rare combination of individual testimony and rigorous evidence: “No one can finish this book and feel complacent about equal opportunity” (The New York Times Book Review).

The Cultural Matrix

Author : Orlando Patterson
ISBN : 9780674967304
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 53. 60 MB
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The Cultural Matrix seeks to unravel an American paradox: the socioeconomic crisis and social isolation of disadvantaged black youth, on the one hand, and their extraordinary integration and prominence in popular culture on the other. This interdisciplinary work explains how a complex matrix of cultures influences black youth.

American Project

Author : Sudhir Alladi VENKATESH
ISBN : 9780674044654
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 83. 27 MB
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High-rise public housing developments were signature features of the post-World War II city. A hopeful experiment in providing temporary, inexpensive housing for all Americans, the "projects" soon became synonymous with the black urban poor, with isolation and overcrowding, with drugs, gang violence, and neglect. As the wrecking ball brings down some of these concrete monoliths, Sudhir Venkatesh seeks to reexamine public housing from the inside out, and to salvage its troubled legacy.

Democracy As Problem Solving

Author : Xavier de Souza Briggs
ISBN : 9780262262019
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 43. 51 MB
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Complexity, division, mistrust, and "process paralysis" can thwart leaders and others when they tackle local challenges. In Democracy as Problem Solving, Xavier de Souza Briggs shows how civic capacity -- the capacity to create and sustain smart collective action -- can be developed and used. In an era of sharp debate over the conditions under which democracy can develop while broadening participation and building community, Briggs argues that understanding and building civic capacity is crucial for strengthening governance and changing the state of the world in the process. More than managing a contest among interest groups or spurring deliberation to reframe issues, democracy can be what the public most desires: a recipe for significant progress on important problems. Briggs examines efforts in six cities, in the United States, Brazil, India, and South Africa, that face the millennial challenges of rapid urban growth, economic restructuring, and investing in the next generation. These challenges demand the engagement of government, business, and nongovernmental sectors. And the keys to progress include the ability to combine learning and bargaining continuously, forge multiple forms of accountability, and find ways to leverage the capacity of the grassroots and what Briggs terms the "grasstops," regardless of who initiates change or who participates over time. Civic capacity, Briggs shows, can -- and must -- be developed even in places that lack traditions of cooperative civic action.

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