Description - Urban Outcasts by Loic J. Wacquant
The American ghetto, the British inner city, and the French urban periphery are widely known as the "problem districts," the "no-go areas," the "wild" precincts of their metropolis - territories of deprivation, dereliction and danger to be shunned and feared. In this new book, Loic Wacquant reveals that urban marginality is not everywhere the same, as the reader is taken inside the dilapidated black ghetto of inner Chicago and the deindustrializing banlieue of outer Paris. Wacquant draws on a wealth of original fieldwork, surveys and historical data to show that the involution of America's urban core is due not to the emergence of an "underclass" but to the conjoint withdrawal of market and state fostered by public policies of segregation and abandonment. In European cities, the spread of quarters of "exclusion" does not herald the formation of ghettos but stems from the decomposition of working-class territories under the press of mass deproletarianization and ethnic mixing.
Wacquant goes on to show that neighbourhoods of relegation can assume a range of functions - as reservoirs of low-skill labor, warehouses for surplus populations, or spatial containers for undesirable social categories and activities - depending on the history and shape of urban relations and on the degree and type of state penetration. Urban Outcasts casts new light on the explosive conjunction of mounting misery and stupendous affluence evident in the cities of advanced and advancing countries throughout the globe. By specifying the different causal mechanisms, social modalities and experiential forms assumed by relegation in the American and the French metropolis, this bold book offers indispensable tools for rethinking urban marginality and for reinvigorating the public debate about social polarization and urban inequality at century's dawn.
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(229mm x 152mm x 23mm)
Publisher: Polity Press
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Author Biography - Loic J. Wacquant
Loic Wacquant is Professor of Sociology at the University of California-Berkeley and Researcher at the Centre de sociologie europeenne-Paris.