Description - Moving to Opportunity by Xavier de Souza Briggs
If "badneighborhoods are truly bad for children and families, especially the minority poor, can moving to better neighborhoods lead them to better lives? Might these families escape poverty altogether, beyond having a better quality of life to help them cope with being poor? Federal policymakers and planners thought so, on both counts, and in 1994, they launched Moving to Opportunity. The $80 million social experiment enrolled nearly 5,000 very low-income, mostly black and Hispanic families, many of them on welfare, who were living in public housing in the inner-city neighborhoods of Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York. Yet five years after they had entered the program, many of the families in the favored experimentalgroup had returned to high poverty neighborhoods. Young women showed big drops in risky behavior and big improvements in mental health, on average, while young male movers did not. The males even showed signs of increased delinquency if they had lived, at least for a time, in the low poverty areas.
Parents likewise showed major drops in anxiety and depression-two of the crippling symptoms of being chronically poor in high-risk ghettos-but not in employment or income. And many movers appeared to be maintaining the same limited social circles-mostly disadvantaged relatives and close friends-despite living in more advantaged neighborhoods. The authors of this important and engaging new book wanted to know why. Moving to Opportunity tackles the great, unresolved question of how to overcome persistent ghetto poverty. It mines a unique demonstration program with a human voice, not just statistics and charts, rooted in the lives of those who "signed upfor MTO. It shines a light on the hopes, surprises, achievements and limitations of a major social experiment-and does so at a time of tremendous economic, social, and political change in our nation. As the authors make clear, for all its ambition, MTO is a uniquely American experiment, and this book brings home its lessons for policymakers and advocates, scholars, students, journalists, and all who share a deep concern for opportunity and inequality in our country.
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(235mm x 156mm x 18mm)
Oxford University Press Inc
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Author Biography - Xavier de Souza Briggs
Xavier de Souza Briggs is Associate Director of the Office of Management and Budget in The White House and Associate Professor of Sociology and Urban Planning (on leave) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. A sociologist by training, his award-winning research focuses on leadership and democratic institutions, inequality, and racial and ethnic diversity in cities. A former faculty member at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government,
Susan J. Popkin is a senior fellow in the Urban Institute's Center on Metropolitan Housing and Communities. She is a nationally recognized expert on assisted housing, mobility, and the "hard to house." Dr. Popkin is the lead author of The Hidden War: Crime and the Tragedy of Public Housing in Chicago, has written numerous papers and book chapters on housing and poverty-related issues, and is co-author of the recent book, Public Housing and The Legacy of
Segregation. Dr. Popkin received her Ph.D. in Human Development and Social Policy from Northwestern University and previously was a researcher at Abt Associates Inc. and the University of Illinois Chicago.
John Goering received his doctorate in demography and sociology from Brown University. He then designed, obtained funding for, and conducted research while a member of the faculty of several universities, lectured in both the US and Europe on this research, published over sixty articles and book-length studies,
and helped manage a large evaluation office at a major Federal agency. At the Office of Policy Development and Research at US HUD, he directed evaluation and research on a variety of neighborhood change and civil rights issues. From 1997 through Spring 1999, he served on the staff of the White House Initiative on Race. He joined the faculty of the School of Public Affairs at Baruch College of the City University of New York as Professor in 1999. He was elected to the Doctoral faculty at the
Graduate Center of CUNY in 2000.