Veal_1010_WhenWorkDisappears - When Work Disappears by...

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When Work Disappears by William Wilson A valid question that can be asked is what happens when work disappears? William Wilson responds with very specific and detailed explanations as to what happens when work disappears in the inner-city neighborhoods of Chicago and what are some of the causes of those effects. First, Wilson finds it very important to give first-hand responses of residents living in these neighborhoods. Dispersed throughout the book’s chapters, there are interviews from inhabitants who are experiencing what it is like to be subject to these harsh social conditions in working middle class to poor neighborhoods. Conditions of joblessness, unemployment, high crime rates, prejudiced views, gangs, and downward mobility. Chapter one opens as one resident talk about changes of when she first moved to the South Side of Chicago since the early 1950s. Others talked about how there were abundant and affluent places of business to find work and make a living but now there were none. Vacant lots fill what used to be thriving drug stores, grocery stores, and other local businesses. Wilson described it as the social deterioration of ghetto neighborhoods as the concern of the residents. They once lived on lively streets with the rush-hour crowds but now the neighborhood looked like a “bombed-out war zone” according to Loïc Wacquant, a researcher from the Urban Poverty and Family Life study. Also from the 1960s to 1990s there was a white and black exodus of residents in the Woodlawn neighborhood causing depopulation and resulting in higher economic and social deterioration. We come to ask ourselves, but why do people continue to live in these poverty-stricken neighborhoods? According to Wilson, one explanation is due to the low educational achievement of inner-city residents and the ineffective Head-Start programs implemented in the public school system. It fails to provide children with some of the basic and extended tools to further apply themselves after they leave high school and enter the job applicant pool. Another reason residents continue to live in dangerous neighborhoods is that they cannot afford to move out of
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Veal 2 their homes due to the lack of sufficient funds caused by unemployment and joblessness. Joblessness creates the burden of remaining in a drug-infested, gang-concentrated, and crime- ridden community. Most blacks face discriminatory practices, such as redlining, or lenders denying home-buyers credit or loans to finance their home usually based solely on race or where they live. Throughout the book, Wilson uses the term “social organization,” to describe the function of how any type of neighborhood works. It is made up of three components: the strength, prevalence, and interdependence of social networks; the extent of collective supervision that the residents exercise and the degree of personal responsibility they assume in addressing neighborhood problems; and the rate of resident participation in voluntary and formal
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This note was uploaded on 09/13/2011 for the course SOCI 3860 taught by Professor Staff during the Summer '11 term at UGA.

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Veal_1010_WhenWorkDisappears - When Work Disappears by...

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