Lecture 21 - The Sociology of Urban Poverty Table 1.1...

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The Sociology of Urban Poverty Table 1.1 Detroit’s Population o Population reached its peak in 1950 (1.8 mil) and has since dropped to 1.5 mil o However, the black population has continued to increase steadily How did Detroit go from a symbol of urban heyday (during WW2) to urban crisis? Sugrue argues that the urban crisis was not touched off by the 1967 riot in Detroit; instead … Job discrimination in postwar Detroit o Job ads often stated racial preferences o Decentralized hiring meant personnel officers could act on their prejudices o Occupational segregation was rampant i.e. much more were laborers than professionals (400 vs 30 – the ratio should be 100 to 100) o Seniority lists were separated by department and interdepartmental transfers were often banned o Personal connections were crucial, and African Americans were excluded from important networks o Craft unions were often nepotistic, and they restricted entry o African Americans were excluded from retail employment o The best job opportunities came in municipal markets 2 conflicts which harmed blacks Deindustrialization o Detroit’s economy began to experience a major restructuring in the 1950s There was capital flight to the suburbs and the Sunbelt, and employers began to rely more heavily on automation and overtime (making trained workers work longer and longer to avoid hiring more workers) o
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