More than just race chapter summary
More than Just Race: Being Black and Poor in the Inner City by William Julius WilsonIn this provocative contribution to the American discourse on race, the newest book of the Issues of Our Time series edited by Henry Louis Gates Jr., William Julius Wilson applies an exciting new analytic framework to three politically fraught social problems: the persistence of the inner-city ghetto, the plight of low-skilled black males, and the fragmentation of the African American family. Though the discussion of racial inequality is typically ideologically polarized--conservatives emphasize cultural factors like worldviews and behaviors while liberals emphasize institutional forces--Wilson dares to consider both institutional and cultural factors as causes of the persistence of racial inequality. He reaches the controversial conclusion that, while structural and cultural forces are inextricably linked, public policy can change the racial status quo only by reforming the institutions that reinforce it. This book will dramatically affect policy debates and challenge many of the leaders.
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More than Just Race: Being Black and Poor in the Inner City (PART 1)
If you are someone who is concerned about issues revolving around race, poverty, reconciliaiton and justice, then these books are all worth reading. Julius Wilson. Wilson is a sociologist who was a professor at University of Chicago and is now at Harvard. Although we have made considerable progress since the days of Jim Crow segregation, it is clear that we still have a long way to go. Social structure refers to the way social positions, social roles, and networks of social relationships are arranged in our institutions, such as the economy, polity, education, and organization of the family. Culture, on the other hand, refers to the sharing of outlooks and modes of behavior among individuals who face similar place-based circumstances such as poor segregated neighborhoods or have the same social networks as when members of particular racial or ethnic groups share a particular way of understanding social life and cultural scripts that guide their behavior.
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Conservatives have a ready answer. Racism is not the problem; instead, a pervasive culture of instant gratification, violence and loose morals — think gangsta rap — keeps poor blacks from enjoying the American dream, not white racists. Liberals have a more charitable, but unfortunately more obscure, rejoinder.
When television cameras focused on the flooding, the people trapped in houses and apartments, and the vast devastation, many Americans were shocked to see the squalid living conditions of the poor. Of course, the devastation of Katrina was broadly visited upon the residents of New Orleans-black and white, rich and poor, property owner and public housing tenant alike. But although many residents were able to flee, the very poor, lacking automobiles or money for transportation and lodging, stayed to wait out the storm, with tragic results. And through Katrina, the nation's attention became riveted to these poor urban neigh borhoods. Some people argued that Katrina demonstrated how foolhardy it is to rely on the government for protection rather than on oneself and control of one's own fate. However, it is unfair and indeed unwarranted to blame people with limited resources for being trapped in their neighborhoods and vulnerable to natural disasters. People who reside in these poor, ghetto neighborhoods include notonly those on public assistance, but also the working poor, many of whom have never been on welfare.