When Work Disappears: The World of the New Urban Poorby William Julius Wilson
Wilson, one of our foremost authorities on race and poverty, challenges decades of liberal and conservative pieties to look squarely at the devastating effects that joblessness has had on our urban ghettos. Marshaling a vast array of data and the personal stories of hundreds of men and women, Wilson persuasively argues that problems endemic to America's inner
Wilson, one of our foremost authorities on race and poverty, challenges decades of liberal and conservative pieties to look squarely at the devastating effects that joblessness has had on our urban ghettos. Marshaling a vast array of data and the personal stories of hundreds of men and women, Wilson persuasively argues that problems endemic to America's inner citiesfrom fatherless households to drugs and violent crimestem directly from the disappearance of blue-collar jobs in the wake of a globalized economy. Wilson's achievement is to portray this crisis as one that affects all Americans, and to propose solutions whose benefits would be felt across our society. At a time when welfare is ending and our country's racial dialectic is more strained than ever, When Work Disappears is a sane, courageous, and desperately important work.
"Wilson is the keenest liberal analyst of the most perplexing of all American problems...[This book is] more ambitious and more accessible than anything he has done before."
The New Yorker
- Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
- Publication date:
- Edition description:
- Sales rank:
- Product dimensions:
- 5.20(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.73(d)
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
See all customer reviews
I'm taking a Sociology course and this book was extremely helpful on what my group needed to research. Our final project hypothesis is that unemployment causes neighborhood destabilization. If you have a similar project that you're going to be working on for school I would highly recommend this book. It's also great for any discussion on unemployment and the kind of individualistic society we live in. It focuses a lot on the evils of blaming people instead of a broken system and putting to bed the myth of "pulling yourself up by the bootstraps." The last chapter had some really great insights and ideas about how to handle unemployment and what we can do to help the working class poor. Great read! Highly recommended for anyone doing any kind of research on unemployment.
When Work Disappears: Book Review When Work Disappears: The World of the New Urban Poor (1996) is a book written by the author William Julius Wilson, who is Professor of Social Policy at Harvard. Wilson argues that the the sudden vanishing of work and the negative product of that disappearance for both social and cultural life is the central issues in the inner-city ghetto. He set out to discuss social disorganization without singling out the poor. Wilson writes that continuous joblessness has deprived those in the inner city of skills needed to find and keep jobs. Wilson's book uses evidence from large-scale scientific surveys in the ghetto and information pulled from ethnography styled interviews of ghetto residents in order to create a complete picture of the problems that face the residents.Wilson writes that people who live in the disorganized, job deprived ghettos face dim prospects. Poor public transportation often fails to provide access to job locations, stereotypes about poor blacks, especially black men also make jobs more difficult to obtain. Wilson pays no mind to the idea that inner-city residents have a "culture of poverty" or damaged personalities. He holds that directly assessing the problem of joblessness is the solution to urban inner-city issues. Wilson supports work programs modeled after those after the Depression. Wilson ties the disappearance of inner-city jobs to industrial restructuring, suburbanization, foreign competition, and racism. Overall I enjoyed reading this book, however, there was too much included that I felt I already knew. There were interviews on subjects I can personally relate to and that made it easier to read. I liked the seriousness and the direct message to the reader that this needs to stop. But, I felt that Wilson made it over complicated and he may have stretched the issues a bit too far. I recommend this book to anyone who wants to see what is actually going on in the world of the American urban poor communities.
Wilson is not affraid to tell us what is wrong with our society, he also has a plan for fixing it. When Wilson speak Washington ought to listen.