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Urban Ills

Twenty-first-Century Complexities of Urban Living in Global Contexts, Volume 1

Edited by Carol Camp Yeakey; Vetta L. Sanders Thompson and Anjanette Wells

Urban Ills: Twenty First Century Complexities of Urban Living in Global Contexts is a collection of original research focused on critical challenges and dilemmas to living in cities. Volume 1 examines both the economic impact of urban life and the social realities of urban living. The editors define the ecology of urban living as the relationship and adjustment of humans to a highly dense, diverse, and complex environment. This approach examines the nexus between the distribution of human groups with reference to material resources and the consequential social, political, economic, and cultural patterns which evolve as a result of the sufficiency or insufficiency of those material resources. They emphasize the most vulnerable populations suffering during and after the recession in the United States and around the world. The chapters seek to explore emerging issues and trends affecting the lives of the poor, minorities, immigrants, women, and children. « less more »
Lexington Books
Pages: 456Size: 6 1/4 x 9 3/8
978-0-7391-7700-6 • Hardback • November 2013 • $116.00 • (£75.00)
978-0-7391-8560-5 • Paperback • October 2015 • $39.99 • (£24.95)
978-0-7391-7701-3 • eBook • November 2013 • $37.99 • (£24.95)
Carol Camp Yeakey is founding director of the Interdisciplinary Program in Urban Studies and its Center on Urban Research and Public Policy at Washington University in St. Louis. She also holds faculty appointments as professor of education; of international & area studies; of American culture studies; and of urban studies at Washington University in St. Louis.

Vetta Sanders Thompson is associate professor at Washington University in St. Louis where she holds faculty appointments in the George Warren Brown School of Social Work; the Institute of Public Health; and Urban Studies.

Anjanette Wells is assistant professor at Washington University in St. Louis’ George Warren Brown School of Social Work with faculty appointments in the Institute of Public Health, and Urban Studies.
Dedication Page
Section One: Economic Impact on Urban Life
Chapter One: “’Running in Place:’ Low Wage Work in a High Tech Economy”
Chapter Two: “Social Closure or Financialization: Stratification and Race in the Service Economy”
Chapter Three: “To Heat or to Eat: The Detrimental Effects of Competing Commodity Costs on Low Income Families”
Chapter Four: “Home Ownership among the Low Income in Boston, Massachusetts”
Chapter Five: “Coming and Going: Effects of Change in Household Composition on the Economic Wellbeing of Families with Children”
Chapter Six: “Predictability, Flexibility, Stability: Economic Restructuring and Low Wage ‘Women’s Work’”
Chapter Seven: “Surprising Diversity in Financial Stability: A Cluster Analysis of Center for Working Families Clients in Twelve (12) Low Income Chicago Communities”
Section Two: Social Realities of Urban Living
Chapter Eight: “Where Did My Neighbors Go? Revealing Geographies of Post-
Chapter Nine: “How Urban Shrinkage Impacts on Patterns of Socio-Spatial Segregation: Insights from Case Studies in Germany, Italy, and the Czech Republic”
Chapter Ten: “Is the Grass Any Greener on the Other Side of the Projects? Public Housing Relocation and Resident Outcomes in Atlanta, Georgia”
Chapter Eleven: Revisiting the U.S. Black and French Red Belts: Parallel Themes and a Shared Dilemma”
Chapter Twelve: “Poverty and Education”
Chapter Thirteen: “The Development of Coping Skills for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Students: Transitioning from Minority to Majority Environments”
Chapter Fourteen: “Human Trafficking in the U.S.: Globalization’s Impact on Dispossessed, Dominated and Discarded Populations”
Chapter Fifteen: “The Third World Near You: The American Racial Divide”

The chapters cover all of the 'social problems' that impact urban life, from housing shortages (chapter 4) to immigrant integration in suburbs (chapter 25) to gentrification (chapter 10) to the decline in public schools (chapter 12). There is even a chapter on human trafficking (chapter 14). The editors include a study of post-Hurricane Katrina Lower Ninth Ward problems for low-income residents in New Orleans (chapter 29). . . .This social problems approach connected to the editors' interest in social justice drives this wide-ranging two volumes of mostly academic research on the ups and downs of the 20th-century urban U.S. . . .Summing Up: Recommended. Graduate students in sociology and business; professional urban planners interested in understanding a wide array of urban social ills.

Poverty and inequality are areas sociology scholars have examined for generations, but these areas are still relatively unexplored by psychologists. These two volumes [Urban Ills Volume 1 and 2] are critical texts to help psychologists better situate individual psychological outcomes within micro and macro ecologies. Urban Ills clearly captures and describes the impact of economic globalization that benefits few but have consequences for many. . . .These two volumes provide readers with a context with which to understand and conceptualize the impact of urbanization within a global context. Globalization is sometimes solely equated with expanded opportunities and wealth, but in these two volumes, the authors puncture this myth: Globalization also means increased inequality, poverty, and marginalization. What the reader comes away with is a new appreciation for the complex relationship between these two perspectives, which is essentially the conundrum of global capitalism.

Hurricane Katrina, mortgage foreclosures, racism, human trafficking, mass transit, HIV AIDS, gentrification, failing schools, and chronic unemployment are used to weave a complex, revealing tapestry that lays bare the ills of contemporary urbanization. We see 'Tales of Two Cities'—with the best and worst of times—repeated around the globe in the vast economic, social, and health disparities that separate rich from poor. A thoughtful, revealing study of how context, culture, and history combine to shape life chances in 21st century cities. Urban Ills: Twenty First Century Complexities of Urban Living in Global Contexts is destined to become a classic.
Walter R. Allen, University of California, Los Angeles, Distinguished Professor of Sociology and Education