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When Work Disappears

When Work Disappears WILLIAM JULIUS WILSON For the first time in the twentieth century most adults in many inner- city ghetto neighborhoods are not working in a typical week. The disappearance of work has adversely affected not only individuals, families, and neighborhoods, but the social life of the city at large as well. Inner-city joblessness is a severe problem that is often overlooked or obscured when the focus is placed mainly on poverty and its consequences. Despite increases in the concentration of poverty since 1970, inner cities have always featured high levels of poverty, but the current levels of joblessness in some neighborhoods are unprecedented. The consequences of high neighborhood joblessness are more devastating than those of high neighborhood poverty. A neighborhood in which people are poor but employed is different from a neighborhood in which people are poor and jobless. Many of today’s problems in the inner-city ghetto neighborhoods— crime, family dissolution, welfare, low levels of social organization, and so on- are fundamentally a consequence of the disappearance of work. The disappearance of work and the growth of related problems in the ghetto have aggravated an already tense racial situation in urban areas. Our nation’s response to racial discord in the http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Political Science Quarterly Oxford University Press

When Work Disappears

Political Science Quarterly , Volume 111 (4): 29 – Dec 15, 1996

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References (7)

Copyright
1996 The Academy of Political Science
ISSN
0032-3195
eISSN
1538-165X
DOI
10.2307/2152085
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

WILLIAM JULIUS WILSON For the first time in the twentieth century most adults in many inner- city ghetto neighborhoods are not working in a typical week. The disappearance of work has adversely affected not only individuals, families, and neighborhoods, but the social life of the city at large as well. Inner-city joblessness is a severe problem that is often overlooked or obscured when the focus is placed mainly on poverty and its consequences. Despite increases in the concentration of poverty since 1970, inner cities have always featured high levels of poverty, but the current levels of joblessness in some neighborhoods are unprecedented. The consequences of high neighborhood joblessness are more devastating than those of high neighborhood poverty. A neighborhood in which people are poor but employed is different from a neighborhood in which people are poor and jobless. Many of today’s problems in the inner-city ghetto neighborhoods— crime, family dissolution, welfare, low levels of social organization, and so on- are fundamentally a consequence of the disappearance of work. The disappearance of work and the growth of related problems in the ghetto have aggravated an already tense racial situation in urban areas. Our nation’s response to racial discord in the

Journal

Political Science QuarterlyOxford University Press

Published: Dec 15, 1996

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