Urban Outcasts: A Comparative Sociology of Advanced Marginality
November 2007, Polity
Comparing the US 'Black Belt' with the French 'Red Belt' demonstrates that state structures and policies play a decisive role in the articulation of class, race and place on both sides of the Atlantic. It also reveals the crystallization of a new regime of marginality fuelled by the fragmentation of wage labour, the retrenchment of the social state and the concentration of dispossessed categories in stigmatized areas bereft of a collective idiom of identity and claims-making. These defamed districts are not just the residual 'sinkholes' of a bygone economic era, but also the incubators of the precarious proletariat emerging under neoliberal capitalism.
Urban Outcasts sheds new light on the explosive mix of mounting misery, stupendous affluence and festering street violence resurging in the big cities of the First World. By specifying the different causal paths and experiential forms assumed by relegation in the American and the French metropolis, this book offers indispensable tools for rethinking urban marginality and for reinvigorating the public debate over social inequality and citizenship at century's dawn.
PROLOGUE: AN OLD PROBLEM IN A NEW WORLD?.
1. The Return of the Repressed: Riots, 'Race,' and Dualization in Three Advanced Societies.
I. FROM COMMUNAL GHETTO TO HYPERGHETTO.
2. The State and Fate of the Dark Ghetto at Century's Close.
3. The Cost of Racial and Class Exclusion in 'Bronzeville'.
4. West Side Story: A High-Insecurity Ward in Chicago.
II. BLACK BELT, RED BELT.
5. From Conflation to Comparison: How Banlieues and Ghetto Converge and Contrast.
6. Stigma and Division: From the Core of Chicago to the Margins of Paris.
7. Dangerous Places: Violence, Isolation, and the State.
III.- LOOKING AHEAD: URBAN MARGINALITY IN THE 21st CENTURY.
8. The Rise of Advanced Marginality: Specifications and Implications.
9. Logics of Urban Polarization from Below.
Postcript: Theory, History, and Politics in Urban Analysis
- An outstanding and original volume from one of the USA’s leading sociologists
- Draws on a wealth of original fieldwork, surveys and historical data to show that the state of America’s urban core is due to the public policies of segregation and abandonment
- Casts new light on the explosive conjunction of mounting misery and stupendous affluence evident in the cities of advanced and advancing countries throughout the globe
- Offers indispensable tools for rethinking urban marginality and for reinvigorating the public debate about social polarization and urban inequality at century’s dawn
"This book should be mandatory reading for scholars, graduate students and advanced undergraduates interested in this subject ... this is an exciting book written by one of the most prominent urban sociologists today. It provides a useful concept for understanding urban poverty (i.e. advanced marginality), outlines a powerful argument for how advanced marginality varies in different countries and, most importantly, identifies the power of states to shape the structure of these places and the life-chances of their residents."
"Leading Chicago sociology Loic Wacquant's comparative analysis of advanced marginality in the American ghetto and French banlieue is the best of a spate of works on urban poverty to be released recently."
"A thoroughly researched manifesto for an urban sociology that empowers the new precarious labour force of the post-industrial city."
Race and Class
"[Wacquant] raises a series of valuable discussion points on methodology, scales of explanation, the value and challenges of comparative study, modes of writing, and the question of the author's positionality and its effects on the drama he is recounting - a rich harvest to garner from a single volume ... would make first-rate reading and discussion material for senior undergraduate and graduate seminars."
Annals of the Association of American Geographers
Ivan Szelenyi, author of Cities After Socialism and Patterns of Exclusion
"In this impressive book, Wacquant deploys his unparalleled knowledge of the black American ghetto and the French banlieue to tackle a series of foundational questions about inequality and poverty. He shows us the variable ways in which these two conditions get constituted in two strands of capitalism and how 'territorial stigmatization' affects both the strategies of the poor and the public policies aimed at their reserved zones. The result is a provocative analysis of polarization from below and of the lived realities of urban marginality."
Saskia Sassen, author of The Global City and Territory, Authority, Rights