Solving Black Inner City Poverty

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DUE DATE: 10/8/10


Solving Black Inner-City Poverty: William Julius Wilson, Films for the Humanities, Inc., 1994 [30 minutes]

1. What has been the main cause of the rise of concentrated poverty in the urban ghetto since the 1970s according to Wilson? (4 points)

Wilson argues that one of the main cause of the rise of concentrated poverty in the urban ghetto since the 1970s is the fact of segregation. In the 1970s the poor, middle class and upper class all lived in the same neighborhoods. This gave the poor more opportunities to find jobs through interaction with the wealthier tier of citizens. Nowadays, the less fortunate cluster in the ghettos and create their own life-ways, which makes it increasingly difficult to get out of the vicious circle. The schools in the neighborhood are not adequate, there are less opportunities and they cant live up to the morals and values that they would like to, but form their own.

Another major factor to why the poor stay poor is the fact that single-mom households have increased from 20% in the 1970s to 51% today and the struggle it is for them to get out of the ghetto being what they are. In his book The Declining Significance of Race he further examines the question; "Why do poverty and unequal opportunity persist in the lives of so many African Americans?" In response, he traces the history and current state of powerful structural factors impacting African Americans, such as discrimination in laws, policies, hiring, housing, and education. He argues against either/or politicized views of poverty among African Americans that either focus blame solely on cultural factors or only on unjust structural factors. He tries to demonstrate the importance of understanding not only the independent contributions of social structure and culture, but also how they interact to shape different group outcomes that embody racial inequality.

2. What are some elements of the informal sex code that...
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