The Era of De-Industrialization
The United States shifted from a manufacturing to a service-based economy in the 1980s. The shift was more commonly referred to as deindustrialization. Deindustrialization triggered the reemergence of mass unemployment. Around the mid 1980s, Americans began to suffer the effects of a downfall in urban communities. Good paying, manufacturing jobs that once provided a living wage vanished. The decline of manufacturing jobs in America led to excessive drug and crime rates, degrading living conditions, and social isolation and racial tension amongst the urban community residents. As jobs declined in America the crime and drug rate increased rapidly in urban communities. In When Work Disappears, Wilson explains how high rates of joblessness initiated gang violence and crime. In the high jobless areas, the children were expected to engage in activities associated with drugs and crime to “fit in”. Wilson introduces the reader to many examples of people that observe drug trafficking in the impoverished areas. For example, Wilson addresses a 35-year-old unemployed man who explains why he deals with drugs. The man cannot get a job and resorts to selling cocaine (Pg. 58-59). The living conditions during the time of de-industrialization become unbearable. Moore’s Roger and Me illustrates how people are evicted from their homes in Flint, Michigan by the Eviction Police. In a particular scene of the movie, a single African-American mother cannot pay the rent for her home because of the lack of a paying job. Social Isolation and racial problems became serious social aspects during the decline of manufacturing jobs. Wilson explains the correlation between highly segregated groups to an overall increase in poverty (Pg.16). The racial tension caused the segregated ghettos to be less conducive to employment. Also, the segregation resulted in social isolation between certain families which in return caused an inability to acquire human skills...
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