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  1. American Inequality in the Long Run

    Can this theory explain why inequality is growing in the United States? Piketty asserted that his theory was best tested with data from France, whose history was, he argued, “more typical and more pertinent for understanding the future” than the historical experience of the United States (p. 29). Nevertheless, and no doubt because Capital in the Twenty-First Century sold so many copies, some university publishers in recent years have been willing to gamble on big, dry books of historical inequality statistics that purport to test his arguments against American data.
  2. Exploiting Ambiguity: A Moral Polysemy Approach to Variation in Economic Practices

    Sociologists have shown that the relationships people establish between moral orientations and market practices vary considerably across historical, geographic, and institutional contexts. Less attention has been paid to situational variation in how the same actors moralize different economic goals, especially in their workplace. This article offers an account of situational variation by theorizing the implications of the ambiguity of moral values for economic activity.
  3. Commercial Gentrification Indexes: Using Business Directories to Map Urban Change at the Street Level

    This article presents the case for utilizing business directories in building commercial gentrification indexes as tools for research on neighborhood change. It reviews several existing methods of capturing retail change within the growing literature, codifies them as the boutique index, the food index, and the ethnic index, and discusses methodological issues that emerge in building them.

  4. Shopping Streets and Neighborhood Identity: Retail Theming as Symbolic Ownership in New York

    As the economies of production and trade have dwindled in Western cities, urban locales have had to capitalize on other opportunities for growth. Middle and upper class consumers are now sought after resources for cities and neighborhoods once supported by manufacturing. This article considers the role of local retail actors in shifting neighborhood identity towards luxury consumption.

  5. The Public Library as Resistive Space in the Neoliberal City

    With reduced hours, decaying infrastructure, and precariously positioned staff, local public libraries provide much needed services in cities devastated by inequality and slashed safety nets. In this article, I draw on ethnographic research of a small public library in a diverse, mostly working class neighborhood in Queens, New York. I show that in addition to providing an alternative to the capitalist market by distributing resources according to people's needs, the library serves as a moral underground space, where middle‐class people bend rules to help struggling city residents.

  6. The Contemporary Defended Neighborhood: Maintaining Stability and Diversity through Processes of Community Defense

    This article extends Suttles’ (1972) theory of the defended neighborhood by applying the framework to a contemporary context and exploring the social processes that residents of a diverse community used to defend their neighborhood from change.

  7. Remembering the City: Changing Conceptions of Community in Urban China

    Adopting complimentary integrative research methodologies, this article examines changing conceptions of community among urban residents within the city of Suzhou, Jiangsu province, China. Through local residents’ past memories, “everyday” experiences of (former) urban communities, and reflections on a particular way of life, we focus upon the subjective/affective meanings and memories attached to processes of urban change.

  8. Relationship to Place for Older Adults in a New York City Neighborhood Undergoing Gentrification: A Discourse Analysis

    While many older adults live in neighborhoods undergoing gentrification, research rarely explores their narratives about the gentrification process and their relationships with gentrifiers. This study uses discourse analysis of ethnographic data in Queens, NY, to identify repertoires in older adults’ narratives about the meaning of place and gentrification.

  9. Racialized Recovery: Postforeclosure Pathways in Boston Neighborhoods

    Following the Great Recession, homeownership rates declined precipitously, raising concerns for the stability and well‐being of neighborhoods. While many studies document shifts in household constraints, this article draws from foreclosure records from 2006 to 2011, subsequent transactions, tax exemption filings, and maintenance data in Boston, Massachusetts to show how the foreclosure crisis altered the landscape of ownership and unfolded differentially across hard‐hit neighborhoods.

  10. Confronting Race in American Criminal Justice Reform

    The contemporary American criminal justice system is neither rational nor just. Nor is it color-blind. Despite decades of declines in crime and much talk of policy reform, the criminal justice system remains an established feature of racial inequality in the United States.