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Ghetto

  • By: David Wilson
  • In: Encyclopedia of Geography
  • Edited by: Barney Warf
  • Subject:General Geography, Earth & Environmental Science

The concept ghetto is much debated and controversial in Anglophone geography, the social sciences, and public policy. Conflicting and clashing ideologies—conservatism, liberalism, and radicalism—all proclaim a definitive unearthing of its essence. Many agree that the concept today references a distinctive space inhabited by one stratum of the American population: the poor and relatively isolated. This space, almost universally associated with U.S. cities, identifies a core of underemployed and unemployed persons whose limited social and spatial mobility confines them to the inner city. In this context, a population disproportionately black and Latino is distinguished on the basis of material deprivation, lack of opportunities for upward mobility, limited spatial mobility, and immersion in disinvested neighborhoods. The pathbreaking exposition of black ghettos in urban America by Harold Rose ...

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