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Matthew Desmond

In: The SAGE Handbook of the 21st Century City

Chapter 7: Eviction and the Reproduction of Urban Poverty1

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Eviction and the Reproduction of Urban Poverty1
Eviction and the Reproduction of Urban Poverty
Matthew Desmond

Ever since the earliest writings of the Chicago school, sociologists have pondered the movement of people across the metropolis. Invasion and succession, residential mobility and migration, instability and neighborhood change—shifts and sortings forming “the tidelands of city life” (Zorbaugh 1929, p. 3)—these have been central to the study of urban society and its problems.

Social scientists have amassed considerable evidence that poor families exhibit high levels of residential mobility, moving, in most cases, from one disadvantaged neighborhood to another (South and Crowder 1998; Sampson and Sharkey 2008). Although we have sound theories that explain why people move out of the slum, parlaying higher earnings into residential ...

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