This textbook of essays by leading critical urbanists is a compelling introduction to an important field of study; it interrogates contemporary conflicts and contradictions inherent in the social experience of living in cities that are undergoing neoliberal restructuring, and grapples with profound questions and challenging policy considerations about diversity, equity, and justice. A stimulant to debate in any undergraduate urban studies classroom, this book will inspire a new generation of urban social scholars.

Being Poor in the City

Being Poor in the City

Being Poor in the City
Geoff DeVerteuil


There has been a long-standing academic fascination with urban deprivation, spanning nineteenth-century social reformer investigations into the impoverished inner city (Ames, 1897; Booth, 1902), to the Chicago School of Urban Sociology obsession with the ‘zone of transition’ (Park and Burgess, 1925), to more recent forays into subaltern studies (Gregory, 1994; Spivak, 1988) and revanchism and the post-justice city (Mitchell, 2001; Smith, 1996). A 2009 conference in Toronto entitled ‘Lumpen-city’ asserted that ‘research on marginalized urban residents has been an academic cottage industry throughout the history of the social sciences’.

The focus of this chapter is on how the lower class experiences poverty, not only socially and economically but especially spatially. Geographical interest in poverty has ...

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