Living on the Boundaries: Urban Marginality in National and International Contexts: Volume 8
Table of contents(32 chapters)
List of Contributors
Living on the Boundaries: Urban Marginality in National and International Contexts is a volume long overdue. With the impact of the Great Recession of 2009 and its resultant impacts on a global scale, we are witnessing crises and institutional collapse on a major scale. Systemic problems go well beyond institutional crises brought on by collapsed economies and corporate excesses, but involve and make worse issues of inequality, racism, sexism, inadequate housing and health care, un/employment, poverty, underachievement, inadequate schooling and crime and justice. Periodically, our social science research and public policies have tended to assume that our social problems and social ills could be resolved. However with growing income inequality, there is notable tension developing between the ‘haves’ and ‘have nots’. During periods of tight economies, contemporary thinking is reminiscent of Social Darwinism, that social ills and social problems can be traced to laziness, lack of ambition and deficiencies among the lower social classes. The shifting nature of work, global economic competition and technological advance has and will continue to have marked influence on jobs, income and social mobility in both developed and developing countries. The purpose of Living on the Boundaries: Urban Marginality in National and International Contexts is to raise questions and provide its readers with well-rounded and expansive frames of analysis to question, to view and to improve upon the societies in which they live. Our purpose will be accomplished if this volume helps its readers to begin their own process of questioning and addressing the substantive issues involved.
Living on the Boundaries: Urban Marginality in National and International Contexts examines the complex, often controversial issues impacting those who live on the margins of society in our densely populated cities. The topic warrants research compiled by an international array of scholars and intellectuals from a wide range of disciplines, including but not limited to sociology, economics, political science, psychology, education, public health, law, criminology, history, urban studies, geography and demography, and urban planning, among others. This volume, from the first chapter to the last, richly details and informs us about the human condition, from multidisciplinary perspectives, about urban life in global contexts. Why is the study of urban life and urban marginality so consequential? The answer is simple. Because of the unprecedented pace of urbanization, a majority of humans now live in highly dense areas, in our cities. It is our cities which project the visual imagery of the stark class divisions in society. By 2050, it is projected that two thirds of the world's population will live in cities. Any volume which attempts to present dynamic issues in global contexts moves us toward resolving many of the conflicting and confounding issues which plague humankind, in the present, and will be with us in the future, if workable solutions are not found. As one reads the ensuing pages, you cannot help but come away better informed, noting the symmetry of complex societal issues of urban marginality across national boundaries.
This chapter examines the unraveling of the social contract and the social welfare safety net for the poor and vulnerable populations in many countries following the Great Recession which began in 2007 and ended in 2009. Analyzing data on income inequality, links between individual and parental earnings, and intergenerational poverty data, among others, this chapter dispels the notion of trickle-down economics, the notion that the benefits of economic growth automatically trickle down to the disadvantaged. The growing divisions between the “haves” and “have-nots” point toward growing inequality and marginality on a global scale.
This chapter provides an overview of the role of socioeconomic status (SES) in health, including disease, health behaviors, and access to health. The literature on the social determinants of health is reviewed. The chapter then provides a review of the health status of the homeless, poor, and near-poor. The incidence and mortality rates for leading diseases and health behaviors are reviewed, in addition to issues of environmental exposures, access to care, and health literacy. SES is one of the strongest predictors of health status (Kahng, 2010; Kawachi & Kennedy, 1997; Link & Phelan, 1996). SES is important to health regardless of a person's social status and in general, the more advantaged individuals are, the better their health, and the more disadvantaged individuals are, the greater their chances of increased morbidity and mortality (Adler et al., 1994; Adler & Coriell, 1997, Kidder, Wolitski, Campsmith, & Nakamura, 2007; Zlotnick and Zerger, 2009).
The chapter provides an overview of strategies and policies to address the health needs of the poor and vulnerable in our society, including workplace wellness strategies and school-based health clinics. The authors suggest ways to extend these innovative practices. This chapter emphasizes an approach to addressing the health of the poor and near-poor that acknowledges the significant role that access to social and economic resources plays in the acquisition and maintenance of health. Recommendations for health interventions are focused on strengthening the utilization of community institutions to deliver needed services.
This chapter examines the educational barriers that homeless youth face in one large urban area. The text reviews the McKinney–Vento Homeless Assistance Act and discusses how California has attempted to follow the federal mandates, and the implications for Los Angeles. The chapter utilizes interviews with 120 homeless youth and 45 policymakers, school counselors, and after-school program coordinators in Los Angeles to understand how youth experience the education system. The authors identify aspects of the federal mandate that impede the educational progress of homeless youth. The findings highlight that homeless youth are not a homogenous group and educational supports need to be designed recognizing the diversity of their needs. Implications for policy and program implementation are discussed as they pertain to one large city in order to generate future research that might support, contradict, or expand upon the findings.
This study is designed to identify the policy shift on migrant children's11There are various definitions of migrant children in urban China. In this research, migrant children refer to the children from rural areas who have resided with their parents at the urban areas for at least six months without local household registration status. education at national level in urban China22With the rapid socioeconomic development and urbanization in China, the definition of urban China is changing. In this research, urban China refers to the major cities in China, such as Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Tianjin, Chongqing, and so forth. during the past decades. Meanwhile, it is expected to explore the policy limitations reflected by the practice at school level regarding accommodating migrant children's education.
This study is conducted through policy review regarding education for migrant children and analysis of data collected through questionnaires and interviews at one public junior high school in Beijing.
This study identifies a positive change of involving migrant children in urban public schools. However, there is a need for flexible mechanism that can fully accommodate various needs regarding migrant children's education in urban public schools.
The study argues the necessity of a multipartnership for establishing a sustainable public education system for accommodating migrant children education in urban public schools.
Being different from other research on the same issue in urban China, this study leads a new round of discussion on the quality education for migrant children.
The chapter explains how and why the Toronto District School Board (TDSB)'s Safe Schools policy has moved from a zero tolerance approach to progressive discipline and prevention and examines the outcomes for racialized students.
The chapter draws on findings from a critical policy analysis of the TDSB's Safe Schools policy cycle and its connections to various provincial policy cycles through a conceptual policy web.
The TDSB's transition from a zero tolerance approach to discipline to a combination of progressive discipline and prevention has arisen from complaints against the board and the government of Ontario filed by Ontario's Human Rights Commission (OHRC), the shooting death of a student in a TDSB high school and changing legislation. Although suspension and expulsions rates have decreased since changes were introduced, the board's discipline policies still appear to have a disproportionately negative impact on racialized students. The board and province's reluctance to collect race-based data in relation to suspensions and expulsions makes it difficult, yet not impossible, to track progress towards equitable policy outcomes.
Adopting a progressive discipline approach to maintaining safe schools can help keep more students in school without compromising school safety. However, Safe Schools policy includes both texts and practices so equitable outcomes are not guaranteed by rewriting formal policy texts.
The paper focuses on the auditing and accountancy paradigm which has dominated educational measurement of pupil performance for the last 20 years in England. The advocates of this minimum competency paradigm do not take account of the results of its dominance. These results include ignorance of the heterogeneous complexity of groups within societies which exist now internationally and the reduction in pedagogy and curriculum experience to a ‘one size fits all’ model of teaching concentrated on the tested subjects. This is complemented by the ‘recitation script’ style of pedagogy in schools based on coverage, delivery, completion and measurement rather than interpretation and analysis to support the complexity and diversity of individual learning needs.
This chapter offers practicable alternatives to some of the most pressing problems facing urban public education in the United States. The narrowing of the curriculum and the emphasis on “high stakes testing” and test preparation has contributed greatly to the high dropout rates in urban public schools. “Freedom Schooling: A New Approach to Federal-Local Cooperation in Public Education” was published in 1978 to address these problems by calling for an expansion of alternative public schools modeled after the innovative educational programs developed at urban magnet schools in the arts, music, science, foreign languages and cultures, sports and athletics, and other fields. Since that time, research on the public magnet schools has revealed that the innovative curricula increase student motivation, lower dropout rates, and produce levels of academic achievement higher than in traditional public schools. In calling for the development of “freedom schools” as alternatives to the traditional public schools, the goal is to motivate the students through the innovative content areas and have them pursue mastery of specific skills and talents in the arts, music, sports, technology, and other areas. Moving beyond the narrow emphasis on testing in reading and mathematics, students attending the “freedom schools” would be expected to demonstrate mastery of specific artistic forms, musical techniques, athletic practices, technological innovations, or other skills. The opening of “freedom schools,” focused on mastery learning, would address the academic failure in urban public schools by raising motivational levels and developing student mastery in specific areas of educational practice.
The paper examines two race-based intervention programs, focusing on the distinction between models of intervention based on targeted and indiscriminate (i.e., normative) college-going cultures. We unpack the concept of the “college-going culture” – defined as a set of expectations and norms that socialize students to view themselves as college-bound – and add nuance to it by illustrating how racial/cultural community and school environments, respectively, act as spheres of influence. Findings are based on semi-structured interviews with 46 alums of two effective, race-based intervention programs. Within one program, participants experienced culturally relevant programming but felt excluded from the college-going culture of the wider school environment. In the other program, students were included in the larger college-going culture of the school, but often felt culturally isolated. Participants’ narratives provide insight into the strengths and pitfalls of both intervention programs, and the paper concludes with a diagram outlining elements essential in optimal college-going cultures.
The neighborhoods north and northwest of downtown St Louis are blighted by their abundance of substandard, abandoned, and demolished housing. Crime, poverty, and unemployment are high while family stability, educational achievement, and health outcomes are low. These conditions are not unique to St Louis, but can be found in neighborhoods in every city in America. How did this happen? What factors led to the demise of these neighborhoods? This chapter examines the history of St Louis along with theories of neighborhood succession to identify possible explanations for the city's collapse.
For the past two decades, Toronto has experienced an incredible transformation from a young emerging city into one of the world's leading, global financial competitors. Among its several distinguishing factors, Toronto's multicultural population is perhaps its most unique characteristic. With a widely pro-immigration sentiment, as well as high urban density levels, Toronto's cultural and racial heterogeneity has stimulated its economic vitality, growth, and sustainability. The built environment of Toronto also reflects the integrated, dynamic nature of the city, with most neighborhoods incorporating mixed-use spaces populated by a wide range of income level residents. The transportation system reinforces this unity, connecting the city's region through an extensive network.
While Toronto is a city with relatively low levels of ethnic tensions as compared to its Western contemporaries, the city has been significantly afflicted by evident racial and ethnic disparities related to sprawl, gated and enclosed communities, the “ghettoization” of minorities, and other neoliberal conditions. Despite the growing prevalence of gangs such as the 14K Triad and MS-13, Toronto has one of the lowest crime rates in North America and is thus recognized as one of the safest North American cities. Toronto is also recognized for having one of top-ranked educational systems in the world. Furthermore, the government structure of the metropolitan area has taken a unique, comprehensive approach to politics that reinforces the city's unification. Because of the collaboration of each of these societal elements, Toronto has evolved into a city that sees its diversity as a strength and a tool for success.
In this study of one housing development in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States, this chapter explores concerns of families with children, including safety of community, relationships with neighbors, and accessibility of services, and examines challenges faced by families in the process of relocation. Before redevelopment, this particular community consisted of a large number of immigrants and refugees in two-parent or multigenerational families, as well as older residents, dispelling stereotypes of public housing residents as living in largely single-parent, female-headed households. Additionally, the chapter explores the strengths and resiliency of this population.
In the past two decades governments in Britain have launched a series of initiatives designed to reduce the disparities between areas of affluence and deprivation. These initiatives were funded by central government and were delivered through a series of partnership boards operating at the neighbourhood level in areas with high levels of deprivation. Drawing on similar approaches in the US War on Poverty, the engagement of residents in the planning and delivery of projects was a major priority. This chapter draws on the national evaluations of three of these programmes in England: the Single Regeneration Budget, the New Deal for Communities and the Neighbourhood Management Pathfinders.
The chapter begins by identifying the common characteristics of these programmes, known as area-based initiatives because they targeted areas of concentrated deprivation with a population of about 10,000 people each. It then goes on to discuss the three national programmes and summarises the main findings in relation to how far key indicators changed for the better. The final section sets out the ways in which policy objectives changed in 2010 after the election of a coalition government. This produced a shift to what was called the ‘Big Society’ where the rhetoric favoured a transfer of power away from central government towards the local, neighbourhood, level. This approach favoured self-help and a call to volunteering rather than channelling resources to the areas in greatest need. The chapter closes by reviewing the relatively modest achievements of this centralist, big-state approach to distressed neighbourhoods of 1990–2010.
Throughout the United States, an increasing number of states have turned to legalizing gambling and constructing casinos as a source of economic development. In 2004, casino gambling was legalized in Pennsylvania. The state plans to open 14 slot machine casinos, and 2 of them would be located in the city of Philadelphia. Much debate occurred regarding the location of these casinos in Philadelphia; currently one casino is open and construction has yet to begin on the other. However, casinos have been proven to cause many potential problems for the area where they are located, such as pollution, crime, and traffic. Because of these problems, it is believed that casinos are often located in neighborhoods dominated by people who traditionally lack political power. This project seeks to analyze the public policy actions that have resulted in the two current casino locations in Philadelphia, and examine the socioeconomic characteristics of the areas surrounding the casinos using environmental justice GIS methods.
Although rental housing has historically maintained a peripheral position within the community-building sphere, the current economic volatility is evidence of how imbalanced housing policy can impact overall stability, particularly among low-income people within low-income communities. Economic and other macro-environmental shifts will have lasting and poignant impacts on low-income geographies; therefore, the state of rental housing within the context of urban neighborhoods will continue to be a critical policy matter. This research explores whether the low-income housing tax credit (LIHTC) program encourages the development of housing with the physical and operational attributes that strengthen low-income neighborhoods. Given the program's growing dominance, this study analyzes whether specific characteristics associated with neighborhood revitalization are prevalent in LIHTC properties located within qualified census tracts. Also examined are the methodologies among nonprofit developers and for-profit developers relative to these development characteristics.
The findings indicate that properties under 50 units are more likely to be located within suburban qualified census tracts. Within the urban core, the results reveal that qualified census tract LIHTC developments are more often serving extremely low and low-income families. The research outcomes also show that nonprofit developers are more likely to serve lower incomes and utilize certified property management agents for these properties. Given the unique needs of urban and suburban low-income neighborhoods and a national environment that portents a growing dependence upon the LIHTC, the findings suggest that both enhanced coordination between state, regional, and local interests and innovation in resource allocation policy are critical to erasing the neighborhood divide that marginalizes low-income people in low-income communities.
This chapter discusses the Brazilian redevelopment policy denominated urban operation. First implemented in São Paulo in the 1980s, it was included in the Brazilian federal urban legislation in 2001 as an instrument to promote the redevelopment of great urban areas through public–private partnerships. On the one hand, the local public administration would provide incentives to investments in a given project, especially by selling construction rights; on the other hand, the value captured would be reinvested in the same area, following a list of works that may include urban infrastructure and services. The main benefits expected are structural change without onus for the public administration; a more balanced urban growth, estimulating higher density in areas well served by urban infrastructure; and real estate valorization. Nevertheless, this chapter critically analyzes its early experiences in São Paulo, demonstrating an entrepreneurial and speculative logic of spatial production. In this sense, the chapter is structured in four parts. The first one presents the legal instrument, while the following two sections explore the two main aspects of its functioning: great urban projects and public–private partnerships. In the final section, the Urban Operation Faria Lima will be assessed, especially on its attempts to promote São Paulo as a global city. If it is not possible to generalize from this particular experience, it exposes the necessity of discussing how the instrument, now a federal policy, may be implemented in other Brazilian cities, which type of redevelopment it may promote and for whom.
Few of the spaces of Milan are so strongly loaded with cultural and political baggage as “Chinatown” – the ethnic neighborhood on Paolo Sarpi Street – where a handful of roads, the global flow of Chinese goods, and the daily routines of elderly people and families are merged. The complexity of the “Sarpi Question” is precisely determined by the discussion of social dimensions, space and ethnoracial, economic and political, all at once.
In order to come to a deeper understanding of the economic mechanism of development of a city, this chapter begins by examining the causes that led to the break of an apparent balance in the practices of local cohabitation of the Chinese District in Milan. This chapter will also examine the relationship of power and conflict between the local government and the social groups, from the point of view of an urban change process. This framework deals with reclaiming urban space and the requalification processes aimed at improving the physical context of the Sarpi area, and especially at starting up processes of financial revitalization.
“No buses, no taxis, no cars and no trading. Why don't you just build a wall around us?” reads a banner displayed by traders on Sarpi Street in the 2008 Christmas season, the first month of controlled traffic flow. Ethnographic research attempts to explain how this result was reached.
The voice of Italian residents is only one of those emerging from the results of this research, along with those of business owners, city users, and local politicians. It is an interplay between antagonism and juxtaposition in which I have tried to highlight the existing conflict with the aim of understanding and explaining the tension in this urban space. Most importantly, this case demonstrates that the problem of cohabitation in a socially mixed neighborhood is a problem of representation and perception, which is essentially political.
The opening conclusions deal with the paradox of the urban safety policies promoted by the Milan local government as a place of decompression in the face of strong social pressure on immigration, precariousness, and insecurity. Strategies aimed at places to act on people.
This study investigated the associations between income, income-associated social identify, health and mass incidents in Chongqing, a Chinese city. A representative sample of mass-incident participants from Chongqing, aged 18 years and over, participated using a questionnaire. In addition, the public servants working in letters and visit offices were invited to participate in the study. A sample of 2,000 officers working in letter and visit offices, with 1,938 returns, represented a high response rate 96.9%. Of the 480 mass-incident participants, 465 (88%) surveys were usable. Logistic regression analysis was used to estimate the relationship between income and poor-to-fair health status; all individual-level variables (i.e. age, sex, marital status, education, and type of job) were included in the model.
Income displayed significant linkages to self-rated health. Most participants are farmers and most of them are from low socioeconomic areas and status; in urban area and southeast of Chongqing region, military and unemployed consisted of the majority of mass-incident participants. The sense of identity of these people is having impaired employment opportunities, having unsuitable housing arrangements and living in a deprived community with a low socioeconomic level in comparison with other areas and provinces in China.
Income is a significant predictor of poor health outcome. This is linked to the sense of identity. This deprivation can challenge the cultural identity of individuals who, they feel, they are inferior in socioeconomic terms to others who own resources, powers and wealth. Income as an indicator of social inequality revealed its significant predictive role in the occurrence of mass incidents through its impact on sense of deprivation. Further follow-up study is needed to determine the causal relationship between income and social identity.
Over the past decade, in Europe the attention of scholars, as well as the focus of the political debate on the ‘urban social cohesion’, has become increasingly oriented to the issue of immigrants’ spatial segregation. This concern has gradually led to the promotion of urban policies oriented to fight against the residential segregation on ethnic basis, although the effects of residential concentration per se and social inclusion are not clearly identified, and minor attention has been devoted to understand and fight against the casual factors leading immigrants to occupy the most residual part of the social and physical urban space. By proposing a comparative analysis of two urban contexts – Copenhagen, Milan – that are different in terms of immigrants’ presence and legal status, as well as labour market integration and general welfare regime, the study explores some mechanisms promoting the social and spatial marginalization of immigrants in Europe. It also analyses the most important urban policies dealing with residential segregation, evaluating their capacity of facing the phenomenon or promoting (unexpected) negative consequences.
The chapter examines various manifestations of the concept of “social capital” in details by sorting them into three categories: individual, collective, and hybrid. Based on the examination of social capital literature, the chapter defines social capital as moral resources that lubricate cooperation among individuals for economic as well as civic reasons. Then the chapter examines social capital in contemporary urban China. The atomizing effect of market economy destroyed previous stock of social capital, but there are not corrective mechanisms to generate new social capital. Therefore urban China is experiencing the paucity of social capital.
The unprecedented pace of urbanization is now a frequent phenomenon in many parts of the Global South. This profound change involves far more complex governance system than previously understood. This chapter aims to approach this issue from a human dimension perspective, where peoples' choices and values are appropriately addressed and the marginalized population can have access to and influence on public policy and decision making. Much of the work of Amartya Sen, renowned Nobel Laureate economist and development thinker, is focused on the “capability” discourse, where Sen addresses the enhanced human capability as the seed of advancing contemporary society. In line with this argument, this chapter explains how enhanced capability can increase the political participation as well as collaborative governance in the megacities like Dhaka, which is one of the prime examples of hyperurbanization in the Global South.
Tokyo is the most populated urban area in the world, with a population of 36.5 million. The sheer number of people creates a wide variety of living environments for its residents to choose from. Using a questionnaire survey dataset with 4,120 respondents, this chapter examines the impacts of individuals’ attributes on their preferences to various quality of life (QOL) factors, as well as whether the actual choices of residential districts reflect their preferences.
Individuals’ attributes such as sex, age, marital status, the number and ages of children, and income affect the emphasis that they place on choosing a place to live. Although parents with school-aged or smaller children place a greater emphasis on childcare/school services, natural environment, public services, working communities, and moderate consumer price in local shops; young single white-collars tend to trade safety and environment for shorter commute and therefore select places high on access-related attributes.
For QOL factors such as the public transit, access to work, natural environment, and clean air/water, satisfaction levels show clear geographical patterns and access-related factors earn high scores in the city center, whereas the nature-related factors are higher in the suburb. In these attributes, correlation between city residents’ emphasis on these attributes and satisfaction scores are high, suggesting that people can successfully choose the place of living according to their emphases.
For other factors, such as childcare/education and other public services provided by the municipalities, residents’ preferences for, and the city's offerings are rarely aligned. One possible reason is that the information on the level and availability of these services is difficult for prospective residents to know. Therefore, public resources should be targeted to solve this mismatching problem through (1) raising the quality of services in areas where the need is prevalent but the satisfaction level is low and (2) providing more information on the level of services that each municipality is offering, to allow prospective residents to choose the right place that meets their need.
This chapter critically examines the causes and effects of continuous poverty in two sub-Saharan African (SSA) countries, despite various poverty alleviation strategies adopted by each country. It reveals the theoretical framework and the accompanying set of programmatic and policy tools for poverty alleviation in SSA.
Conclusion: “Living on the Boundaries”
You get treated like an animal …. Just because I’m homeless it doesn’t mean that I was … nothing yesterday. I’m living the real deal.Quote by N. Touray, in Brown (2011, p. 16) There's sort of a Third world emerging right in our backyard. You know we talk about developing countries, but look at what's going on here (in the US).Quote by E. Bassuk (December 2011) in “America's Youngest Outcasts: New Report Card on Child Homelessness” (p. 35).
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