Norman Street: Poverty and Politics in an Urban Neighborhood

ISBN : 9780195367300

Ida Susser
320 Pages
140 x 210 mm
Pub date
Jul 2012
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Norman Street is the first serious examination of a scenario that appears likely to be played out again and again as federal budget policies result in reduced services for urban areas across the country. Based on a three-year study conducted in Brooklyn's Greenpoint/Williamsburg section, the book is an in-depth, detailed description of life in a multi-ethnic working class neighborhood during New York City's fiscal crisis of 1975-78. Now updated with a new introduction to address the changes and events of the thirty years since the book's original publication, its lessons continue to demonstrate the impact of political and economic changes on everyday lives. Relating local events to national policy, Susser deals directly with issues and problems that face industrial cities nationwide: ethnic and race relations are analyzed within the context of community organization and local politics; the impact of landlord/tenant relations, housing discrimination, and red-lining are examined; and the effects on the urban poor of gentrification are documented. Since neighborhood issues are often of primary concern to women, much of the book concerns the role of women as community organizers and their integration of this role with domestic responsibilities.


Introduction to the Updated Edition
1. Introduction
2. A Changing Neighborhood
3. A Changing Workplace and Its Consequences
4. The Welfare System: Interaction Between Officials and Clients
5. The Welfare System: Regulations and the Life of a Welfare Recipient
6. Landlord-Tenant Relations
7. Cooperation and Conflict in a Block Association
8. Making Things Work
9. Kinship, Friendship, and Support
10. Save the Firehouse!
11. The Sources of Political Control
12. Conclusion
Index of Pseudonyms

About the author: 

Ida Susser is Professor of Anthropology at Hunter College at the City University of New York Graduate Center.

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