Chapter

The Cost of Abandonment

Jennifer F. Hamer

in Abandoned in the Heartland

Published by University of California Press

Published in print September 2011 | ISBN: 9780520269316
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520950177 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520269316.003.0010
The Cost of Abandonment

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Today, in the metropolitan-area small cities, African Americans are more likely than whites to live in poverty, to experience a high rate of school dropouts, and to be incarcerated. At a later point in the twenty-first century, a clear majority of African Americans will be living in the suburbs, not in either rural areas or inner cities. The experiences of those in East St. Louis report that there is nothing particularly romantic about the deprivations of working-class suburban life in this space or place, especially for those at the outermost socioeconomic margins. The hallmarks of suburban living were being threatened by a global economic crisis, but working-class suburbanites in East St. Louis have been feeling the pinch for a long time. Without fixes of the problems at the root level, the spiral of distress and abandonment will continue.

Keywords: distress; abandonment; African Americans; East St. Louis; suburban living; global economic crisis

Chapter.  1409 words. 

Subjects: Anthropology

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