DUNEIER SIDEWALK PDF

Much of the architecture remains, and many people live the way Jacobs suggested, but there is another population in the Village todaypoor black men who make their lives on the sidewalks by selling secondhand goods, panhandling, and scavenging books and magazines left out for recycling, and whose appearance and behavior are affronts to the sensibilities of many passersby. By now the men are known to many Village residents: Hakim Hasan, who sells "black books" and acts as an informal mentor to young men; Ishmael, Grady, Ron and Marvin, who sell magazines and other merchandise, only to have their wares thrown out by police when they leave their block to relieve themselves; Mudrick and "Joe Garbage," who sell items retrieved from the trash; Keith, who panhandles outside the ATM vestibule; and other men! Mayors scold them. Police keep after them. Businesses want them off the streets.

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Much of the architecture remains, and many people live the way Jacobs suggested, but there is another population in the Village todaypoor black men who make their lives on the sidewalks by selling secondhand goods, panhandling, and scavenging books and magazines left out for recycling, and whose appearance and behavior are affronts to the sensibilities of many passersby. By now the men are known to many Village residents: Hakim Hasan, who sells "black books" and acts as an informal mentor to young men; Ishmael, Grady, Ron and Marvin, who sell magazines and other merchandise, only to have their wares thrown out by police when they leave their block to relieve themselves; Mudrick and "Joe Garbage," who sell items retrieved from the trash; Keith, who panhandles outside the ATM vestibule; and other men!

Mayors scold them. Police keep after them. Businesses want them off the streets. Even liberal whites feel uneasy in their presence. These men are seen as proof of the influential "broken windows" theory, which holds that the mere appearance of social disorder leads to crime. But Duneier contends that, far from being incitements to crime, the men on the street are necessary and beneficial to city life today, and that their behavior, which often appears disorderly, actually contributes to the order and well-being of the neighborhood.

For five years, he spent time on the blocks with them - working with them at their vending tables, hearing their stories, and observing the roles they play in the ongoing life of the city. Often he was accompanied by Ovie Carter, whose photographs depict Village life with rare breadth and insight. Sidewalk brings us into the hearts and minds of the men on the street, showing us not only their common human values but also the many practical and moral choices they must make every day. Duneier explains how cultural and political factors can spur people to self-destructive behavior, and illustrates how the same people can weave together complementary elements of a city - laws, friendships, popular culture, and the spirit of a neighborhood - in their struggle to survive.

No other recent book has managed to convey the character of contemporary urban life in all its complexity - its vitality, its class and race conflicts, and the surprising opportunities it offers for empathy among strangers. Sidewalk gives us a clear, sharp picture of city life today - as it is, and as it might be.

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Mitchell Duneier

Duneier, a sociologist who has taught at the University of Wisconsin and the University of California at Santa Barbara, approaches Hakim Hasan, a man he has recently met who sells "black books" from a table on Sixth Avenue, to ask him how he understands his role on the street. There are other moments of peculiar disjunction, as when one homeless man who usually sleeps in a subway tunnel observes to Duneier that the quality of Architectural Digest has gone downhill since its purchase by Condi Nast. But the presence of someone like Hasan, an erudite thinker who voluntarily dropped out of the formal economy to work on the street, helped Duneier understand that the world of sidewalk vending was a highly complex socioeconomic sphere with its own rules, hierarchies and sense of order. In bringing that world to his readers with tremendous humility and integrity, Duneier has written what is sure to become a contemporary classic of urban sociology. Over the course of the five years Duneier spent observing and even working on "the blocks" as the vendors term their desirable stretch of Village sidewalk , he developed a different view.

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"Sidewalk" by Mitchell Duneier

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