Heat Wave

Author: Eric Klinenberg
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 9780226276212
Release Date: 2015-05-06
Genre: Social Science

On Thursday, July 13, 1995, Chicagoans awoke to a blistering day in which the temperature would reach 106 degrees. The heat index, which measures how the temperature actually feels on the body, would hit 126 degrees by the time the day was over. Meteorologists had been warning residents about a two-day heat wave, but these temperatures did not end that soon. When the heat wave broke a week later, city streets had buckled; the records for electrical use were shattered; and power grids had failed, leaving residents without electricity for up to two days. And by July 20, over seven hundred people had perished-more than twice the number that died in the Chicago Fire of 1871, twenty times the number of those struck by Hurricane Andrew in 1992—in the great Chicago heat wave, one of the deadliest in American history. Heat waves in the United States kill more people during a typical year than all other natural disasters combined. Until now, no one could explain either the overwhelming number or the heartbreaking manner of the deaths resulting from the 1995 Chicago heat wave. Meteorologists and medical scientists have been unable to account for the scale of the trauma, and political officials have puzzled over the sources of the city's vulnerability. In Heat Wave, Eric Klinenberg takes us inside the anatomy of the metropolis to conduct what he calls a "social autopsy," examining the social, political, and institutional organs of the city that made this urban disaster so much worse than it ought to have been. Starting with the question of why so many people died at home alone, Klinenberg investigates why some neighborhoods experienced greater mortality than others, how the city government responded to the crisis, and how journalists, scientists, and public officials reported on and explained these events. Through a combination of years of fieldwork, extensive interviews, and archival research, Klinenberg uncovers how a number of surprising and unsettling forms of social breakdown—including the literal and social isolation of seniors, the institutional abandonment of poor neighborhoods, and the retrenchment of public assistance programs—contributed to the high fatality rates. The human catastrophe, he argues, cannot simply be blamed on the failures of any particular individuals or organizations. For when hundreds of people die behind locked doors and sealed windows, out of contact with friends, family, community groups, and public agencies, everyone is implicated in their demise. As Klinenberg demonstrates in this incisive and gripping account of the contemporary urban condition, the widening cracks in the social foundations of American cities that the 1995 Chicago heat wave made visible have by no means subsided as the temperatures returned to normal. The forces that affected Chicago so disastrously remain in play in America's cities, and we ignore them at our peril. For the Second Edition Klinenberg has added a new Preface showing how climate change has made extreme weather events in urban centers a major challenge for cities and nations across our planet, one that will require commitment to climate-proofing changes to infrastructure rather than just relief responses.

Heat Wave

Author: Eric Klinenberg
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 0226443221
Release Date: 2003-07-15
Genre: History

Why heat waves are such a quiet menace and how social conditions contributed to more than 700 deaths during a week-long wave of unprecedented heat and humidity in Chicago in 1995 are the focus of "Heat Wave" written by sociologist Klinenberg. Illustrations. Maps.

Heat Wave

Author: Eric Klinenberg
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 022627618X
Release Date: 2015-05-06
Genre: Social Science

On Thursday, July 13, 1995, Chicagoans awoke to a blistering day in which the temperature would reach 106 degrees. The heat index, which measures how the temperature actually feels on the body, would hit 126 degrees by the time the day was over. Meteorologists had been warning residents about a two-day heat wave, but these temperatures did not end that soon. When the heat wave broke a week later, city streets had buckled; the records for electrical use were shattered; and power grids had failed, leaving residents without electricity for up to two days. And by July 20, over seven hundred people had perished-more than twice the number that died in the Chicago Fire of 1871, twenty times the number of those struck by Hurricane Andrew in 1992—in the great Chicago heat wave, one of the deadliest in American history. Heat waves in the United States kill more people during a typical year than all other natural disasters combined. Until now, no one could explain either the overwhelming number or the heartbreaking manner of the deaths resulting from the 1995 Chicago heat wave. Meteorologists and medical scientists have been unable to account for the scale of the trauma, and political officials have puzzled over the sources of the city's vulnerability. In Heat Wave, Eric Klinenberg takes us inside the anatomy of the metropolis to conduct what he calls a "social autopsy," examining the social, political, and institutional organs of the city that made this urban disaster so much worse than it ought to have been. Starting with the question of why so many people died at home alone, Klinenberg investigates why some neighborhoods experienced greater mortality than others, how the city government responded to the crisis, and how journalists, scientists, and public officials reported on and explained these events. Through a combination of years of fieldwork, extensive interviews, and archival research, Klinenberg uncovers how a number of surprising and unsettling forms of social breakdown—including the literal and social isolation of seniors, the institutional abandonment of poor neighborhoods, and the retrenchment of public assistance programs—contributed to the high fatality rates. The human catastrophe, he argues, cannot simply be blamed on the failures of any particular individuals or organizations. For when hundreds of people die behind locked doors and sealed windows, out of contact with friends, family, community groups, and public agencies, everyone is implicated in their demise. As Klinenberg demonstrates in this incisive and gripping account of the contemporary urban condition, the widening cracks in the social foundations of American cities that the 1995 Chicago heat wave made visible have by no means subsided as the temperatures returned to normal. The forces that affected Chicago so disastrously remain in play in America's cities, and we ignore them at our peril. For the Second Edition Klinenberg has added a new Preface showing how climate change has made extreme weather events in urban centers a major challenge for cities and nations across our planet, one that will require commitment to climate-proofing changes to infrastructure rather than just relief responses.

Fighting for Air

Author: Eric Klinenberg
Publisher: Macmillan
ISBN: 0805078193
Release Date: 2007-01-09
Genre: Business & Economics

An investigative work on the corporate takeover of local news and what it means for all Americans. Sociologist Klinenberg takes us into the world of preprogrammed radio shows, empty television news studios, and copycat newspapers to show how corporate own

Going Solo

Author: Eric Klinenberg
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 9780143122777
Release Date: 2013
Genre: Psychology

A sociologist explores the demographic rise in people who are living alone, including interviews with young professionals, middle-aged singles, the divorced and the elderly and discovers that they are more engaged in social and civic life than their married counterparts. 25,000 first printing.

The Cultural Politics of Markets

Author: Katharine N. Rankin
Publisher: University of Toronto Press
ISBN: 0802086985
Release Date: 2004
Genre: Social Science

In a neoliberal era, when the ideology of the free market governs community development as much as international trade, a conflict between capital and tradition is inevitable. Issues such as the value ascribed to honour and social prestige are difficult to negotiate with economic opportunity. Using the example of a 'traditional' Nepalese market town, Katharine Neilson Rankin explores how economic liberalization has blended with local cultures of value. Utilizing the ethnographic method of anthropology and the comparative and normative thrust of geography, Rankin undertakes a critique of neoliberal approaches to development. She demonstrates how market-led development does not expand opportunity, but rather deepens existing injustice and inequality, which is further exacerbated by planners – eager to implement market-led approaches – relying on naively idealistic notions of 'social capital' to expand poor people's access to the market. The Cultural Politics of Markets makes a clear case for a strategic merger between anthropological and planning perspectives in thinking about the issue of market transformation.

Fatal Isolation

Author: Richard C. Keller
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 9780226256436
Release Date: 2015-05-07
Genre: History

In a cemetery on the southern outskirts of Paris lie the bodies of nearly a hundred of what some have called the first casualties of global climate change. They were the so-called abandoned victims of the worst natural disaster in French history, the devastating heat wave that struck in August 2003, leaving 15,000 dead. They died alone in Paris and its suburbs, and were then buried at public expense, their bodies unclaimed. They died, and to a great extent lived, unnoticed by their neighbors--their bodies undiscovered in some cases until weeks after their deaths. Fatal Isolation tells the stories of these victims and the catastrophe that took their lives. It explores the multiple narratives of disaster--the official story of the crisis and its aftermath, as presented by the media and the state; the life stories of the individual victims, which both illuminate and challenge the ways we typically perceive natural disasters; and the scientific understandings of disaster and its management. Fatal Isolation is both a social history of risk and vulnerability in the urban landscape and a story of how a city copes with emerging threats and sudden, dramatic change.

The Disaster Profiteers

Author: John C. Mutter
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
ISBN: 9781466879416
Release Date: 2015-08-11
Genre: Social Science

Natural disasters don't matter for the reasons we think they do. They generally don't kill a huge number of people. Most years more people kill themselves than are killed by Nature's tantrums. And using standard measures like Gross Domestic Product (GDP) it is difficult to show that disasters significantly interrupt the economy. It's what happens after the disasters that really matters-when the media has lost interest and the last volunteer has handed out a final blanket, and people are left to repair their lives. What happens is a stark expression of how unjustly unequal our world has become. The elite make out well-whether they belong to an open market capitalist democracy or a closed authoritarian socialist state. In Myanmar-a country ruled by a xenophobic military junta-the generals and their cronies declared areas where rice farms were destroyed by Cyclone Nargis as blighted and simply took the land. In New Orleans the city was re-shaped and gentrified post Katrina, making it almost impossible for many of its poorest, mostly black citizens to return. In The Disaster Profiteers, John Mutter argues that when no one is looking, disasters become a means by which the elite prosper at the expense of the poor. As the specter of increasingly frequent and destructive natural disasters looms in our future, this book will ignite an essential conversation about what we can do now to create a safer, more just world for us all.

There is No Such Thing as a Natural Disaster

Author: Gregory Squires
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 9781136084829
Release Date: 2013-01-11
Genre: Political Science

There is No Such Thing as a Natural Disaster is the first comprehensive critical book on the catastrophic impact of Hurricane Katrina on New Orleans. The disaster will go down on record as one of the worst in American history, not least because of the government’s inept and cavalier response. But it is also a huge story for other reasons; the impact of the hurricane was uneven, and race and class were deeply implicated in the unevenness. Hartman and. Squires assemble two dozen critical scholars and activists who present a multifaceted portrait of the social implications of the disaster. The book covers the response to the disaster and the roles that race and class played, its impact on housing and redevelopment, the historical context of urban disasters in America and the future of economic development in the region. It offers strategic guidance for key actors - government agencies, financial institutions, neighbourhood organizations - in efforts to rebuild shattered communities.

Come Hell Or High Water

Author: Michael Eric Dyson
Publisher: ReadHowYouWant.com
ISBN: 9781458760784
Release Date: 2010-10-01
Genre:

What Hurricane Katrina reveals about the fault lines of race and poverty in America-and what lessons we must take from the flood-from best-selling ''hip-hop intellectual'' Michael Eric Dyson Does George W. Bush care about black people? Does the rest of America? When Hurricane Katrina tore through New Orleans and the Gulf Coast, hundreds of thousands were left behind to suffer the ravages of destruction, disease, and even death. The majority of these people were black; nearly all were poor. The federal government's slow response to local appeals for help is by now notorious. Yet despite the cries of outrage that have mounted since the levees broke, we have failed to confront the disaster's true lesson; to be poor, or black, in today's ownership society, is to be left behind. Displaying the intellectual rigor, political passion, and personal empathy that have won him fans across the color line, Michael Eric Dyson offers a searing assessment of the meaning of Hurricane Katrina. Combining interviews with survivors of the disaster with his deep knowledge of black migrations and government policy over decades, Dyson provides the historical context that has been sorely missing from public conversation. He explores the legacy of black suffering in America since slavery, including the shocking ways that black people are framed in the national consciousness even today. With this call-to-action, Dyson warns us that we can only find redemption as a society if we acknowledge that Katrina was more than an engineering or emergency response failure. From the TV newsroom to the Capitol Building to the backyard, we must change the ways we relate to the black and the poor among us. What's at stake is no less than the future of democracy.

A New Species of Trouble

Author: Kai T. Erikson
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
ISBN: 0393313190
Release Date: 1995
Genre: Political Science

In the twentieth century, disasters caused by human beings have become more and more common. Unlike earthquakes and other natural catastrophes, this 'new species of trouble' afflicts person and groups in particularly disruptive ways.

Garbage Wars

Author: David Naguib Pellow
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 0262250292
Release Date: 2004-09-17
Genre: Nature

In Garbage Wars, the sociologist David Pellow describes the politics of garbage in Chicago. He shows how garbage affects residents in vulnerable communities and poses health risks to those who dispose of it. He follows the trash, the pollution, the hazards, and the people who encountered them in the period 1880-2000. What unfolds is a tug of war among social movements, government, and industry over how we manage our waste, who benefits, and who pays the costs.Studies demonstrate that minority and low-income communities bear a disproportionate burden of environmental hazards. Pellow analyzes how and why environmental inequalities are created. He also explains how class and racial politics have influenced the waste industry throughout the history of Chicago and the United States. After examining the roles of social movements and workers in defining, resisting, and shaping garbage disposal in the United States, he concludes that some environmental groups and people of color have actually contributed to environmental inequality.By highlighting conflicts over waste dumping, incineration, landfills, and recycling, Pellow provides a historical view of the garbage industry throughout the life cycle of waste. Although his focus is on Chicago, he places the trends and conflicts in a broader context, describing how communities throughout the United States have resisted the waste industry's efforts to locate hazardous facilities in their backyards. The book closes with suggestions for how communities can work more effectively for environmental justice and safe, sustainable waste management.

Dark Age Ahead

Author: Jane Jacobs
Publisher: Vintage Canada
ISBN: 9780307369635
Release Date: 2010-06-25
Genre: Social Science

Visionary thinker Jane Jacobs uses her authoritative work on urban life and economies to show us how we can protect and strengthen our culture and communities. In Dark Age Ahead, Jane Jacobs identifies five pillars of our culture that we depend on but which are in serious decline: community and family; higher education; the effective practice of science; taxation and government; and self-policing by learned professions. The decay of these pillars, Jacobs contends, is behind such ills as environmental crisis, racism and the growing gulf between rich and poor; their continued degradation could lead us into a new Dark Age, a period of cultural collapse in which all that keeps a society alive and vibrant is forgotten. But this is a hopeful book as well as a warning. Jacobs draws on her vast frame of reference -- from fifteenth-century Chinese shipbuilding to zoning regulations in Brampton, Ontario -- and in highly readable, invigorating prose offers proposals that could arrest the cycles of decay and turn them into beneficent ones. Wise, worldly, full of real-life examples and accessible concepts, this book is an essential read for perilous times. From the Hardcover edition.

Social Causes of Psychological Distress

Author: Catherine E. Ross
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 9781351490504
Release Date: 2017-07-05
Genre: Social Science

A core interest of social science is the study of stratification--inequalities in income, power, and prestige. Few persons would care about such inequalities if the poor, powerless, and despised were as happy and fulfilled as the wealthy, powerful, and admired. Social research often springs from humanistic empathy and concern as much as from scholarly and scientific curiosity. An economist might observe that black Americans are disproportionately poor, and investigate racial differences in education, employment, and occupation that account for disproportionate poverty. A table comparing additional income blacks and whites can expect for each additional year of education is thus as interesting in its own right as any dinosaur bone or photo of Saturn. However, something more than curiosity underscores our interest in the table. Racial differences in status and income are a problem in the human sense. Inequality in misery makes social and economic inequality personally meaningful. There are two ways social scientists avoid advocacy in addressing issues of social stratification. The first way is to resist projecting personal beliefs, values, and responses as much as possible, while recognizing that the attempt is never fully successful. The second way is by giving the values of the subjects an expression in the research design. Typically, this takes the form of opinion or attitude surveys. Researchers ask respondents to rate the seriousness of crimes, the appropriateness of a punishment for a crime, the prestige of occupations, the fair pay for a job, or the largest amount of money a family can earn and not be poor, and so on. The aggregate judgments, and variations in judgments, represent the values of the subjects and not those of the researcher. They are objective facts with causes and consequences of interest in their own right. This work is an effort to move methodology closer to human concerns without sacrificing the scientific grounds of research as such. The

Children of Alcoholics

Author: Kenneth J. Sher
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 0226752712
Release Date: 1991-10-08
Genre: Psychology

This study offers a comprehensive, critical look at what is known and not known about children of alcoholics, and also constructs a model for assessing existing theory and introducing new methodological rigor into this field.