How do we draw the lines between "good" and "bad" neighborhoods? How do we know “ghettos”? This book questions the widely held assumption that divisions between urban areas are reflections of varying amounts of crime, deprivation, and other social, cultural, and economic problems. Using Ogden, Utah, as a case study, Pepper Glass argues that urban reputations are “moral frontiers” that uphold and create divides between who is a good and respectable—or a bad and vilified—member of a community.
Ogden, a working-class city with a history of racial and immigrant diversity, has long held a reputation among Utahns as a “sin city” in the middle of an entrenched religious culture. Glass blends ethnographic research with historical accounts, census reports, and other secondary sources to provide insight into Ogden’s reputation, past and present. Capturing residents’ perceptions of an entire city, as opposed to only some of its neighborhoods, and exploring the regional contexts shaping these views, is rare among urban researchers. Glass’s unique approach suggests we can better confront urban problems by rethinking assumptions about place and promoting interventions that break down boundaries.
Pepper Glass is professor of sociology at Weber State University in Ogden, Utah. He has published his research on racial inequality, social movements, and youth culture in Ethnic and Racial Studies, Mobilization, and the Journal of Contemporary Ethnography.
Table of Contents:
List of Tables
PART ONE: INSIDERS AND OUTSIDERS
2. Promoters and Challengers of Urban Reputations
3. A City Defined by Difference
PART TWO: BOUNDARY WORK
4. Defending a Working-Class Place
5. A Hesitant Community
6. Immigrant Perceptions of Place
PART THREE: THE CONTEXTS OF URBAN REPUTATIONS
7. Historical Echoes
8. The Moral Frontiers of Outsiders
PART FOUR: TRANSFORMATION
9. Boundary Maintenance and Boundary Blurring
Praise and Reviews:“A strikingly original contribution, this book will be widely read, enthusiastically debated, and very helpful for any scholar teaching students about urban inequality.”
—Tom Slater, reader in urban geography, University of Edinburgh
“Clearly written, jargon free, and accessible. This book advances our understanding of the importance of urban reputations and how they develop.”
—Jonathan Foster, author of Stigma Cities: The Reputation and History of Birmingham, San Francisco, and Las Vegas