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  • Brand: Crown
  • UPC: 9781524761165
  • Item #: 2094820X
  • Available Date: 9/11/2018
  • Model Number: 9781524761165
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PALACES FOR THE PEOPLE

Summary:

A highly regarded sociologist—and coauthor, with Aziz Ansari, of the #1 New York Times bestselling Modern Romance—makes the provocative case that the resilience of our communities rests not on shared values but shared spaces: the libraries, day-care centers, bookstores, coffee shops, and community gardens that create crucial, sometimes life-saving connections between us.

Englewood, in Chicago, had a rough time during the recession. Already facing a high poverty rate and decades of municipal neglect, the neighborhood saw dozens of foreclosures, leaving streets pockmarked with boarded-up houses and vacant lots. Violence spiked. Older people feared leaving their homes. In 2009, though, something changed: a community group turned one of those vacant lots into a farm. Soon, people began to congregate there. They started a farmer’s market and cooking classes, bringing an affordable source of produce to what had been a food desert. Today, even the local gang members respect it as a safe space.

The Wood Street Urban farm only occupies a block or two, but it’s a vital part of what sociologist Eric Klinenberg calls “social infrastructure”—the spaces and places that shape face-to-face interactions within a community. Public institutions, such as libraries, schools, playgrounds, parks, athletic fields, and swimming pools are vital parts of social infrastructure. So are churches and synagogues, flea markets, the corner diner. They’re places where people can gather and linger, encouraging the formation of community ties and promoting interaction across group lines.

In Palaces for the People, Klinenberg takes us around the globe—from Singapore to Brazil and from Englewood to Silicon Valley—to show how the physical spaces in which we interact hold the key to solving some of the most profound challenges of our time, from political polarization to climate change.

About the Author:

ERIC KLINENBERG is a professor of sociology and director of the Institute for Public Knowledge at New York University, and editor of the journal Public Culture. He’s the coauthor, with Aziz Ansari, of the New York Times bestseller Modern Romance. Klinenberg’s previous books include Going Solo: The Extraordinary Rise and Surprising Appeal of Living Alone, Heat Wave: A Social Autopsy of Disaster in Chicago, and Fighting for Air: The Battle to Control America’s Media. In addition to his books and scholarly articles, Klinenberg has contributed to The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, Rolling Stone, TIME, and the Washington Post.

Product Details:

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Crown
  • Social Science / Sociology / Urban