There is a migrant crisis, but where and why?
Much ink and hot air has been expended over the past several weeks about whether or not there is a “crisis” on the U.S.-Mexico border, caused by a big spike in the number of migrants and asylum-seekers arriving there since the change in U.S. administrations.
The tone of the Republican versus Democrat argument often takes on a semantic character. In the opinion of this writer, there is indeed a major crisis, but it is not new; rather it is rooted in the way U.S. imperialism has interacted with the nations and peoples of Central America and the Caribbean for well over a century.
Five myths about poverty
Millions of Americans have found themselves struggling this past year with the economic aftershocks of the covid-19 pandemic. In 2021, the poverty line for a family of three was approximately $22,000. Families that once thought of themselves as solidly middle class are now straining to pay for the basics.
Food banks have seen record lines outside their doors, and job security for many has vanished. Yet poverty is still shadowed by misperceptions.
The Politics of Regret: On Collective Memory and Historical Responsibility
In the past decade, Jeffrey Olick has established himself as one of the world’s pre-eminent sociologists of memory (and, related to this, both cultural sociology and social theory). His recent book on memory in postwar Germany, In the House of the Hangman (University of Chicago Press, 2005) has garnered a great deal of acclaim. This book collects his best essays on a range of memory related issues and adds a couple of new ones. It is more conceptually expansive than his other work and will serve as a great introduction to this important theorist
Off the Books: The Underground Economy of the Urban Poor
In this revelatory book, Sudhir Venkatesh takes us into Maquis Park, a poor black neighborhood on Chicago’s Southside, to explore the desperate, dangerous, and remarkable ways in which a community survives. We find there an entire world of unregulated, unreported, and untaxed work, a system of living off the books that is daily life in the ghetto.