Ain’t No Makin’ It: Aspirations and Attainment in a Low-Income Neighborhood

Poverty, Threats

Ain’t No Makin’ It: Aspirations and Attainment in a Low-Income Neighborhood

With the original 1987 publication of Ain’t No Makin’ It Jay MacLeod brought us to the Clarendon Heights housing project where we met the “Brothers” and “Hallway Hangers.” Their story of poverty, race, and defeatism moved readers and challenged ethnic stereotypes. MacLeod’s return eight years later, and the resulting 1995 revision, revealed little improvement in the lives of these men as they struggled in the labor market and crime-ridden underground economy.

This classic ethnography addresses one of the most important issues in modern social theory and policy: how social inequality is reproduced from one generation to the next. Now republished with a preface by Joe Feagin, Ain’t No Makin’ It remains an admired and invaluable text.

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