Ain't No Makin' it: Leveled Aspirations in a Low-income Neighborhood

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Westview Press, Jan 1, 1987 - Ambition - 198 pages
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This classic text addresses one of the most important issues in modern social theory and policy: how social inequality is reproduced from one generation to the next. 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 the "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.

The third edition of this classic ethnography of social reproduction brings the story of inequality and social mobility into today's dialogue. Now fully updated with thirteen new interviews from the original Hallway Hangers and Brothers, as well as new theoretical analysis and comparison to the original conclusions, "Ain't No Makin' It" remains an admired and invaluable text.


Part One: The Hallway Hangers and the Brothers as Teenagers
1. Social Immobility in the Land of Opportunity
2. Social Reproduction in Theoretical Perspective
3. Teenagers in Clarendon Heights: The Hallway Hangers and the Brothers
4. The Influence of the Family
5. The World of Work: Aspirations of the Hangers and Brothers
6. School: Preparing for the Competition
7. Leveled Aspirations: Social Reproduction Takes Its Toll
8. Reproduction Theory Reconsidered

Part Two: Eight Years Later: Low Income, Low Outcome
9. The Hallway Hangers: Dealing in Despair
10. The Brothers: Dreams Deferred
11. Conclusion: Outclassed and Outcast(e)

Part Three: Ain't No Makin' It?
12. The Hallway Hangers: Fighting for a Foothold at Forty
13. The Brothers: Barely Making It
14. Making Sense of the Stories, by Katherine McClelland and David Karen

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User Review  - laurroop - LibraryThing

Three windows in time with two groups growing up in the same project complex, the Hallway Hangers and the Brothers. The Hallway Hangers, largely white, are full of despair and cope with drugs and ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - beau.p.laurence - LibraryThing

GREAT book about the intersection of race and education/employment. for those who contend that affirmative action is no longer needed, I say read this book and then we'll talk. Read full review

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