Jobs and Housing: Trust, Distrust, and Social Class in the Black Community
Hosted as part of the University of Michigan's 2008 Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King, Jr. Symposium.
Mary Pattillo is a Professor of Sociology and African American Studies at Northwestern University. Her most recent book, Black on the Block: The Politics of Race and Class in the City (University of Chicago Press) examines the simultaneous processes of low-income housing construction and gentrification in a black Chicago neighborhood. Pattillo is a founding board member and active participant in Urban Prep Charter Academy, the first all-boys public charter high school in Chicago.
Sandra S. Smith is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of California, Berkeley. In Lone Pursuit: Distrust and Defensive Individualism Among the Black Poor (Russell Sage Foundation Publications) Smith advances current and enduring debates about black joblessness, highlighting the role of interpersonal distrust dynamics between low-income black jobholders and their jobseeking relations that make cooperation during the process of finding work a problematic affair. In future work, Smith will further interrogate the process of finding work by examining racial and ethnic differences in trust dynamics and exploring the social psychological, cultural, and structural factors that generate these differences.
Both scholars will discuss their books, followed by comments by University of Michigan professor David Harding.
Reception and booksigning to follow. Free and open to the public.