Transforming the City Community Organizing and the Challenge of Political Change

ISBN-10: 0700615148
ISBN-13: 9780700615148
Edition: 2007
Authors: Marion Orr
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Description: As an avenue for progressive politics in a nation still skeptical of change, community organizing today faces significant challenges. This book assesses that activity within the context of political, cultural, social, and economic changes in  More...

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Book details

List price: $19.95
Copyright year: 2007
Publisher: University Press of Kansas
Publication date: 4/3/2007
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 294
Size: 6.00" wide x 8.75" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 1.210
Language: English

As an avenue for progressive politics in a nation still skeptical of change, community organizing today faces significant challenges. This book assesses that activity within the context of political, cultural, social, and economic changes in cities--from World War II to the present--to show how community-based organizations have responded. Transforming the City is the first book to examine the current state of community organizing in American cities, analyzing its place in contemporary progressive politics and assessing whether it has changed in response to changes in the political economy. Leading urban scholars--Peter Dreier, Dennis Judd, and others--have been drawn from a wide range of disciplines to offer original commentaries on the strengths and limitations of community organizing, a form of political and civic engagement that is too often overlooked by those who bemoan the decline in social capital. While embracing mobilization as a way to cope with the problems afflicting inner cities, these essays acknowledge the challenges inherent in globalization, de-industrialization, the demise of ward-based politics, and the values that shape contemporary American culture. They argue that larger changes in the political economy have reshaped the local ecology of civic engagement, thereby impacting the focus, orientation, and effectiveness of community organizing. The book features case studies from Chicago to New Orleans to El Paso, and covers community organizations from many of the organizing networks and models, such as ACORN, IAF, PICO, and DART. These cases address key policy areas such as education and housing, and the role of race in these issues and in organizing in general. Bythe actual practice of this form of democratic politics, they also show the potential of community organizing for addressing concerns about Americans' disengagement from civic and political life. Whether pursuing longstanding problems about housing or more recent issues such as wages paid by big-box retailers, community organizing continues to have an important role to play as part of a broader progressive movement. As America decides what kind of society it wants to be, these insightful articles illuminate those larger trends in the local ecology that are forcing organizers to alter their strategies, operations, and visions for the future.

Community organizing and the changing ecology of civic engagement
Running in place : Saul Alinsky, race, and community organizing
Community organizing in a nonregime city : the New Orleans experience
Division and fragmentation : the El Paso experience in global-local perspective
Community organizing and No Child Left Behind
Political opportunity, venue shopping, and strategic innovation : ACORN's national organizing
Higher power : strategic capacity for state and national organizing
Contextualizing community organizing : lessons from the past, tensions in the present, opportunities for the future
Community organizing for what : progressive politics and movement building in America
Summing up : community organizing and political change in the city

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