Wuthnow points to the critical strength of the region's social institutions established between 1870 and 1950--the market towns, farmsteads, one-room schoolhouses, townships, rural cooperatives, and manufacturing centers that have adapted with the changing times. He focuses on farmers' struggles to recover from the Great Depression well into the 1950s, the cultural redefinition and modernization of the region's image that occurred during the 1950s and 1960s, the growth of secondary and higher education, the decline of small towns, the redeployment of agribusiness, and the rapid expansion of edge cities. Drawing his arguments from extensive interviews and evidence from the towns and counties of the Midwest, Wuthnow provides a unique perspective as both an objective observer and someone who grew up there.
Remaking the Heartland offers an accessible look at the humble yet strong foundations that have allowed the region to endure undiminished.
Drawing on extensive case study data from three significant community-building initiatives, program data from numerous other community capacity-building efforts, key informant interviews, and an excellent literature review, Chaskin and his colleagues draw implications for crafting community change strategies as well as for creating and sustaining the organizational infrastructure necessary to support them. The authors bring to bear the perspectives of a variety of professional disciplines including sociology, urban planning, psychology, and social work.
Building Community Capacity takes a collaborative, interdisciplinary approach to a subject of wide and current concern: the role of neighborhood and community structures in the delivery of human services or, as the authors put it, "a place where programs and problems can be fitted together." Social work scholars and students of community practice seeking new conceptual frameworks and insights from research to inform novel community interventions will find much of value in Building Community Capacity.
The new breed of gentrifiers, Brown-Saracino finds, exhibits an acute self-consciousness about their role in the process and works to minimize gentrification’s risks for certain longtime residents. In an era of rapid change, they cherish the unique and fragile, whether a dilapidated house, a two-hundred-year-old landscape, or the presence of people deeply rooted in the place they live. Contesting many long-standing assumptions about gentrification, Brown-Saracino’s absorbing study reveals the unexpected ways beliefs about authenticity, place, and change play out in the social, political, and economic lives of very different neighborhoods.