"Living for the City:" : the political meaning of public housing residents' extraordinary struggle
Author(s)Green, La Tonya M. (La Tonya Mellissa), 1975-
Political meaning of public housing residents' extraordinary struggle
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Urban Studies and Planning.
J. Phillip Thompson.
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While the particularities of public housing residents' hardships often capture the attention of the national media, less recognized and understood is how public housing residents work to address the instabilities they encounter. Much of the existing literature on public housing provides an inadequate narrative for envisioning public housing residents as actors not simply as victims. Contextualized within an analysis of the evolving sociopolitical landscape of New York City, and through the study of resident activism at the James Weldon Johnson Houses in East Harlem, I examine how institutional arrangements affect public housing residents' agency. I found that it is the particular institutional arrangements that public housing residents reside within-as opposed to a culture of poverty-that greatly inhibits their ability to exert control over their living environment. My findings provide an account of the poor that challenges conventional depictions of their culture and behavior. I argue that the residents at the Johnson Houses resist the effects of the institutional arrangements they reside within by trying to simultaneously have their ideas incorporated into government established processes for shaping their immediate environment as well as trying to establish their own system for exercising control over their living environment.
Thesis (Ph. D. in Urban Sociology and Urban Planning)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Urban Studies and Planning, 2012.Cataloged from PDF version of thesis.Includes bibliographical references (p. 144-151).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Urban Studies and Planning.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Urban Studies and Planning.