Sharpening our understanding of urban America's integrated neighborhoods
Multiracial and Multiethnic Neighborhoods in the United States
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Michael T. Maly
Read an article with Michael Maly on the debate about preserving racial diversity in the "Oregonian", 23 November 2006.
At a time when cities appear to be fragmenting mosaics of ethnic enclaves, it is reassuring to know there are still stable multicultural neighborhoods. Beyond Segregation offers a tour of some of America's best known multiethnic neighborhoods: Uptown in Chicago, Jackson Heights (Queens), and San Antonio-Fruitvale in Oakland. Readers will learn the history of the neighborhoods and develop an understanding of the people that reside in them, the reasons they stay, and the work it takes to maintain each neighborhood as an affordable, integrated place to live.
"Maly argues that many neighborhoods actually do achieve stable racial integration, and that high rates of immigration suggest that the populations of more and more places will diversify over time. He brings the concept of residential integration into the 21st century by looking closely at the dynamics of multiethnic, multiracial settings, and considering what these places teach us about relevant strategies for improving racial and ethnic relations in the post-Civil Rights era. Maly writes clearly and concisely, and the book is fun to read. Beyond Segregation offers an important corrective to our perceptions of U.S. cities as inevitably and perpetually racially divided."
"Michael Maly has written a pioneering study of the evolving processes of neighborhood change in U.S. cities. Based on careful fieldwork in Chicago, New York City, and Oakland, Beyond Segregation opens new vistas on race and ethnic relations in our increasingly multicultural urban centers. Maly is attentive to the details of local institutional action and shrewd in his assessment of the connections between neighborhood-level and broader social phenomena."
"Readers won't be disappointed ... in the detailed descriptions of the communities or the challenge to conventional thinking on this still volatile subject."
"Maly's study is one of tempered hope that multiethnicity can be achieved.... This rich approach, however, draws a portrait of challenges and opportunities to which those working toward a truly integrated society can respond."
"Michael Maly's interesting new book...reveals the challenges and complexity of contemporary integration.... Maly's case studies present vivid and insightful descriptions of some wonderfully diverse communities and underscore both the role that the latest wave of immigration in playing in their creation and the role that local actors are playing in their longer-term stability."
"[Maly's] analysis contradicts research and commonly held perceptions that integration efforts have been failures.... Highly recommended."
"The recent book by Maly is an example par excellence among...academic sources on this topic.... The success of this book is in part due to its strong ethnographic research and its clever analysis, but the most important element may be Maly's storytelling power. It is an enjoyable as well as an informative book."
"Maly provides extensive historical commentary on how different racial and ethnic groups came together….In essence, this book is a statement that race and ethnicity do not have to be the bases for social division in urban community life...Hence, rather than delivering an account of the possibilities for such mixed communities in 21st century America, Maly’s work may best be speaking about how certain kinds of mixed racial landscapes have become palatable for Americans at the end of the twentieth century."
"Maly’s interesting book...delves into the complex process of integration and reveals the intricacies and challenges needed to be overcome through three fascinating case studies. Maly’s study of the creation, workings and sustainability of integrated neighborhoods in American cities in Beyond Segregation makes a welcome contribution to the current debates on segregation, multiculturalism, and integration."
"Maly articulates a number of important insights into neighborhood functioning, stable unplanned integration, and the roles of grassroots movements that should interest a wide variety of scholars. Beyond the book's value as a piece of research, it is a joy to read and it is highly recommended."