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Small, M. L., Newman, K. (2001). Urban Poverty after The Truly Disadvantaged: The Rediscovery of the Family, the Neighborhood, and Culture. Annual Review of Sociology 27:23-45.

In what follows we critically assess a selection of the works on urban poverty that followed the publication of WJWilson’s The Truly Disadvantaged (1987),
with a particular focus on the family, the neighborhood, and culture. We frame our discussion by assessing the broad explanations of the increased concentration of poverty in urban neighborhoods characteristic of the 1970s and 1980s. Then, in the section on the family, we address the rising out-of-wedlock and disproportionately high teenage birthrates of poor urban women. Next, we critique the literature on neighborhood effects. Finally, in the discussion of culture, we examine critically the new efforts at complementing structural explanations with cultural accounts.We conclude by calling for more comparative, cross-regional, and historical studies, broader conceptions of urban poverty, and a greater focus on Latinos and other ethnic groups.


Small, Mario Luis

Mario L. Small, Ph.D., 2001, Harvard University, has been at the University of Chicago since 2006. A recipient of the C. Wright Mills Best Book Award (2005 and 2010), the Robert Park Best Book Award (2005), the Jane Addams Best Article Award (2004), and numerous other honors, he has published books...

Newman, Katherine S.

Katherine S. Newman, a widely published expert on poverty and the working poor and an experienced academic administrator, joined Johns Hopkins in September 2010 as the James B. Knapp Dean of the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences. Newman was previously the Malcolm Stevenson Forbes '41...

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