Sidewalk, Mitchell Duneier
An exceptional ethnography marked by clarity and candor, Sidewalk takes us into the socio-cultural environment of those who, though often seen as threatening or unseemly, work day after day on 'the blocks' of one of New York's most diverse neighborhoods. Sociologist Duneier, the author of Slim's Table, offers an accessible and compelling group portrait of several poor black men who make their livelihoods on the sidewalks of Greenwich Village selling secondhand goods, panhandling, and scavenging books and magazines.
Duneier spent five years with these individuals, and in Sidewalk he argues that, contrary to the opinion of various city officials, they actually contribute significantly to the order and well-being of the Village. An important study of the heart and mind of the street, Sidewalk also features an insightful afterword by longtime book vendor Hakim Hasan. This fascinating study reveals today's urban life in all its complexity: its vitality, its conflicts about class and race, and its surprising opportunities for empathy among strangers.
With photographs by Ovie Carter
Sidewalk, Mitchell Duneier, good copy
Farrar, Straus and Giroux, paperback, 383 pages
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