A Good Reputation: How Residents Fight for an American Barrio (Paperback)

A Good Reputation: How Residents Fight for an American Barrio By Elizabeth Korver-Glenn, Sarah Mayorga Cover Image
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A historic Houston barrio provides an illuminating lens on neighborhood reputation.
Neighborhoods have the power to form significant parts of our worlds and identities. A neighborhood’s reputation, however, doesn’t always match up to how residents see themselves or wish to be seen. The distance between residents’ desires and their environment can profoundly shape neighborhood life.  
In A Good Reputation, sociologists Elizabeth Korver-Glenn and Sarah Mayorga delve into the development and transformation of the reputation of Northside, a predominantly Latinx barrio in Houston. Drawing on two years of ethnographic research and in-depth interviews with residents, developers, and other neighborhood stakeholders, the authors show that people’s perceptions of their neighborhoods are essential to understanding urban inequality and poverty. Korver-Glenn and Mayorga’s empirically detailed account of disputes over neighborhood reputation helps readers understand the complexity of high-poverty urban neighborhoods, demonstrating that gentrification is a more complicated and irregular process than existing accounts of urban inequality would suggest. Offering insightful theoretical analysis and compelling narrative threads from understudied communities, A Good Reputation will yield insights for scholars of race and ethnicity, urban planning, and beyond.

About the Author

Elizabeth Korver-Glenn is assistant professor of sociology at University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. She is the author of Race Brokers: Housing Markets and Segregation in 21st Century America. Sarah Mayorga is associate professor of sociology at Brandeis University in Waltham, MA. She is the author of Urban Specters: The Everyday Harms of Racial Capitalism and Behind the White Picket Fence: Power and Privilege in a Multiethnic Neighborhood.

Praise For…

"In this brilliantly designed and executed ethnographic study, Elizabeth Korver-Glenn and Sarah Mayorga reveal the complex and contradictory forces seeking to shape the reputation of a high poverty Latinx neighborhood. While the imperatives of racial capitalism promote an ethos of development based on courting outside investment and disavowing the area’s Black and Brown populations and cultures, a counter-aesthetic emerges from the grass roots grounded in welcoming signs and symbols of diversity as desirable. Scholars and policy makers have long understood how urban inhabitants stage battles over resources, rights, and recognition; Korver-Glenn and Mayorga make it clear that contests over reputation play essential roles in those conflicts as well."

— George Lipsitz, author of How Racism Takes Place

"Urban sociologists have studied processes of gentrification in great detail over the past several decades, but as Sarah Mayorga and Elizabeth Korver-Glenn point out, most low-income neighborhoods do not gentrify. How does racial capitalism and the resistance to it play out in the neighborhoods with more typical socio-economic trajectories? Sarah Mayorga and Elizabeth Korver-Glenn address this important question with an expertly written deep and multifaceted ethnography covering the span of a decade. In addition to being essential reading for sociologists interested in neighborhood change and the modalities of racial capitalism, this book will be a highly engaging addition graduate and undergraduate urban sociology courses."
— Nora Taplin-Kaguru, Bryn Mawr College
Product Details
ISBN: 9780226833859
ISBN-10: 0226833852
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Publication Date: June 10th, 2024
Pages: 208
Language: English