Employment Policy, Community Development, and the Underclass
The difficulties in achieving a consensus regarding the definition of the underclass cannot be minimized. The term was first coined by The New Yorker writer Ken Auletta (1982) who used it broadly to include individuals with "behavioral and income deficiencies." Other definitions have been advanced by the seminal works of William Julius Wilson (1987), Erol Ricketts and Isabel Sawhill (1986), Douglas Glasgow (1980), William Darity (1980), and finally Christopher Jencks (1992) who draws fine distinctions of the underclass by classifying its members into various subgroups, that is, impoverished underclass, jobless underclass, reproductive underclass, educational underclass and violent underclass. In this paper, I consider as members of the underclass, individuals residing in urban centers, mostly in inner city areas. Their neighborhoods experience concentrated poverty and joblessness, and violence, and lack community supporting institutions. Those individuals who are employed are "working poor" and their education is at the high- school level or below; and, a good number of them are single parents, either male or female heads of households. Finally, I include as members of the underclass, a significant fraction of the more 45% of children under 6 years of age and individuals under the age of 18, who live below the poverty line. Even though, only a fraction of those living in poverty reside in these neighborhoods --about 21 per cent of all persons and 34 per cent of blacks reside in inner city areas were below the poverty line n 1994-- escaping from there requires confronting and dealing with a plethora of insurmountable obstacles. It should be noted that the members of the underclass are not likely to include Jews, Irish or Italians (Duster 1995), nor are they only African-Americans. If it were only a "black problem," it would disregard the two-thirds of African-Americans who are not poor, and the two-thirds of the poor residing in inner ci
(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- David M. Cutler & Lawrence F. Katz, 1991. "Macroeconomic Performance and the Disadvantaged," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 22(2), pages 1-74.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:lev:wrkpap:wp_220. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Marie-Celeste Edwards)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.