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The Store in the Hood is a comprehensive study of conflicts between immigrant merchants and customers throughout the U.S. during the 20th century. From the lynchings of Sicilian immigrant merchants in the late 1800s, to the riots in L.A. following the acquittal of the police officers who beat Rodney King, to present-day Detroit, recurrent conflicts between immigrant business owners and their customers have disrupted the stability of American life. Devastating human lives, property and public order, these conflicts have been the subject of periodic investigations that are generally limited in scope and emphasize the outlooks and cultural practices of the involved groups as the root of most disputes.
This book develops a more nuanced understanding by exploring merchant/customer conflicts over the past hundred years across a wide range of ethnic groups and settings. Utilizing published research, official statistics, interviews, and ethnographic data collected from diverse locations, the book reveals how powerful groups and institutions have shaped the environments in which merchant/customer conflicts occur. These conflicts must be seen as products of the larger society's values, policies and structures, not solely as a consequence of actions by immigrants, the urban poor, and other marginal groups.
Steven J. Gold is professor and graduate program director in the department of sociology at Michigan State University. The past chair of the International Migration Section of the American Sociological Association, Gold is the author, coauthor or coeditor of six books and the coeditor of The New Americans book series from LFB Publishers.
Table of Contents
Preface Acknowledgments Chapter 1: Introduction Chapter 2: Black Entrepreneurship from 1900 until 1935 Chapter 3: Immigrant Entrepreneurs' Relations with Customers in the Early 20th Century Chapter 4: The Fate of Minority Merchants during Depression and War Chapter 5: Government Policy, Ghettos, and Merchant-Customer Conflict after World War II Chapter 6: Demographic Change and Urban Transformation: Interactions between Immigrant Business Owners and Customers, 1970 to 2005 Chapter 7: The Informal Economy as a site of Competition between Disadvantaged Populations and Ethnic Merchants Chapter 8: Ethnic Merchants in a Black Majority City: The Case of Detroit (with Joe Darden) Chapter 9:Social Inequality and Merchant-Customer Conflicts Notes Bibliography Index About the Author
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