Thursday May 8th, 4-5:20 pm, Alexandra Murphy, postdoctoral fellow at the National Poverty Center at the University of Michigan Present: “When the Sidewalks End: Poverty in an African-American Suburb”
Please join us TODAY, May 8th (SS 302, 4:00-5:20pm) to hear Alexandra Murphy, postdoctoral fellow at the National Poverty Center at The University of Michigan, present her talk ’When the Sidewalks End’. An abstract for the presentation and a short bio can be found below.
Food will be provided. Persons requiring special assistance or accommodation should contact firstname.lastname@example.org. We hope to see you there!
The geography of poverty in the U.S. has changed dramatically. For the first time in American history, the suburbs are now home to the greatest share of people living in poverty. To date, we know little about the everyday lives of low income suburban residents or the community context in which they live. To fill this gap,Murphy moved into a Pittsburgh suburb experiencing rising poverty where she conducted 3.5 years of fieldwork among residents, community organizations, and the local government. Her talk “When the Sidewalks End” draws upon this fieldwork to examine how the social lives of low income residents are shaped by a built environment designed for middle class people with cars. She uses cuts to public transportation to illustrate a new form of isolation experienced by low income residents of the suburb and discusses the implications of this isolation for residents, the community, policy, and theories of social isolation that dominate studies of the urban poor.
Alexandra K. Murphy is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the National Poverty Center at the University of Michigan. She received her PhD in Sociology and Social Policy from Princeton University in 2012. Murphy’s research interests include ethnographic methods, urban sociology, poverty and inequality, race, organizations, and social policy. For the last few yearsMurphy has been drawing upon fieldwork methods to examine the everyday lives of poor people living in the suburbs as well as the organizational and political context of the suburbs in which they live. This work has resulted in articles published in City & Community, Sociological Forum, Social Science Quarterly, and The ANNALS. CurrentlyMurphy is drawing upon this fieldwork to write When the Sidewalks End: Poverty in an American Suburb (under contract with Oxford University Press). The book is based on three and a half years living in and studying one Pittsburgh suburb where poverty has been rising. This work has been featured in media outlets like The New York Times, Atlantic Cities,and Pittsburgh Tribune Review. Murphy is also co-editor, with Mitchell Duneier and Philip Kasinitz, of The Urban Ethnography Reader (Oxford University Press 2014).