Commentary Magazine


Field Work in Boston

To the Editor:

I was flattered by Michael Parenti’s review of my book, The Urban Villagers, [June] and his comparison of it with William F. Whyte’s Street Corner Society, but I would like to correct two inaccurate comments he made about the latter. Whyte was not “content with merely describing what he saw and heard”; his book was—and still is—a major theoretical contribution to our understanding of group structure and its impact on individual behavior, as well as of the relationship between a low-income population, the urban political machine, and the underworld. Also, Whyte spent a much longer time on his field work than I; he lived in the North End for three and a half years while I was in the West End for less than a year. Whyte’s study was published twenty years ago, and I can only hope that my book will stand the test of time half as well as his.

Herbert J. Gans

New York City

_____________

 

About the Author




Welcome to Commentary Magazine.
We hope you enjoy your visit.
As a visitor to our site, you are allowed 8 free articles this month.
This is your first of 8 free articles.

If you are already a digital subscriber, log in here »

Print subscriber? For free access to the website and iPad, register here »

To subscribe, click here to see our subscription offers »

Please note this is an advertisement skip this ad
Clearly, you have a passion for ideas.
Subscribe today for unlimited digital access to the publication that shapes the minds of the people who shape our world.
Get for just
YOU HAVE READ OF 8 FREE ARTICLES THIS MONTH.
FOR JUST
YOU HAVE READ OF 8 FREE ARTICLES THIS MONTH.
FOR JUST
Welcome to Commentary Magazine.
We hope you enjoy your visit.
As a visitor, you are allowed 8 free articles.
This is your first article.
You have read of 8 free articles this month.
YOU HAVE READ 8 OF 8
FREE ARTICLES THIS MONTH.
for full access to
CommentaryMagazine.com
INCLUDES FULL ACCESS TO:
Digital subscriber?
Print subscriber? Get free access »
Call to subscribe: 1-800-829-6270
You can also subscribe
on your computer at
CommentaryMagazine.com.
LOG IN WITH YOUR
COMMENTARY MAGAZINE ID
Don't have a CommentaryMagazine.com log in?
CREATE A COMMENTARY
LOG IN ID
Enter you email address and password below. A confirmation email will be sent to the email address that you provide.