When Work Disappears by William Julius Wilson
In 1978, William Julius Wilson, then a little-known sociologist at the University of Chicago, stirred an intellectual furor with The Declining Significance of Race, a book arguing that social class was becoming more important than racial discrimination in determining the prospects of blacks in American society.
Using the ghettos of Chicago as his laboratory, Wilson showed in The Declining Significance of Race that for blacks who succeeded in acquiring basic skills, there were fewer and fewer barriers to higher education, upwardly mobile careers, and integration into American society. At the same time, those, chiefly from poverty-stricken backgrounds, who failed to acquire such skills were finding their opportunities ever more limited.
About the Author
Leslie Lenkowsky is professor of public affairs and philanthropic studies at Indiana University.