New Edition of a Classic

The University Press of Kansas is releasing the third edition of Dreier, Mollenkopf and Swanstrom’s Place Matters: Metropolitics for the 21st Century.

I’m eager to see how this edition addresses the neoliberal moment of Obama’s (mostly notional) urban policy, the ongoing neocon culture war against cities, and of course, secession movements.

I find it a bit curious that the promotional text heavily emphasizes the role of boundaries in reproducing class divisions while downplaying the kind of racial conflicts that I argue are highly relevant to boundary politics.

The problem of rising inequality is at the center of Place Matters. During the past several decades, the standard of living for the American middle class has stagnated, the number of poor people has reached its highest level since the 1960s, and the super-rich have dramatically increased their share of the nation’s wealth and income. At the same time, Americans have grown further apart in terms of where they live, work, and play. This trend—economic segregation—no longer simply reflects the racial segregation between white suburbs and minority cities.  In cities and suburbs alike, poor, middle class, and wealthy Americans now live in separate geographic spaces.

Prior editions of the work do stress the intersectionality of class stratification, racial segregation and metropolitan space, so I wonder if this is a press’s marketing strategy for our post-racial age? I’ll try to develop a metropolitics topics course next year to justify ordering an exam copy and get back to you..

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