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By Sudhir Venkatesh

"[A] interesting X-ray of the city...Venkatesh's engrossing narrative dissects the intricacies of unlawful commerce." --Publishers Weekly (STARRED review)

manhattan is a urban of highs and lows, the place prosperous elites proportion the streets with determined immigrants and destitute locals. Bridging this monetary divide is New York’s underground economic system, the invisible community of illicit transactions among wealthy and bad that secretly weaves jointly the total city.

Sudhir Venkatesh, acclaimed sociologist at Columbia collage and writer of Gang chief for a Day, returns to the streets to attach the dots of latest York’s divergent financial worlds and crack the code of the city’s underground economic system. in keeping with Venkatesh’s interviews with prostitutes and socialites, immigrants and teachers, excessive finish drug bosses and street-level buyers, Floating City exposes the underground because the city’s real engine of social transformation and financial prosperity—revealing a totally remarkable imaginative and prescient of latest York.

A memoir of sociological research, Floating City attracts from Venkatesh’s decade of study in the prosperous groups of higher East facet socialites and Midtown businessmen, the drug gangs of Harlem and the intercourse staff of Brooklyn, the artists of Tribeca and the escort providers of Hell’s Kitchen. Venkatesh arrived within the urban after his groundbreaking study in Chicago, the place crime remained stubbornly neighborhood: gangs caught to their housing initiatives and criminals stayed on their corners. yet in Floating City, Venkatesh discovers that New York’s underground financial system unites rather than divides population: an enormous community of “off the books” transactions linking the low and high worlds of town. Venkatesh indicates how dealing in medicines and intercourse and undocumented exertions bridges the normal divides among wealthy and negative, unmasking a urban knit jointly by means of the invisible threads of the underground economy.

Planting himself squarely inside of this unexplored international, Venkatesh heavily follows a dozen New Yorkers locked within the underground financial system. Bangledeshi store clerks like Manjun and Santosh navigate great networks of unlawful items and prone, connecting inquisitive travelers with intercourse employees and drug buyers. Hispanic prostitutes like Angela and Carla consider safe sufficient within the new urban to depart their outdated neighborhoods in the back of in pursuit of larger funds, but abandon the entire defense they'd whilst their consumers have been recognized locals. wealthy uptown girls like Analise and Brittany have the altering urban at their beck and contact, yet either flip to intercourse paintings as an ideal way to make ends meet with out hoping on their kinfolk fortunes. Venkatesh’s maximum advisor is Shine, an African American drug boss established in Harlem who hopes to wreck into the elusive, upscale cocaine industry. with out connections between filthy rich whites, Shine undertakes an audacious crusade of self-reinvention, forsaking the certainties of race and sophistication with all of the force of the best marketers. As Shine explains to Venkatesh, “This is ny! We’re like hummingbirds, guy. We pass flower to flower. . . . the following, you want to float.”

Floating urban: A Rogue Sociologist misplaced and located in New York’s Underground Economy chronicles Venkatesh’s decade of discovery and loss within the transferring terrain of recent York, the place learn topics could disappear unexpectedly and new allies emerge by accident, the place shut pals may well exhibit themselves to be criminals of the bottom order. Propelled via Venkatesh’s a variety of interviews and firsthand examine, Floating City at its middle is a narrative of 1 guy suffering to appreciate a posh worldwide urban regularly within the throes of becoming.

"Venkatesh brings to existence the underground economic system of recent York, the place wealthy and terrible and ranging ethnicities and backgrounds meet and serve as whereas they “float.” An enlightening book."

"Displays a piercing experience of empathy and talent to translate dry sociological rules into an figuring out of the tough lives of the city poor... Venkatesh has demonstrated a novel voice in city sociology, and his immersive study and insights stay penetrating and unique.

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Extra resources for Floating City: A Rogue Sociologist Lost and Found in New York's Underground Economy

Sample text

He referred there to art and to 'communal' relations, for example in marriage, in order to show that it was difficult, if not impossible, to classify them in terms of the means-ends schema. Art was, he claimed, not some goal being reached but rather the expression of evaluative attitudes. In marriage and in any 'community' there were, he continued, also no specified common goals, but rather common attitudes and unspecific interests; thus the partners' actions should be construed not as the pursuit of their own interests, but rather as the expression of an attitude of love or affection.

The debates on the accuracy of Parsons' interpretations of the two classical theorists of sociology most discussed today, namely Emile Durkheim and Max Weber, attracted most public attention. Given that Marshall and Pareto have played only a marginal role in debates on action theory since Parsons, there have been few critical investigations of Parsons' presentation of their thought. The few comments that have been made were generally sceptical of Parsons' purported exaggeration of the part played by consensus and order, pointing out that Pareto in particular, but also Marshall, both regarded conflict and inequality as important themes of their work.

It comes as no surprise that commentators have questioned the validity of this equation and attacked Parsons by pointing to the true complexity of the thought, for example, of David Hume, Adam Smith, John Stuart Mill and Herbert Spencer. These critics undoubtedly succeed in proving22 that all these authors by no means asserted that human wishes were exclusively presocial or egoistic in nature but had in fact, using a variety of different approaches, elaborated altruistic motives, sociable instincts and the ability to show sympathy as well as the social character and indispensability of norms.

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