Living in the Essay

Torso’s City 3 eye characteristics: average individual incomes decreased by 20% or more between 1970 and 2005 relative to the Toronto average individual income Neighborhoods comprise about 39% of the city neighborhoods Key issues deterministic-planning a lack of regard for the post-colonial and immigrant experiences of the families that live there large concentration of poverty and lives lived amid crowded high-rise buildings and housing projects the constant surveillance and media representations of violence perpetuated by the City of Toronto Police, Housing Corporation, and media outlets Defining the Ghetto (A first approach) The 40% criterion: “an area in which the overall poverty rate in a census tract is greater than 40 percent. The ghetto poor are then those poor, of any race or ethnic group, who live in such high-poverty census tracts… Visits to various cities confirmed that the 40 percent criterion came very close to identifying areas that looked like ghettos in terms of their housing conditions. Moreover, the areas selected by the 40 percent criterion corresponded closely with the neighborhoods that city officials and local census urea officials considered ghettos… Let is important to distinguish our definition of ghetto tracts based on a poverty criterion from a definition based on racial composition.

Not all majority black tracts are ghettos under our definition nor are all ghettos black. Arrows and Bane 1991:239-241) Defining the Ghetto (A second Approach) “the ghettos’ of space and group-specific institutions all four major ‘elementary forms’ of racial domination, namely, categorization, discrimination, segregation and exclusionary violence” (Loci Yucatan: Urban Outcasts, 1995) “the hypertext’ Is moreover defined by the “physical dilapidation, social decay and stunning depopulation” that has further led to a “collective demutualization” and “absent presence” of the state (course reading) What researchers find in Torso’s inner city Schools?

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Violence and Cultural Complexity This is where the documentary intervenes: The film looks into how violence is based on a logic of reciprocity (code of honor) and how this logic/dynamic can be interrupted It assumes/demonstrates how former actors of violence (gang leaders) take on a new role as interrupters of violence It lows insights into people’s aspirations and dimensions of everyday life (resilience and where alternatives originate) What needs to be discussed Does the film reproduce an ‘ecology-centered’ discourse or does it allow for seeing the cultural complexity of violence in a broader perspective? The Interrupters (Documentary) Dir. Steve James Film about “violence interrupters” in Chicago “who use their own personal experience and street credibility to work in the communities” (film synopsis) Discuss along with L. Waistcoat’s article (same context)

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