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Geographical Review (2005)
In the public-space discourse Los Angeles is usually portrayed as more "anti-city" than city. Its landscape is overrun by houses, "private-public" squares and plazas, theme parks, shopping malls, and so on and lacks inclusive public places. Yet this discourse has essentially disdained to contemplate a major public space that contradicts its general thesis: the Los Angeles coast. The coast is meaningful public place in two specific senses. First, it symbolizes Los Angeles as a whole and therefore provides a basis for regional public identity. Second, Angelinos themselves take the coast seriously as a public place, and they have striven to make it inclusive in prac- tice.
This paper explores the place-based meanings of an urban public space, MacArthur Park, in a Latino and immigrant neighborhood in Los Angeles, California. Both quantitative and qualitative data analysis revealed a broad range of park experiences that were both positive and negative and produced meanings that were individual, social, cultural, and political. The study found that MacArthur Park affirms traditional national, cultural, and ethnic identities for immigrants and supports their construction of a new, translocal and Central American identity in Los Angeles. Although the study found that the park also serves as a restorative, entertaining, and social space for park goers, these positive experiences were accompanied by negative experiences and meanings of the park related to maintenance and crime and conflicts associated with inequality and access, confirming the importance of considering the full range of social, cultural, and political meanings associated with place.
Thunderbird International Business Review (2010)
In this article, we aim to develop a conceptual framework from a community perspective to examine the noneconomic effects of ethnic entrepreneurship, paying close attention to the linkage between entrepreneurship and community building. We base our analysis on ethnographic data from our comparative case studies of the Chinese and Korean enclave economies in Los Angeles. We argue that it is the social embeddedness of entrepreneurship, rather than individual entrepreneurs per se, that creates a unique social environment conducive to upward social mobility. This study suggests that ethnic entrepreneurship plays a pivotal role in immigrant adaptation beyond observable eco- nomic gains. Policy implications are discussed.
Town Planning Review (1993)
Urban plazas have proliferated in American downtowns during the last decade. This paper examines the private production of open space as a form of privatisation of a public amenity. Using three case studies of plazas built by private capital in downtown Los Angeles, the study examines their development process, design and physical layout, management, control and social uses. It is found that the spaces display characteristics drastically different from those of traditional public places. Certain design cues in combination with stringent control practices are used in these settings to promote the purposes and goals of private enterprise. Characteristics such as introversion, enclosure, protection, escapism, commercialism, social filtering and exclusivity are seen as resulting in environments that are congruent with the private interests but not always beneficial to the general public.
Children, Youth and Environments (2006)
Results from an inner-city teen focus group on parks and urban green space in Los Angeles, California and responses to parallel questions posed to adults from the same area show striking differences. While adults focused on activities and cited a need for additional recreation-oriented parks for teens, teenagers themselves focused on greened spaces suitable for socializing and relaxing. Teens were also keenly interested in local parks, aware of maintenance issues, and concerned about personal safety.
Journal of Planning Education and Research (1995)
The paper examines four case studies of neighborhood parks in socially and ethnically diverse communities of Los Angeles in order to explore similarities and differences of their uses and assigned meanings. More specifically, the study utilizes structured field observations and surveys of users in order to examine sociocultural patterns of park use, the relevance of past models of park design, and the level of fit between current park form and contemporary user needs.
Social Forces (2013)
In this article, we extend research on neighborhood social isolation by (1) examining residents of disadvantaged and advantaged communities and (2) considering the character of neighborhoods where people conduct routine activities away from home. We contend that social isolation is experienced by residents of both highly disadvantaged and highly advantaged neighborhoods because the two groups spend time in largely nonoverlapping parts of the city. Individual and neighborhood race-ethnic dynamics exacerbate such social isolation. Data from the Los Angeles Family and Neighborhood Survey show that social isolation is experienced by residents of all areas of the city, whether highly disadvantaged or advantaged. African Americans, Latinos and residents of areas with many Latinos suffer additional penalties in the social isolation of disadvantage in where they conduct routine activities.
Journal of Planning Education and Research (1993)
The development of downtown public space has been increasingly defined by agreements negotiated between the public and private sectors. In the last decades the majority of downtown public space has occurred in the form of urban plazas, built as integral parts of privately owned office and retail complexes. In this paper we document the private production of public open space in the downtown areas of Los Angeles and San Francisco - two cities that have used distinctively different policy approaches in forming public-private partnerships. We examine how the process of public open space creation is affected by the culture of planning and development, and discuss similarities and differences in the imagery and form of plazas in the two cities. It is found that urban plazas are the reflection of a market-driven urbanism. As such they are quite homoge- neous in their form despite differences in the planning style and development process encountered in the two California cities.
American Journal of Sociology (2017)
Drawing on the social disorganization tradition and the social ecological perspective of Jane Jacobs, the authors hypothesize that neighborhoods composed of residents who intersect in space more frequently as a result of routine activities will exhibit higher levels of collective efficacy, intergenerational closure, and social network interaction and exchange. They develop this approach employing the concept of ecological networks—two-mode networks that indirectly link residents through spatial overlap in routine activities. Using data from the Los Angeles Family and Neighborhood Survey, they find evidence that econetwork extensity (the average proportion of households in the neighborhood to which a given household is tied through any location) and intensity (the degree to which household dyads are characterized by ties through multiple locations) are positively related to changes in social organization between 2000–2001 and 2006–2008. These findings demonstrate the relevance of econetwork characteristics—heretofore neglected in research on urban neighborhoods—for consequential dimensions of neighborhood social organization.
Urban Studies Journal Foundation (2014)
Recent case studies of receiving communities have established that translocal immigrants are transforming their neighbourhoods, producing spaces of identity. While these studies have focused on the reshaping of local power dynamics, less attention has been given to the spaces, themselves, and the qualities that influence identity. This study utilises place identity literature, from environmental psychology, to explore the remaking of MacArthur Park, a public space at the centre of a Mexican and Central American immigrant community in Los Angeles, California. We find that new ‘place identities’ are influenced by the specific physical, social, and cultural elements of the park, as study participants attempt to maintain identities influenced by important places in their sending communities. The result is a park that has emotional significance for participants, significance that leads to agency – everyday and political practices – to protect the park, sometimes in the face of immense challenges.
Sociological Methods & Research (2019)
This article makes the case for shadowing as ethnographic methodology: focusing attention on what occurs as interlocutors move among settings and situations. Whereas ethnographers often zoom in on one principal set of situations or site, we argue that intersituational variation broadens and deepens the researcher’s ethnographic account as well as affording important correctives to some common inferential pitfalls. We provide four warrants for shadowing: (a) buttressing intersituational claims, (b) deepening ethnographers’ ability to trace meaning making by showing how meanings shift as they travel and how such shifts may affect interlocutors’ understandings, (c) gaining leverage on the structure of subjects’ social worlds, and (d) helping the ethnographer make larger causal arguments. We show the use value of these considerations through an analysis of violence and informal networks in an ethnography of immigrant Latinos who met to socialize and play soccer in a Los Angeles park.
Journal of the American Planning Association (2003)
This article discusses successful common grounds for children public settings that enable the harmonious intermingling of children of different backgrounds, races, and ethnicities and that encourage their social interchange, play, educational development, and collaboration. Our study focused on three types of public space that tend to bring these children together: the public school, the park, and the neighborhood community center. The research employed a variety of methods to study the interaction of children 9 to 12 years of age. Field work took place at four sites in West Los Angeles, Santa Monica, and the San Fernando Valley that enjoy a high level of intermixing and have a reputation for promoting diversity. Subjects in the research included children, teachers, and administrators. The article highlights the findings of the field work and concludes with a comparative analysis of the different settings and a discussion of the environmental and programmatic attributes that contribute to their success.
PoLAR: Political and Legal Anthropology Review (2000)
Journal of the American Planning Association (2016)
Problem, research strategy, and findings: Parks provide important physiological and psychological benefi ts to seniors, improving their quality of life; they are particularly important for low-income, inner-city seniors who lack access to open and green space. However, seniors do not often use parks partly because park design and programming are not responsive to their diverse needs and values. To identify what low-income, inner-city seniors seek and value in neighborhood parks, and to provide guidance to planners on how to better design senior-friendly parks, we conducted a literature review and held focus groups with 39 low-income, ethnically diverse seniors in an inner-city neighborhood in Los Angeles (CA). We asked these seniors about their preferences as well as the challenges and barriers they encounter in using neighborhood parks. Seniors report many impediments to park use; they are not provided appropriate programming that allows opportunities for socializing, safety, and security within the park and along access routes; opportunities for exercise and walking; and aesthetic and natural elements that provide contact with nature.Takeaway for practice: Park planners and designers should seek to incorporate senior voices in park design and programming in four ways by developing appropriate programming sensitive to diverse needs, accommodating the desire for �seniors-only� parks, promoting security and safety in the park and along access routes, and offering open and green space. We also fi nd the need for additional research on seniors from different racial and ethnic backgrounds.
Journal of Planning Education and Research (2015)
Although informality is typically associated with developing countries, this article argues that informal activities are an integral part of U.S. cities and should be addressed in planning curricula. It focuses on planning education and suggests a possible course, which includes a seminar covering academic literature on informality in both developing and developed countries, and fieldwork-based, case study research by students. It also suggests that the course can be an important avenue for students to understand inequality and poverty and an excellent method for preparing them to think about institutions and regulations in complex and sophisticated ways.
Urban Anthropology and Studies of Cultural Systems and World Economic Development (2006)
Privatized public space reflects a current moment in the ongoing negotiation of the relationship between the state and the market that is a central concern of liberalism. The configuration of this relationship has consequences for the nature of citizenship and democracy in theory and practice. Emblematic of a shift to the privatization of urban public space, California Plaza provides a case by which to examine the multiscalar interests and machinations of the neoliberal state in practice. Exploring the meanings of public and private that are produced by a corporate plaza enables an assessment of how privatized public space helps constitute contemporary citizenship. Institutional and legal frameworks serve as a foundation for the relative publicness of the corporate plaza. Techniques of exclusion and control through design features and security measures exclude errant bodies and regulate the seamlessness of the desired public. At the same time, counter practices indicate the emergence of spaces and subjects that destabilize presumed notions of public and private.
Social Forces (2016)
Latino immigrant presence in urban neighborhoods has been linked with reduced neighborhood cohesion in social disorganization-based ethnic heterogeneity hypotheses and enhanced cohesion in immigration revitalization approaches. Using the 2000–2002 Los Angeles Family and Neighborhood Survey and the 1994–1995 Project on Human Development in Chicago Neighborhoods Community Survey, we explore the association between Latino immigrant concentration and both levels of, and agreement about, neighborhood collective efficacy. Findings from multilevel models with heteroskedastic variance indicate that Latino immigrant concentration exhibits a nonlinear association with collective efficacy. At low levels, increases in Latino immigrant concentration diminish collective efficacy, consistent with a heterogeneity hypothesis. The negative association between Latino immigrant concentration and collective efficacy declines in magnitude as immigrant concentration increases and, particularly in LA, becomes positive beyond a threshold, consistent with an immigration revitalization effect. We also find an inverse nonlinear pattern of association with the variance of collective efficacy. At low levels, increasing Latino immigrant concentration increases the variance of collective efficacy (reflecting more disagreement), but beyond a threshold, this association becomes negative (reflecting increasing agreement). This pattern is observed in both LA and Chicago. The prevalence of social interaction and reciprocated exchange within neighborhoods explains a modest proportion of the Latino immigrant concentration effect on mean levels of collective efficacy in Chicago, but does little to explain effects on the mean in LA or effects on the variance in either LA or Chicago. These findings offer insight into the complex role Latino immigrant presence plays in shaping neighborhood social climate.
American Sociological Review (2002)
The 1992 Los Angeles riot, the boycotts of Korean-owned businesses, and the 1995 firebombing of a Jewish-owned store in New York's Harlem brought concerns about race and ethnic relations in black neighborhoods to the fore. Images of conflict seared into the public consciousness that black communities are fraught with racial animosity, with immigrant merchants pitted against black customers. The merchant- customer relationship has been cited as a catalyst to such conflicts. This image of conflict, however, is inconsistent with most merchant-customer interactions and does not reflect the full range of commercial life in black communities. Most merchant- customer interactions are civil and ordinary. Civil relations prevail because merchants foster civility, abate tensions, and thwart conflict. However, under conditions of extreme inequality, small events can trigger racial anger, and the symbolic significance of nonblack-owned businesses can become a stimulus of motivations for protest that leads to boycotts and firebombings. This study is based on 75 in-depth interviews of African American, Jewish, and Korean merchants and on 75 in-depth interviews with black customers and both participant and nonparticipant observation at five research sites in New York City and Philadelphia.
Environment and behavior (2000)
As communities become more urbanized, there is concern about a decline in sense of community and an increase in fear of crime. Developers are creating gated communities to reverse this trend, but their success remains unknown. This research empirically addresses the issues of sense of community, crime, and fear of crime in a comparative study of two gated and two nongated communities with similar attributes. Mail surveys were conducted in both a gated and a nongated community in two contexts: public housing and high-income suburban communities. Results showed that high-income gated community residents reported a significantly lower sense of community, significantly higher perceived personal safety and comparative community safety, and no significant difference in actual crime rate as compared to their nongated counterparts. In the low-income communities, there were no significant differences between the gated and nongated communities on any of the measures. Implications of creating gated communities in different economic contexts are discussed.
Sociological Methods & Research (2018)
The National Study of Protest Events (NSPE) employed hypernetwork sampling to generate the first-ever nationally representative sample of protest events. Nearly complete information about various event characteristics was collected from participants in 1,037 unique protests across the United States in 2010 to 2011. The first part of this article reviews extant methodologies in protest-event research and discusses how the NSPE overcomes their recognized limitations. Next, we detail how the NSPE was conducted and present descriptive statistics for a number of important event characteristics. The hypernetwork sample is then compared to newspaper reports of protests. As expected, we find many differences in the types of events these sources capture. At the same time, the overall number and magnitude of the differences are likely to be surprising. By contrast, little variation is observed in how protesters and journalists described features of the same events. NSPE data have many potential applications in the field of contentious politics and social movements, and several possibilities for future research are outlined.