Summary Of 'Evicted' By Matthew Desmond

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Evicted by Matthew Desmond explores the frequency and consequences of eviction in the lives of the urban poor. A quantitative analysis of administrative and survey data finds that eviction is ordinary in black neighborhoods, and women from those neighborhoods are evicted at higher rates than men. A qualitative analysis of Desmond’s ethnographic data reveal multiple components impelling his stated discrepancies between tenants and their landlords regarding evictions.
One of the main findings of the research is that irresponsible spending habits of individuals experiencing deep poverty is in fact logical. The clearest example of this is Larraine, who does little to directly save money but views purchasing items on layaway as an acceptable substitute.
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He primarily uses imagery and specific cases to present differences in material wealth between landlords and their tenants. In the case of tenants, the author frequently cites their poor living conditions. They often lived in poorly maintained homes where existing maintenance issues existed. He describes these homes in vivid detail, noting their peeling paint, uneven floors, and sinks blocked by decrepit plumbing. At several points, the author references Quentin’s extensive jewelry. Most notably, the author highlights Serena’s fondness for gambling and the frequent vacations her and Quentin took together. Vacations to Jamaica have no direct link to the eviction process; instead, these facts are meant to highlight the wealth gap between landlords and their tenants.
The research goal is noting the important cultural and psychological role that homes have played throughout generations in the United States and contrasting the effects evictions have on these values. A place of shelter. A place of steadiness. A place of family life. Overall, children who have stable housing receive resources that benefit them: positive relationships, money budgeting, and positive role models for
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His ethnography explores how people experience evictions and gives perspective on how these families and landlords perform under these circumstances. Desmond explains and demarginalizes how an individual’s socioeconomic development gets affected while living in an impoverished neighborhood as opposed to living in a resourceful neighborhood that provides for an environment of socioeconomic growth. The benefits of using this method of study is analyzing the world of these subjects through their lens in a natural setting. The potential drawback of Desmond’s methods are the constant reminder to remain impartial and distant – creating ethical problems. An ethical consideration that Desmond pondered was assisting families when they needed help financially. Multiple opportunities to help his subjects became apparent, but Desmond had to be patient during these opportunities; consistently, Desmond observed his subjects solve their own problems. Intervening during any social event may fragment any possible observation that might take away from Desmond’s ethnographic analysis. However, after the ethnography, Desmond referred the families to social services (housing assistance, childcare services, and financial management assistance) to address these ethical concerns. Overall, the author maintained no certain biases that affected the field study in any way; for example, when Larraine bought lobster using her welfare money, Desmond did not

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