Sidewalk. Mitchell Duneier, Author, Ovie Carter, Photographer Farrar Straus Duneier infiltrated a stretch of lower Sixth Avenue frequented by scavengers. An exceptional ethnography marked by clarity and candor, Sidewalk takes us Duneier spent five years with these individuals, and in Sidewalk he argues that. Sociologist Duneier, author of Slim’s Table, offers an accessible and Duneier spent five years with these individuals, and in Sidewalk he argues that, contrary.

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Any day along Sixth Avenue in the Village, rows of tables congest the sidewalk, piled with reading material for saleā€”from new books to old magazines retrieved from Dumpsters.

The sellers are mostly black men; many are homeless, drug addicts, alcoholics.

Some in the neighborhood accept them as part of the scene, more view them as a threat to the quality of life of the area and a magnet for crime. They are not an aimless gathering of down-and-outers, but a complex world of norms and vuneier, of variegated attitudes and self-images.


dunier Still they rankle and are often the object of police harassment and government sanctions. Why this is so involves an intricate pas de deux between the street people and residents.

Because, for example, they assume with good reason they will not be allowed to use public facilities, the street people urinate in the street.

Because the street people urinate in the street, local merchants assume they are not the type of people to be allowed into their establishments. And on and on.

Underlying all of this, Duneier argues carefully, is the fear of black men in social spaces. His aim is to have us really begin to see such men. In this, he is ably assisted by the numerous photographs by Pulitzer-winner Ovie Carter illustrating the people, places, and predicaments of which Duneier writes.


A work that adds much to sidewakk understanding of race, poverty, and our reactions to them. There was a problem adding your email address. Be the first to discover new talent! Each week, our editors select the one author and one book they believe to be most worthy of your attention and highlight them in our Pro Connect email alert.


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“Sidewalk” – Mitchell Duneier by Alyssa Riposo on Prezi

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