chapter  1
African Americans and Urban Neighborhood Communities
Pages 18

Employing the sociological imagination as a paradigm provides a fruitful means by which to understand the social processes of the ghetto, the interactions among people, institutions and organizations. The sociological imagination addresses some essential complexities by placing the individual problems within a context that includes more than the forces at work within the ghetto limits: a) it implicates both institutions and individuals (active or alienated) as agents in the formation and transformation of the urban ghetto, b) It recognizes the inherent contradictions in social institutions, the adverse effects of which are felt disproportionately by ghetto residents, c) It recognizes the varied and intense coercive agencies at work in the everyday life of the ordinary ghetto resident.