Section I: Being There, Up Close
Pages 62

When I began this study, the West End was facing destruction as a slum under the urban redevelopment program. For more than seven years, federal and local agencies had been preparing the plans, and getting the necessary approvals for tearing down the old structures and for building a new neighborhood-not for the West Enders, but for high-income tenants of luxury apartment buildings. One of the original reasons for making a study was to discover how the West Enders as individuals and as a community were reacting to the eventual-and then imminent-destruction of their neighborhood

Had the West Enders exhibited the expected stress, the book might have dealt with these phenomena in much greater detail.1 As it turned out, however-for reasons to be described below-most West Enders did not react in this fashion and continued to follow their normal routines.2 Because of this and because of my greater interest in the workings of the peer group society, the discussion of redevelopment has been limited to this epilogue.