What if the dominant discourse on poverty in the United States is wrong? What if the problem isn’t that poor people have bad morals, or that they lack the skills and smarts to fit in with our shiny 21st-century economy? What if the problem is that poverty is profitable? These are the questions at the heart of Evicted, Matthew Desmond’s extraordinary study of tenants in low-income housing in the de-industrialized city of Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
In his book, Princeton sociologist Matthew Desmond follows the fortunes of eight families as they struggle to keep a roof over their heads. Praised by former president Barack Obama, Evicted transforms our understanding of poverty and economic exploitation and provides fresh ideas for solving one of 21st-century America’s most devastating problems. Milwaukee, one of the most segregated cities in the US, is a telling example.
After his talk, Desmond will be joined by Cody Hochstenbach, postdoctoral researcher in urban geography at the University of Amsterdam, to reflect on the changing Dutch housing market in the light of developments in America. Final speaker of the evening will be journalist Arjen van Veelen of De Correspondent, who has written a book on his experiences living in in the city of St Louis in the US, where he reported on the unrest in Ferguson.
Moderator: Tracy Metz
In collaboration with: De Balie & De Correspondent