KLINENBERG HEAT WAVE PDF

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Nicki Lisa Cole, Ph. Updated March 06, This month July marks the twentieth anniversary of the week-long Chicago heat wave that killed over people. Unlike other types of natural disasters, like hurricanes, earthquakes, and blizzards, heat waves are silent killers--their destruction is wreaked in private homes rather than in public. Paradoxically, despite the fact that heat waves are often far more deadly than these others kinds of natural disasters, the threats they pose receive very little media and popular attention.

The news we do hear about heat waves is that they are most risky to the very young and very old. Helpfully, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention points out that those who live alone, do not leave home on a daily basis, lack access to transportation, are ill or bedridden, socially isolated, and lack air conditioning are most at risk of perishing during a heat wave.

An urban sociologist, Klinenberg spent a few years conducting field work and interviews in Chicago following the heat wave, and conducted archival research to investigate why so many deaths occurred, who died, and what factors contributed to their deaths. Elderly Black residents were 1. Responding to this racial disparity in the aftermath of the crisis, city officials and many media outlets speculated based on racial stereotypes that this happened because Latinos have large and tight-knit families that served to protect their elderly.

But Klinenberg was able to disprove this as a significant difference between Blacks and Latinos using demographic and survey data, and found instead that it was the social and economic health of neighborhoods that shaped that outcome. Klinenberg illustrates this clearly with a comparison between two demographically very similar areas, North Lawndale and South Lawndale, that also have a few important differences.

North is primarily Black and neglected by city investment and services. It has many vacant lots and buildings, very few businesses, a lot of violent crime, and very little street life.

South Lawndale is primarily Latino, and though it has similar levels of poor and impoverished as does North, it has a thriving local business economy and a vibrant street life. Klinenberg found through conducting research in these neighborhoods that it was the character of their everyday life that shaped these disparate outcomes in levels of mortality.

In North Lawndale, elderly Black residents are too afraid to leave their homes to seek help in dealing with the heat, and have virtually no options of anywhere else to go in their neighborhood if they did leave. However in South Lawndale elderly residents are comfortable leaving their homes due to the character of the neighborhood, so during the heat wave they were able to leave their hot apartments and seek refuge in air conditioned businesses and senior centers.

What the heat wave revealed were "the hazardous social conditions that are always present but difficult to perceive. Those who are elderly and socially isolated, yes, but especially those who live in the neglected and forgotten neighborhoods that suffer the brunt of unjust economic inequality and the consequences of systemic racism.

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Review Quotes Malcolm Gladwell New Yorker "By the end of Heat Wave, Klinenberg has traced the lines of culpability in dozens of directions, drawing a dense and subtle portrait of exactly what happened during that week in July. God is in the details, though, and Klinenberg painstakingly lays out for us both the structural and more proximate policies that led to the disastrous Chicago mortality figures of July But his ultimate achievement is far more significant. In exploring what made Chicago so vulnerable to disaster in , Klinenberg provides a riveting account of the changes that reshaped urban America during the s and, indeed, throughout the postwar era. Yet they hardly generate the kind of buzz that hurricanes, earthquakes, tornadoes, or wildfires do. In the compelling, sobering, and exhaustively researched Heat Wave, Eric Klinenberg suggests a plausible reason.

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But his ultimate achievement is far more significant. In exploring what made Chicago so vulnerable to disaster in , Klinenberg provides a riveting account of the changes that reshaped urban America during the s and, indeed, throughout the postwar era. In this brilliant book, Klinenberg makes visible the ongoing disaster of poverty and isolation that is silently unraveling in some of the most affluent cities in North America. The result is a riveting tale of disaster, a book that we will be talking about for years. By analyzing the social and political causes of so-called heat deaths, Eric Klinenberg has powerfully illuminated the causation and culpability associated with the terrible events in Chicago. The book is not only intellectually exciting but may also help to save a great many lives. How hot was it?

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Eric Klinenberg

Nicki Lisa Cole, Ph. Updated March 06, This month July marks the twentieth anniversary of the week-long Chicago heat wave that killed over people. Unlike other types of natural disasters, like hurricanes, earthquakes, and blizzards, heat waves are silent killers--their destruction is wreaked in private homes rather than in public. Paradoxically, despite the fact that heat waves are often far more deadly than these others kinds of natural disasters, the threats they pose receive very little media and popular attention. The news we do hear about heat waves is that they are most risky to the very young and very old.

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