Floating City: A Rogue Sociologist Lost and Found in New York's Underground Economy

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9780143125792: Floating City: A Rogue Sociologist Lost and Found in New York's Underground Economy

After his insider's study of Chicago crack gangs electrified the academy, Columbia University sociologist Sudhir Venkatesh spent a decade immersed in New York's underbelly, observing the call girls, drug dealers, prostitutes and other strivers that make up this booming underground economy. Amidst the trust-funder cocktail parties, midtown strip clubs, and immigrant-run sex shops, he discovers a surprisingly fluid and dynamic social world - one that can be found in global cities everywhere - as traditional boundaries between class, race and neighbourhood dissolve.

In Floating City, Venkatesh explores New York from high to low, tracing the invisible threads that bind a handful of ambitious urban hustlers, from a Harvard-educated socialite running a high-end escort service to a Harlem crack dealer adapting to changing demands by selling cocaine to hedge fund managers and downtown artists. In the process, and as he questions his own reasons for going deeper into this subterranean world, Venkatesh finds something truly unexpected - community. Floating City is Venkatesh's journey through the 'vast invisible continent' of New York's underground economy - a thriving yet largely unseen world that exists in parallel to our own, at the heart of every city.

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Review:

A deeply researched, revealing study... novelistic... an unexpectedly vivid image of a New York not many get to see (Craig Taylor Guardian)

About the Author:

Sudhir Venkatesh is the William B. Ransford Professor of Sociology, and the Committee on Global Thought, at Columbia University. His last book Gang Leader for a Day, based on the decade he spent with the Black Kings gang in Chicago, was an international bestseller and received a Best Book award from The Economist. He lives in New York City.

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Book Description Penguin Books, 2014. Book Condition: New. Brand New, Unread Copy in Perfect Condition. A+ Customer Service! Summary: New York is a city of highs and lows, where wealthy elites share the streets with desperate immigrants and destitute locals. Bridging this economic divide is New York's underground economy, the invisible network of illicit transactions between rich and poor that secretly weaves together the whole city. Sudhir Venkatesh, author and acclaimed sociologist at Columbia University, returns to the streets to connect the dots of New York's divergent economic worlds. Planting himself squarely within this unexplored world, he closely follows a dozen New Yorkers locked in the underground economy. Based on Venkatesh's numerous interviews with prostitutes and socialites, immigrants and academics, Floating City exposes the underground as the city's true engine of social transformation and economic prosperity-revealing a wholly unprecedented vision of New York. Book jacket. Bookseller Inventory # ABE_book_new_0143125796

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Book Description Penguin Books, United States, 2014. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 202 x 134 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. New York is a city of highs and lows, where wealthy elites share the streets with desperate immigrants and destitute locals. Bridging this economic divide is New York s underground economy, the invisible network of illicit transactions between rich and poor that secretly weaves together the whole city. Sudhir Venkatesh, acclaimed sociologist at Columbia University and author of Gang Leader for a Day, returns to the streets to connect the dots of New York s divergent economic worlds and crack the code of the city s underground economy. Based on Venkatesh s interviews with prostitutes and socialites, immigrants and academics, high end drug bosses and street-level dealers, Floating City exposes the underground as the city s true engine of social transformation and economic prosperity revealing a wholly unprecedented vision of New York. A memoir of sociological investigation, Floating City draws from Venkatesh s decade of research within the affluent communities of Upper East Side socialites and Midtown businessmen, the drug gangs of Harlem and the sex workers of Brooklyn, the artists of Tribeca and the escort services of Hell s Kitchen. Venkatesh arrived in the city after his groundbreaking research in Chicago, where crime remained stubbornly local: gangs stuck to their housing projects and criminals stayed on their corners. But in Floating City, Venkatesh discovers that New York s underground economy unites instead of divides inhabitants: a vast network of off the books transactions linking the high and low worlds of the city. Venkatesh shows how dealing in drugs and sex and undocumented labor bridges the conventional divides between rich and poor, unmasking a city knit together by the invisible threads of the underground economy. Venkatesh closely follows a dozen New Yorkers locked in the underground economy. His greatest guide is Shine, an African American drug boss based in Harlem who hopes to break into the elusive, upscale cocaine market. Without connections among wealthy whites, Shine undertakes an audacious campaign of self-reinvention, leaving behind the certainties of race and class with all the drive of the greatest entrepreneurs. As Shine explains to Venkatesh, This is New York! We re like hummingbirds, man. We go flower to flower. . . . Here, you need to float. Floating City: A Rogue Sociologist Lost and Found in New York s Underground Economy chronicles Venkatesh s decade of discovery and loss in the shifting terrain of New York, where research subjects might disappear suddenly and new allies emerge by chance, where close friends might reveal themselves to be criminals of the lowest order. Propelled by Venkatesh s numerous interviews and firsthand research, Floating City at its heart is a story of one man struggling to understand a complex global city constantly in the throes of becoming. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9780143125792

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Book Description Penguin Books, United States, 2014. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 202 x 134 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. New York is a city of highs and lows, where wealthy elites share the streets with desperate immigrants and destitute locals. Bridging this economic divide is New York s underground economy, the invisible network of illicit transactions between rich and poor that secretly weaves together the whole city. Sudhir Venkatesh, acclaimed sociologist at Columbia University and author of Gang Leader for a Day, returns to the streets to connect the dots of New York s divergent economic worlds and crack the code of the city s underground economy. Based on Venkatesh s interviews with prostitutes and socialites, immigrants and academics, high end drug bosses and street-level dealers, Floating City exposes the underground as the city s true engine of social transformation and economic prosperity revealing a wholly unprecedented vision of New York. A memoir of sociological investigation, Floating City draws from Venkatesh s decade of research within the affluent communities of Upper East Side socialites and Midtown businessmen, the drug gangs of Harlem and the sex workers of Brooklyn, the artists of Tribeca and the escort services of Hell s Kitchen. Venkatesh arrived in the city after his groundbreaking research in Chicago, where crime remained stubbornly local: gangs stuck to their housing projects and criminals stayed on their corners. But in Floating City, Venkatesh discovers that New York s underground economy unites instead of divides inhabitants: a vast network of off the books transactions linking the high and low worlds of the city. Venkatesh shows how dealing in drugs and sex and undocumented labor bridges the conventional divides between rich and poor, unmasking a city knit together by the invisible threads of the underground economy. Venkatesh closely follows a dozen New Yorkers locked in the underground economy. His greatest guide is Shine, an African American drug boss based in Harlem who hopes to break into the elusive, upscale cocaine market. Without connections among wealthy whites, Shine undertakes an audacious campaign of self-reinvention, leaving behind the certainties of race and class with all the drive of the greatest entrepreneurs. As Shine explains to Venkatesh, This is New York! We re like hummingbirds, man. We go flower to flower. . . . Here, you need to float. Floating City: A Rogue Sociologist Lost and Found in New York s Underground Economy chronicles Venkatesh s decade of discovery and loss in the shifting terrain of New York, where research subjects might disappear suddenly and new allies emerge by chance, where close friends might reveal themselves to be criminals of the lowest order. Propelled by Venkatesh s numerous interviews and firsthand research, Floating City at its heart is a story of one man struggling to understand a complex global city constantly in the throes of becoming. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9780143125792

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