The transformation that was experience in the American black ghetto resulted in decivilization and demonization of urban development. The revolution of the Black America ghetto involved de-civilizing of various sections of US cities, as well as demonizing of the black settlements within the US urban areas (Wacquant 96). Civilization involves change of people’s lifestyle, but de-civilization is transformation of a community into social relations, knowledge, habitat, and bodily functions in the reverse way. Demonization illustrates the abandonment of public authority in terms of controlling the black community, leading to violent crime due to unemployment. Demonizing process bred underclass society that is characterized by violent crime, sexual immorality and female-headed families. Differentiation in social structure has led to decline in the lifestyle in the ghetto.
State power is essential in enhancing social order. In regions where state power is not strong, fear, violence, and anarchy, becomes the rule of the day. State retrenchment led to public disorder not only in terms of economics and social welfare, but also in disintegration of public space. Consequently, de-civilizing and demonization have supported each other in legitimizing corrective containment, which is responsible for the current situation in American black ghetto. Although the black community has played a major role in the formation of the American black ghetto, failure to eradicate racial discrimination and inequality are blamed for proliferation of the American black ghetto.
The American frontier began when the Europeans came to settle along the American coast, which was perceived as the western boundary of settlement. However, the frontier was modified into a boundary of social control. Hogan, in his article “The Frontier as Social Control” deemed the end of frontier as a tragedy for the Americans because it was a government’s strategy to control its territory (35). The frontier contributed in absorbing the surplus population, which neutralized the status quo. Through the frontier, the state maintained social order and exploited the untapped resources.
The frontier bred an economically self-sufficient group that created discrete problems, as well as possibilities since new settlers had the power to evade outside interference. The colonial administration could not colonize the frontiers to avoid revolt from rich entrepreneurs. The frontier established the freedom of the settlers through revolt even though the new generation of the 1960s did not concentrate much on borders, and had nothing to do with agents of social power.
The colonialism that bred Ghettoism resulted to serious relationship problems between the white majority and the black community. In the article “Internal Colonialism and Ghetto Revolt,” Blauner endeavors to explore on white-Black relations. According to Blauner, the urban riots, cultural nationalism, as well as ghetto control, were consequences of white domination against Blacks Power (393). The caste theory emerged to separate the Blacks from the ethnic minorities The difference between riot and revolt is that the former is characterized by primitive form of expressing discontentment by uncontrollable mobs while the latter is a form of rebellion against injustice in community. While the whites recognized Black uprising as riot, the Blacks engaged in revolt to be incorporated in the social arrangement.
Racial groups have persisted in the American life, as whites still fear the unpredictable consequences of Black Power. Ghettoism summarized the colonial process, which was quite different from colonialism that interfered with the social system of African-Americans. The ambiguity developed when colonization went beyond political perspective. If Blacks were truly liberated from colonization, then freedom should have permitted them to participate not only in their own independent structures, but also in the larger society.
Blauner, Robert. “Internal Colonialism and Ghetto Revolt.” Social problems (1969): 393-408.
Hogan, Richard. “The frontier as social control.” Theory and Society 14.1 (1985): 35-51.
Wacquant, Loıc. “Decivilizing and demonizing: the remaking of the black American ghetto’in S.” Loyal and S. Quilley, The Sociology of Norbert Elias, Cambridge: CUP (2003): 95-121.