The Jane Jacobs Urban Communication Book Award Awarded to Evelyn M. Perry

Evelyn M. Perry, Live and Let Live: Diversity, Conflict, and Community in an Integrated Neighborhood (Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 2017).

Evelyn M. Perry, Live and Let Live: Diversity, Conflict,
and Community in an Integrated Neighborhood
(Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 2017).

Live and Let Live: Diversity, Conflict and Community in an Integrated Neighborhood has been selected as the 2017 Jane Jacobs Urban Communication Foundation Award winner. The jury was unanimous in its decision and applauded the work as a rich, detailed, and engagingly written ethnography of how residents of an integrated neighborhood in Milwaukee (one of the most segregated cities in America) negotiate conflicts and differences related to class, race, sexuality, lifestyle, and politics. Her study shows in particular the tensions between two broad cultural approaches to dealing with neighborhood conflicts and tensions: (1) a “live and let live” urbanism that prefers informal processes of social control (forming connections with neighbors vs. calling the police) and which makes fine distinctions between tolerable urban disorders and more intolerable forms of harassment and crime, and (2) an emergent emphasis on and preference for more formal social controls (police, zoning, etc.) and middle-class/suburban definitions of order, often preferred by more recent arrivals (gentrifiers, etc.). Obviously the ability to live with conflicts and differences, particularly around politics, identity, race, and class, is top-of-mind in the first year of a uniquely divisive Trump Presidency. This context–as well as the book’s overall excellence–makes this a very topical choice as well.