A Critical View of the Urban Crisis

  • Edward C. Banfield


From the farmhouse in Vermont where this is written, it is several miles to the nearest city, the population of which is about ten thousand, but one can find here most of the “big problems” that together are usually thought of as constituting “the urban crisis.” There are multiproblem families; welfare mothers—some of them visited, it is alleged, by mates; substandard housing; functional illiteracy—some of it on the part of high school graduates; hard-core unemployment—meaning able-bodied men who will not work; sexual promiscuity; drug abuse—a helicopter hovers overhead as this is written, searching for plantings of marijuana; pornography—this eventing, a local movie advertises, one may take an “unforgettable journey into a new erotic world” of “way-out German sex practices”; venereal disease—Operation Venus has recently been locally organized; and crime—mostly vandalism and stealing by juveniles, but occasionally violence by adults.


Central City Critical View Sexual Promiscuity Public Mind Substandard Housing 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 2.
    Charles L. Schultzeet al.,Setting National Priorities, the 1973 Budget(Washington, D.C.: The Brookings Institution, 1972), 291 and Table 9–1, 294–95.Google Scholar
  2. E. C. Banfield, “Revenue Sharing in Theory and Practice,”The Public Interest, no. 23 (Spring 1971): 33–45.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    D. M. Wilner, The Houseing Environment and Family Life (Baltimore, Md.: John Hopkins Press, 1962).Google Scholar
  4. 6.
    Andrew M. Greeley and Paul B. Sheatsley, “Attitudes toward Racial Integration,”Scientific American 225, no. 6 (December 1971): 13.Google Scholar
  5. 7.
    Michael J. Flax,Study in Comparative Urban Indicators: Conditions in 18 Large Metropolitan Areas(Washington, D.C.: The Urban Institute, 1972).Google Scholar
  6. 13.
    Reo M. Christenson, “The Old Values are the Best Values,” New York Times, 3 June 1972.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • Edward C. Banfield
    • 1
  1. 1.Harvard UniversityCambridgeUSA

Personalised recommendations