By Katherine Mumford and Anne Power.
The authors delve into the lives of people living in Hackney and
Newham to find out what has happened to the bonds of cohesion that
have been the hallmark of London’s East End communities.
Anyone familiar with the work of these authors will know that their
research is always methodologically careful and extremely powerful
in uncovering what is happening in disadvantaged areas of our
cities. Here they have focused on how family life is shaped or
troubled by neighbourhood conditions.
Chapters address attitudes about community spirit and ethnic
division, mothers struggling with paid work, and families’
experiences of crime and antisocial behaviour. One conclusion that
surprised the authors was how much community does matter. Overall,
85 per cent of families connected directly to their neighbourhood
through work, joining in local activities and voluntary
The authors bring their own expertise in analysing and drawing
conclusions. The result throws a brilliant light on the dynamics of
disadvantaged urban neighbourhoods in Britain.
John Pierson is senior lecturer, institute of social work
and applied social studies, Staffordshire University and is author
of Tackling Social Exclusion (Routledge/Community Care,