query: block clubs

colist at comm-org.wisc.edu colist at comm-org.wisc.edu
Sun Jan 28 09:22:35 CST 2007

[ed:  thanks to Deborah for replying to Amanda's query.]

From: "Deborah Martin" <DeMartin at clarku.edu>

This is in response to the query by Amanda Seligman for secondary 
scholarship on the history of block clubs, or about block clubs:

I'm afraid my memory isn't going to serve well here, but I recall a book 
about Chicago neighborhoods, I think they were SW, that had been 
working-class white and were resisting racial change (this was in the 
60s or 70s I think).  I probably used the book for my dissertation, and 
searching its bibliography, I come up with three possibilities for this 
work --which as I recall, talked about block organizing.

Suzanne Keller _The Urban Neighborhood_
The other two potential authors are people for whom I have names but not 
book titles:
Leanne Rivlin
Rebecca L. Smith

Perhaps someone else on the list has some ideas.

Finally, not to toot my own horn, but I did a case study of organizing 
and what I called "place framing" in St. Paul, Minnesota, for my 
dissertation, and two articles from that give some information about the 
block club in the neighborhood. It may not be quite what you are looking 
for, but the first one listed analyses the discursive and organizing 
strategies of the block club, by paying attention to its gendered 
language.  The second talks about the block club, but also other forms 
of organizing in the case study neighborhood:

Deborah G. Martin, 2002, "Constructing the 'neighborhood sphere': gender 
and community organizing," Gender, Place and Culture 9(4): 333-350.

Deborah G. Martin, 2003, "'Place-framing' as place-making: constituting 
a neighborhood for organizing and activism," Annals of the Association 
of American Geographers 93(3): 730-750.

I hope that is helpful,

Deborah G. Martin                 Email: demartin at clarku.edu
Assistant Professor               Phone: 508-793-7104
School of Geography             Fax: 508-793-8881
Clark University                    
950 Main St.
Worcester, MA 01610

colist at comm-org.wisc.edu wrote:
> --------
> This is a COMM-ORG 'colist' message.
> All replies to this message come to COMM-ORG only.
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> [ed:  please feel welcomed to copy COMM-ORG with responses to Amanda's 
> query.]
> From: Amanda Seligman <seligman at uwm.edu>
> Dear Colleagues
> For an article on the history of block clubs, I am in search of
> secondary scholarship.  While I have collected many references to block
> clubs in other books--references of a page or so at most--the only
> extended description or analysis of block clubs that I have found is
> chapter 6 of Sylvia Hood Washington's PACKING THEM IN:  AN ARCHAEOLOGY
> OF ENVIRONMENTAL RACISM IN CHICAGO, 1865-1954 (Lexington Books, 2005).
> Searches of scholarly databases are coming up null.  Can anyone
> recommend any scholarship on block clubs, especially extended
> descriptions in books or chapters in anthologies that would not be
> indexed by the standard databases?
> Thank you for any help you can give in this matter.
> Amanda

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