An essay on this topic could relate Elijah Anderson's article "The Iconic Ghetto" to a modern sociologist like Zygmunt Bauman or Judith Butler.
In Wasted Lives, Bauman identifies "an acute crisis of the human waste disposal industry." According to Bauman, modern societies sort out humans according to their productivity. Humans that adhere to the image of progress and modernity are kept, while people who don't are discarded. For a long time, people who didn't live up to the supposed standards of modern society could be offloaded onto "premodern" countries. Now that the world is filling up, it's hard for countries to find a place to "dump" humans who aren't assigned any value.
Anderson's idea of the ghetto arguably gives America a space to keep lives that it deems unworthy and not useful. Anderson calls the ghetto trope a "powerful source of stereotype, prejudice, and discrimination." In Bauman's framework, Anderson's ghetto acts as a dumping ground. It's a site that reinforces racist beliefs that Black people are of lesser value and disposable.
Judith Butler is commonly known as a queer theorist, yet her work isn't unrelated to sociology, since she studies the behavior and organization of humans and their societies. In Frames of War, Butler thinks of war "as dividing populations into those who are grievable and those who are not." For Butler, an "ungrievable life" can't be "mourned because it has never lived"; thus, "it has never counted as a life at all."
Butler's idea ties together the work of Bauman and Anderson. The division of lives into "grievable" and "ungrievable" links to Bauman's concept of human waste, with the "ungrievable" lives representing discarded people. Butler's analysis also alludes to Anderson's concept of the ghetto since America continues to relegate Black people to the ghetto based on the bigoted belief that their lives don't count.