Write an essay that relates Elijah Anderson’s article “The Iconic Ghetto” to a modern sociologist like Zygmunt Bauman.

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

An essay linking Anderson’s “The Iconic Ghetto” to the work of a modern sociologist like Zygmunt Bauman should identify overlapping claims that both Anderson and the sociologist make.

For instance, in “The Iconic Ghetto,” Anderson discusses how the stereotypes about what the ghetto is were created and how they are used to spread unjustified fears about residents of Black urban communities. This brings to mind many of the points that sociologist Zygmunt Bauman is famous for. Bauman argued that contemporary society is not postmodern but rather a continuation of modernity he called “liquid modernity.”

In this “liquid” society, people no longer commit to a single identity and instead develop malleable identities that are constantly in flux. This way of life has led to a fear of difference which he called “mixophobia” among many people, particularly privileged elders who fear exclusion.

The way in which privileged white people in society fear “the ghetto” is reflective of this mixophobia. This fear of the other prompts people to separate from one another and can thus be understood as a reason why people who are not Black spread negative stereotypes about the image of the ghetto to marginalize Black communities.

An essay on this topic might identify one or several overlapping ideas that Anderson and a modern sociologist make. It should craft a defensible thesis that can be supported with direct evidence. For instance, a relevant thesis might start out saying something like this:

Elijah Anderson’s article “The Iconic Ghetto” incorporates several ideas from modern sociologist Zygmunt Bauman, including mixophobia, [second idea], and [third idea].

Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on