Evicted Cover Image


by Matthew Desmond

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How does the book Evicted connect to sociology?

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The book Evicted relates to sociology in that the author, sociologist Matthew Desmond, focuses on the causes and ramifications of a specific social problem. He explores the impact of the housing crisis on eight families, revealing many social issues including systemic inequality, exploitative power dynamics, and the criminalization of substance abuse. The way Desmond focuses on intersecting social issues through the lens of a single one makes this book extremely informative for those interested in sociology.

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In Evicted, sociologist Matthew Desmond takes a close look at the lives of eight families impacted by the affordable housing crisis. His research leads to an analysis of all of the factors at play in the crisis, including racial and social inequity, the criminalization of substance abuse, and exploitative labors practices. This book is extremely relevant to the field of sociology in that Desmond highlights the real, devastating impacts of a major crisis on people’s everyday lives.

Sociology is the study of human society. Researchers in this field typically investigate social problems, to examine the role that social institutions and social constructs play in causing them and to assess how the effects vary depending on people’s race, class, and gender identities. Desmond does precisely this in Evicted, as he points out the exploitative practices of economic institutions and demonstrates what the ramifications of these practices are for everyday people.

For example, consider how Desmond focuses on discussing landlords. He depicts the stark contrast between the tenants’ struggles and the easy way landlords profit off of tenants. Through the stories in this book, Desmond gives real-life examples to show readers how the relationship between landlord and tenant is an exploitative power dynamic that represents the rampant economic exploitation in American society.

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