Urban Community Development: An Examination of the Perkins Model

By Essenburg, Timothy | Review of Social Economy, June 2000 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

Urban Community Development: An Examination of the Perkins Model


Essenburg, Timothy, Review of Social Economy


Abstract Using a paradigmatic framework, this paper examines the ideas of John M. Perkins, a visionary of central city neighborhood renewal in the community development tradition and a co-founder of the Christian Community Development Association. Perkins' model of redevelopment is qualitatively different than those offered to date because of its emphasis on the parish church, long-term relationships, the relocation of leaders to the community, the reconciliation of people across race and class and a redistribution predicated on a prior relocation and reconciliation.

Keywords: Community development, John Perkins, urban poverty, church

In chapter one of Principles of Economics we find Alfred Marshall's judgment that "the two great forming agencies of the world's history have been the religious and the economic" (1920: 1). Max Stackhouse, a Princeton University ethicist, also accords economics and religion prominent roles in shaping society. In paraphrasing Pope John Paul II, in Centesimus Annus, Stackhouse writes that:

The two key forces likely to have the most direct bearing on the future are corporations and religion. Corporations are the instrument of economic productivity for the foreseeable future, and religion is the bearer of those decisive values by which we guide our production, distribution, and consumption of whatever wealth is generated. (1996: 40)

The United States began its modem response to poverty during the Great Depression. Starting with Title IV of the path breaking Social Security Act (1935), which created Aid to Dependent Children (changed to Aid to Families with Dependent Children in 1962), we have seen the evolution of a welfare system. [1] Although welfare programs contribute to the alleviation of poverty, we must be clear that they were not necessarily designed to end poverty. [2] The Civil Rights Movement and the attendant legal rulings, such as Brown v. Board of Education in 1954, the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the Fair Housing Act of 1968, also contributed to a decline in the incidence of poverty. Additionally there have been a number of private and/or public sector site-specific programs emphasizing urban renewal. These include, Gray Areas, Mobilization for Youth, Model Cities, Enterprise/ Opportunity Zones, and community-based organizations, inclusive of community development corporations, many of which were products of the War on P overty (Halpern 1995).

Despite these efforts William Julius Wilson claims there is a "'new urban poverty' [characterized by] segregated neighborhoods in which a substantial majority of individual adults are either unemployed or have dropped out of the labor force altogether" (1996:19). This reality garners the attention of the politician and social scientist alike, each searching for answers to a seemingly convoluted problem. The apparent intractability may well call for new perspectives.

The purpose of this paper is to examine the ideas of John M. Perkins as they pertain to the "new urban poverty". In the late 1940s he left the racial oppression of Mississippi for the opportunities of California, but returned to address the injustices of his people. Perkins became a visionary of central city neighborhood renewal in the community development tradition and a co-founder of the Christian Community Development Association. His life corroborates Marshall's and Stackhouse's observation regarding the primacy of religious and economic thought and institutions in molding society. The presentation and assessment of Perkins' model contributes to the public policy debate on efforts to improve the well-being of many residing in impoverished urban communities. The model is qualitatively different than those offered to date because of its emphasis on a parish church, long-term relationships, the relocation of leaders to the community, the reconciliation of people across race and class, and a redistribution predicated on a prior relocation and reconciliation.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Urban Community Development: An Examination of the Perkins Model
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.