Harlem Supers

Harlem Supers: The Social life of a Community in Transition
Palgrave-Macmillan
2016

This is a micro-ethnography and in-depth analysis examining the superintendent occupation within the broader context of New York City. The work aims to provide an understanding of the life of superintendents and the role they play in the city, the building, the block, and the neighborhood as contributors to the analysis of migration patterns, community-building, and displacement in specific American Urban areas.

book-buy-info
Reviews

Terry Williams’s book is much more than a great ethnography of supers. It presents a long durée participant-observation theoretical critique of the tragedy of the neoliberal gentrification of Harlem and between the lines delivers a very personal coming of age autobiography; from working as a super's apprentice, a bonafide super and eventually as an insider landlord/speculator without ever abandoning his roots or his solidarity with his everyday neighbors. He offers a unique voice as an inner-city survivor.


Philippe Bourgois

Credentials Visiting Professor Medical Anthropology Director, Center for Culture, Health and Social Medicine University of California, Los Angeles


Harlem Supers is a micro ethnography and in depth analysis examining the superintendent occupation within the broader contacts of the city and the primary focus on various Harlem communities. Williams aims to provide an understanding of the life of superintendents and the role they play in the city, the building, the block, and the neighborhood as contributors to the analysis of migration patterns, community building, and displacement in specific American urban areas. Examining the life of the community facing a rapid process of gentrification, displacement, desertification and renewal, Williams explores superintendents as an essential component in the life of most New Yorkers, and the role they play in the formation of relationships and networks within the neighborhood.


Sarah Daynes

Credentials Associate Professor University of North Carolina


Fieldwork & Images
Tolton, super, hands of a working man. West Harlem, 2016.
Tolton, super in Central Harlem. 2016.
Larry, super handy-man, explaining how the walls will be stucco constructed. West Harlem, 2016
Larry, super extraordinaire standing in front of the building he services. West Harlem, 2016
Allan, 30-year-old super who is more than a handy man. 2016.
Terry (left) talking with Tolton (right) about doing super’s work schedule. Central Harlem, 2016.
Larry, sitting at his desk in the basement office talking about the super's job. West Harlem, 2016.
Academic Subjects
Gentrification
Race
Janitors
Social One
Harlem
Employment
2
Subtitle
The Social life of a Community in Transition