NASW Press Publishes Groundbreaking Book on Urban Poverty Policies

Econocide Explores the Disenfranchisement of Urban Poor and Governmental Resposibilities

WASHINGTON, DC—Econocide: Elimination of the Urban Poor tells the story of how an overweening focus on economic development, in concert with biased housing practices and a virtual abandonment of civic responsibility, has forsaken the urban poor in Cincinnati, Ohio. Alice Skirtz, PhD, MSW, LISW-S, shows how the city has used legislation and the administration of public policy to serve the ends of privatizing public assets and displacing people who are perceived as undesirable because they lack economic power and privilege.

Skirtz argues that enactment and implementation of legislation grounded in contempt for the economically disadvantaged and schemes contrived to keep affordable housing off the market and to reduce or devolve essential social services have resulted in gross economic inequities, manifest in a collectivity she identifies as "economic others."

"Based on over 40 years of experience in working with the urban poor, I wrote this book to call attention to how they have become increasingly at risk of being removed permanently from the community and civic life," says Skirtz, founding organizer of the Greater Cincinnati Coalition for the Homeless. "The growth of privatization has led to increasing economic inequities, lessening influence in administrative and legislative affairs, and decreasing access to housing and even public spaces. I intend for this book to lead to a change in how we treat the urban poor."

The book examines the constructs of economic others and econocide through three themes:

  • The development of exclusion ordinances to remove economic others
  • The indirect removal of economic others by means of policy decisions
  • The privitization of governance to absolve the city of its social and ethical responsibilities

Econocide is more than just a profound history of a sociopolitical vicious cycle; it also suggests a way out of it—not just for Cincinnati, but for all cities in which econocide is occurring.

The National Association of Social Workers (NASW), in Washington, DC, is the largest membership organization of professional social workers with nearly 145,000 members. It promotes, develops, and protects the practice of social work and social workers. NASW also seeks to enhance the well-being of individuals, families, and communities through its advocacy.

NASW Press is a leading scholarly press in the social sciences. It serves faculty, practitioners, agencies, libraries, clinicians, and researchers throughout the United States and abroad. Known for attracting expert authors, the NASW Press delivers professional information to hundreds of thousands of readers through its scholarly journals, books, and reference works.
National Association of Social Workers, 750 First Street, NE • Suite 800, Washington, DC 20002
NASW Member Services 800-742-4089 Mon-Fri 9:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m. ET or
©2017 National Association of Social Workers. All Rights Reserved.
  • Update Your Profile in the Member Center
  • Login