‘We don’t have no neighbourhood’: Advanced marginality and urban agriculture in Detroit

Paul Joseph Draus, Juliette Roddy, Anthony McDuffie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations


This paper is based on qualitative interviews (n=20) conducted with individuals working or residing within a heavily depopulated section of the city of Detroit. This area is the projected site of an urban agriculture (UA) project, which proposes to utilise vacant land and economically marginalised residents to produce marketable products and services. With a few exceptions, neighbourhood respondents had little hope of improvement occurring in the neighbourhood anytime soon, and few expectations for UA to alter the daily life or social dynamic of the area. These findings are framed and interpreted using Wacquant’s (1999) concept of advanced marginality and Sampson’s (2012) arguments concerning neighbourhood effects. While some neighbourhood improvement efforts were viewed positively, others were regarded with intense suspicion, indicating that idealistic UA efforts may have some work to do in terms of engaging residents and offsetting legacies of displacement as well as on-going marginalisation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2523-2538
Number of pages16
JournalUrban Studies
Issue number12
StatePublished - Sep 1 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Detroit
  • advanced marginality
  • ethnography
  • neighbourhood effects
  • urban agriculture

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Urban Studies


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