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On the Run

Fugitive Life in an American City

By Alice Goffman
18-minute read
On the Run: Fugitive Life in an American City by Alice Goffman

In On the Run, author Alice Goffman dives into a dangerous world unknown to most Americans: the poor, predominantly black and crime-ridden neighborhood of Sixth Street in Philadelphia. Living in the area for six years, Goffman witnessed the daily life of the neighborhood and thus gained a unique insight into a crime-plagued society, its members constantly “on the run.”

  • Anyone interested in ethnography and urban sociology
  • Anyone interested in the effects of urban poverty and crime
  • Anyone interested in a real-life version of the TV show The Wire

Thirty-one year-old Alice Goffman is an assistant professor at the University of Wisconsin. She has received numerous awards for her ethnographic work about the Sixth Street boys of Philadelphia and On the Run is her first major published work. Goffman is the daughter of Erving Goffman, considered one of the most influential US sociologists of the twentieth century.

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