Invisible in Austin: Life and Labor in an American City
Austin, Texas, is renowned as a high-tech, fast-growing city for the young and creative, a cool place to live, and the scene of internationally famous events such as SXSW and Formula 1. But as in many American cities, poverty and penury are booming along with wealth and material abundance in contemporary Austin.
In Invisible in Austin, award-winning sociologist Javier Auyero and a team of graduate students explore the lives of those working at the bottom of the social order: house cleaners, nannies, office machine repairers, cab drivers, restaurant cooks and dish washers, exotic dancers, musicians, and roofers, among them. Recounting their life stories with empathy and sociological insight, the authors show us how these lives are driven by a complex mix of individual and social forces.
Timely and essential reading, Invisible in Austin makes visible the growing gap between rich and poor that is reconfiguring the cityscape of one of America’s most dynamic places, as low-wage workers are forced to the social and symbolic margins.