Catalogue

COVID-19: Updates on library services and operations.

Social class, politics, and urban markets : the makings of bias in policy outcomes /
Herman L. Boschken.
imprint
Stanford, Calif. : Stanford University Press, c2002.
description
xvi, 220 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.
ISBN
0804744130 (cloth : alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Stanford, Calif. : Stanford University Press, c2002.
isbn
0804744130 (cloth : alk. paper)
catalogue key
4718278
 
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
About the Author
Author Affiliation
Herman L. Boschken is Professor of Management and Policy at San Jose State University.
Excerpts
Flap Copy
This book is about the policymaking of public agencies in large American cities. Based on a decade of research, it studies urban mass transit in terms of the factors that bias the industry's policy outcomes to benefit one public or another. Why is there a great variance of outcomes among agencies? What are the important taproots of bias in policymaking? How does the pattern of outcomes correspond to the American mosaic of public interests? The book's second--broader and more important--purpose is to demonstrate the value of social science theory in making sense of urban processes and the responsiveness of governmental policymaking in a plural society. The book analyzes the applicability of six rival theses--derived from political science, economics, administrative theory, sociology, social psychology, and urban planning--to understanding the forces that mold policymaking in American metropolitan areas. The book employs methods of rigorous quantitative analysis, such as regression, factor, and path techniques to examine 42 transit agencies operating in urban areas with populations of at least 500,000. Focusing on the question of bias in an agency's policies, the author devises an imaginative method for comparing different kinds of policy outcomes in a neutral light. The model, "Multiple Simultaneous Outcome Indices," allows the analyst to observe differences in emphasis of one perspective relative to another. How and why do urban agencies differ in the emphases of their policy outcomes? At the root of the answers is globalization, but the author argues that certain local influences within an urban setting exert a more direct effect on policy outcomes. These influences include socioeconomic status, wealth and racial poverty, intergovernmental relationships, market competition between automobiles and transit, and the way cities are laid out (including the effects of sprawl). In the end, the book reveals the most significant influence to be the cultural phenomenon of the American upper middle class, which represents "the good life" and is associated with symbolically appealing technologies and the nuisance of urban roadway congestion.
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2003-03-01:
Public agencies, such as recreation departments, have multiple constituencies, and any failure to balance their needs produces policy bias. In this research monograph, Boschken (management and policy, San Jose State Univ.) investigates the policy bias of 42 metropolitan transit agencies in the US in the early 1990s. Instead of making monolithic judgments of agency performance, he deploys multiple simultaneous outcome indexes. Using the statistical techniques of regression, he assesses the determinants of three types of policy outcomes--organizational effectiveness, operational efficiency, and social-program effectiveness. An agency's emphasis of one over the others constitutes policy bias. The major determinants, Boschken maintains, are external to the agency: socioeconomic influences (such as wealth or the presence of an underclass), agency autonomy within intergovernmental networks, market competition from the automobile, and urban spatial form are all possibilities. What matters for transit agencies, he finds, is upper-middle-class presence, spatial form, and market conditions, not local wealth, the underclass, or institutional politics. Systematic and precise, Boschken's study makes an important contribution to how public agencies are conceived and evaluated. ^BSumming Up: Highly recommended. Graduate and research collections. R. A. Beauregard New School University
Reviews
Review Quotes
"In examining differences in transit policy, Herman Boschken examines the world. Global pressures, consumption politics, new ethnic identities, and subtle discrimination patterns are all joined in this model study. In Social Class, Politics, and Urban Markets, Boschken weaves fragmented social science literatures into a rich, new tapestry and sets a new standard for creative examination. This book is a real landmark; policy analysis has come of age."Terry Nichols Clark, Professor of Sociology, University of Chicago
"In examining differences in transit policy, Herman Boschken examines the world. Global pressures, consumption politics, new ethnic identities, and subtle discrimination patterns are all joined in this model study. In Social Class, Politics, and Urban Markets, Boschken weaves fragmented social science literatures into a rich, new tapestry and sets a new standard for creative examination. This book is a real landmark; policy analysis has come of age."--Terry Nichols Clark, Professor of Sociology, University of Chicago
"Systematic and precise, Boschken's study makes an important contribution to how public agencies are conceived and evaluated."CHOICE
"Systematic and precise, Boschken's study makes an important contribution to how public agencies are conceived and evaluated."-- CHOICE
"This impressive book poses important questions about policy bias in a plural society, and shifts focus from a simple notion of public accountability to a more complex understanding based on the view that multiple channels of causation must be examined, especially in a policy area like urban transportation."Clarence Stone, University of Maryland
"This impressive book poses important questions about policy bias in a plural society, and shifts focus from a simple notion of public accountability to a more complex understanding based on the view that multiple channels of causation must be examined, especially in a policy area like urban transportation."--Clarence Stone, University of Maryland
This item was reviewed in:
Reference & Research Book News, November 2002
Choice, March 2003
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Back Cover Copy
"This impressive book poses important questions about policy bias in a plural society, and shifts focus from a simple notion of public accountability to a more complex understanding based on the view that multiple channels of causation must be examined, especially in a policy area like urban transportation."Clarence Stone, University of Maryland "In examining differences in transit policy, Herman Boschken examines the world. Global pressures, consumption politics, new ethnic identities, and subtle discrimination patterns are all joined in this model study. In Social Class, Politics, and Urban Markets, Boschken weaves fragmented social science literatures into a rich, new tapestry and sets a new standard for creative examination. This book is a real landmark; policy analysis has come of age."Terry Nichols Clark, Professor of Sociology, University of Chicago
Back Cover Copy
"This impressive book poses important questions about policy bias in a plural society, and shifts focus from a simple notion of public accountability to a more complex understanding based on the view that multiple channels of causation must be examined, especially in a policy area like urban transportation."--Clarence Stone, University of Maryland "In examining differences in transit policy, Herman Boschken examines the world. Global pressures, consumption politics, new ethnic identities, and subtle discrimination patterns are all joined in this model study. In Social Class, Politics, and Urban Markets, Boschken weaves fragmented social science literatures into a rich, new tapestry and sets a new standard for creative examination. This book is a real landmark; policy analysis has come of age."--Terry Nichols Clark, Professor of Sociology, University of Chicago
Main Description
This book is about the policymaking of public agencies in large American cities. Based on a decade of research, it studies urban mass transit in terms of the factors that bias the industry's policy outcomes to benefit one public or another. Why is there a great variance of outcomes among agencies? What are the important taproots of bias in policymaking? How does the pattern of outcomes correspond to the American mosaic of public interests? The book's secondbroader and more importantpurpose is to demonstrate the value of social science theory in making sense of urban processes and the responsiveness of governmental policymaking in a plural society. The book analyzes the applicability of six rival thesesderived from political science, economics, administrative theory, sociology, social psychology, and urban planningto understanding the forces that mold policymaking in American metropolitan areas. The book employs methods of rigorous quantitative analysis, such as regression, factor, and path techniques to examine 42 transit agencies operating in urban areas with populations of at least 500,000. Focusing on the question of bias in an agency's policies, the author devises an imaginative method for comparing different kinds of policy outcomes in a neutral light. The model, "Multiple Simultaneous Outcome Indices," allows the analyst to observe differences in emphasis of one perspective relative to another. How and why do urban agencies differ in the emphases of their policy outcomes? At the root of the answers is globalization, but the author argues that certain local influences within an urban setting exert a more direct effect on policy outcomes. These influences include socioeconomic status, wealth and racial poverty, intergovernmental relationships, market competition between automobiles and transit, and the way cities are laid out (including the effects of sprawl). In the end, the book reveals the most significant influence to be the cultural phenomenon of the American upper middle class, which represents "the good life" and is associated with symbolically appealing technologies and the nuisance of urban roadway congestion.
Table of Contents
List of Tables and Figuresp. ix
Prefacep. xiii
Skewing Outcomes in Agency Policymaking
Urban Settings: The Origins of Bias in Policy Outcomesp. 3
Policy Outcomes from a Multiple-Constituencies Perspectivep. 28
Rival Theses
The Upper-Middle-Class Genre and Other Socioeconomic Influencesp. 53
Institutionalism and the Politics of Intergovernmental Exchangep. 76
Markets, Technology, and Urban Spatial Formp. 91
Results, Analysis, and Implications
Determining Outcomes: What Matters Most?p. 117
Paths of Indirect Relationships: Rival or Complementary Theses?p. 136
Interpretations and Implicationsp. 150
Policy Outcomes in Global Cities: Symbolism and Upper-Middle-Class Influencep. 173
Appendices
The Transit Agency Samplep. 187
Transit Performance Measuresp. 190
Notesp. 201
Referencesp. 203
Indexp. 219
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

This information is provided by a service that aggregates data from review sources and other sources that are often consulted by libraries, and readers. The University does not edit this information and merely includes it as a convenience for users. It does not warrant that reviews are accurate. As with any review users should approach reviews critically and where deemed necessary should consult multiple review sources. Any concerns or questions about particular reviews should be directed to the reviewer and/or publisher.

  link to old catalogue

Report a problem