A Review of Matthew Desmond’s Evicted


Formatting: Approximately 3-5 pages, double-spaced. Include a bibliography at the end of the paper, listing the references (including readings and lectures) you cited.


In this class, you will be writing a review of Matthew Desmond’s (2016) book, Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City.

Your task is to review the book, explain how it relates to sociological research on inequality, and draw on course readings and lecture material throughout your paper. In your review, you should answer the following questions:

  1. What is/are the central research question(s) of this study? What is Desmond attempting to figure out or explain? (Approximately 1 paragraph)
  2. Describe the methodology used to answer the central research question. Know both the general story line of “what the researcher did” and the specific type of data and techniques the researcher utilized. (approximately 1 paragraph)
  3. Describe the key findings of the study. What is the general import of the study? Does the data Desmond collected support his analysis and argument? How and why? Provide specific examples from the book to make your point. (Approximately 1-2 pages)
  4. Where does Desmond fall on various debates we’ve discussed in class? How would some of the other scholars we have read for class explain his findings? For example, think about how some of the theories and findings we have discussed in class would relate to the various findings in his book. (Approximately 2 pages)
  5. Optional: Briefly discuss whether or not Desmond’s findings are convincing. Why or why not? Do you have any criticisms? (Approximately 1 paragraph)

This review should be a critical essay explaining Matthew Desmond’s research. The essay should demonstrate that you have completed the required reading and that you have thoughtfully considered the main points, argument, and contributions of his research. The essay should be well-written and organized, and it should utilize evidence from Desmond’s work to support your summary and analysis of the research. In this assignment, you will also explain how Desmond’s research can be understood within the sociology of stratification more generally, requiring you to cite at least three readings and lecture material, drawing connections to theories, terms, and ideas we have considered in class.

Grading Rubric

 0 points1 point2 points
  Research QuestionsStudent does not describe the central research questions of the studyStudent poorly describes the research questions of the studyStudent adequately describes the research questions.
 0 points1-2 points3 points
  Data and MethodsStudent does not describe the data and/ or methods in the study.Student poorly describes the data/methods in the studyStudent adequately describes the data/ methods in the study
 0-1 point2-3 points4-5 points
  OrganizationThe paper has no logical organization at all. Ideas and evidence seem random.The paper has some organization, but presents ideas in an illogical order (or fails to explain the logic). Paper reads like a tour of the readings, with little to no connection.The organization of the paper is setup to highlight the main point(s) of the argument, providing useful evidence at logical points in the paper and in a logical progression.
 0-1 point2-3 points4-5 points
  FindingsStudent does not describe the findings in any detail and does not use any examples.Student describes the findings generally, but does not use examples from the text or talk in specifics. Just provides a summary.Student demonstrates a clear understanding of the main findings and selects excellent examples from the text.
 0-1 point2-3 points4-5 points
ContextStudent does not connect to course materials or makes superficial connections.Student makes some good connections but does not go very in-depth. This portion of the paper is brief.This is the bulk of the paper. Student makes thoughtful, in-depth connections to other readings and class materials.
 0-1 point2-3 points4-5 points
  Errors/BibliographyUses incorrect grammar and syntax consistently, awkwardly worded sentences throughout. No format to the paper whatsoever.Uses few grammatical and syntactical errors and/or few awkwardly worded sentences.Well written with style, no misspellings, grammatical errors are rare. Awkwardly worded sentences are completely absent.

Total: 25 points


                     A Review of Matthew Desmond’s Evicted

Everyone should have access to affordable and decent housing, but this basic human right is not met in most cities in the US. Housing’s functions as a profit-making machine have overtaken housing’s function as a shelter. As a result, investors and landlords’ efforts to make gains leave the poor and the most disadvantaged facing housing precarity.  Matthew Desmond (2016) has written “Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City”, a landmark book covering this precarity. In Desmond’s study, the central research question is figuring out the role played by housing, particularly eviction, in perpetuating and creating poverty. Focusing on eviction, Desmond aims to show how evictions occur regularly and how it gives rise to inequalities and other hardships, such as spells of homelessness and substandard housing.

 To answer the research questions, Desmond uses ethnography as the methodology. Desmond spent time in the lives of the families and environment of his study. For instance, he lived in a trailer park on Milwaukee’s Northside, where residents were threatened with mass eviction. Additionally, to capture the circumstance’s intimate portraits, he followed several tenants and two landlords for more than a year, which enabled him to identify the challenges leading to and following the eviction process. While ethnographic material is the primary source of the study, Desmond also relies on complementary studies for quantitative data to strengthen his main methodology  …………for help with this assignment contact us via Email Address: consulttutor10@gmail.com

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