A Town Abandoned: Flint, Michigan, Confronts Deindustrialization
Hometown to both General Motors and the United Auto Workers, and the setting for the documentary film Roger and Me, Flint, Michigan, is a striking example of a declining city in America's Rust Belt. A Town Abandoned examines Flint's response to its own social and economic decline and at the same time pursues a broad analysis of class and culture in America's late capitalist society. It tells the story of how Flint's local institutions and citizens interpret and rationalize their city's massive auto-industry job loss and consequent decline, and it relates these interpretations to statewide, national, and international forces that led to the deindustrialization. Using a critical-theory approach, Dandaneau reveals the futility of Flint's efforts to confront essentially global problems and moreover depicts the disturbing conceptual and cultural distortions that result from its sustained powerlessness. Dandaneau shows that all policy solutions to Flint's problems were in essence public relations solutions, and he gives a moving portrayal of the consequences for local communities of the internationalization of American business.
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