Live and Let Live

Diversity, Conflict, and Community in an Integrated Neighborhood

By Evelyn M. Perry

248 pp., 6.125 x 9.25, 2 figs., 3 maps, 1 graph, 4 tables, appends., notes, bibl., index

  • Paperback ISBN: 978-1-4696-3138-7
    Published: February 2017
  • Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-4696-3137-0
    Published: February 2017
  • E-book EPUB ISBN: 978-1-4696-3139-4
    Published: December 2016
  • E-book PDF ISBN: 979-8-8908-5324-0
    Published: December 2016

Buy this Book

For Professors:
Free E-Exam Copies

To purchase online via an independent bookstore, visit

Awards & distinctions

2017 Jane Jacobs Award, Urban Communication Foundation

“We are in a bind,” writes Evelyn M. Perry. While conventional wisdom asserts that residential racial and economic integration holds great promise for reducing inequality in the United States, Americans are demonstrably not very good at living with difference. Perry’s analysis of the multiethnic, mixed-income Milwaukee community of Riverwest, where residents maintain relative stability without insisting on conformity, advances our understanding of why and how neighborhoods matter. In response to the myriad urban quantitative assessments, Perry examines the impacts of neighborhood diversity using more than three years of ethnographic fieldwork and interviews. Her in-depth examination of life “on the block” expands our understanding of the mechanisms by which neighborhoods shape the perceptions, behaviors, and opportunities of those who live in them. Perry challenges researchers’ assumptions about what “good” communities look like and what well-regulated communities want. Live and Let Live shifts the conventional scholarly focus from “What can integration do?” to “How is integration done?”

About the Author

Evelyn M. Perry is assistant professor of sociology at Rhodes College.
For more information about Evelyn M. Perry, visit the Author Page.


“Sifting her interviews and observations through a grid of sociological literature and concepts, [Perry's] explanation of how Riverwest has maintained its mix is detailed and nuanced.”--Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

“In this timely and engaging book, Evelyn Perry’s rich ethnographic data and clear writing reveal the mechanisms that maintain the diversity of the neighborhood of Riverwest.”--Japonica Brown-Saracino, author of A Neighborhood That Never Changes

“In Live and Let Live, Evelyn Perry paints a captivating picture of Riverwest and makes an important contribution to the literature on neighborhood effects.”--Sarah Mayorga-Gallo, author of Behind the White Picket Fence