Against the Grain

Claire Herbert on the moral economy of squatting

Vacant structures abound in the bankrupt city of Detroit, and squatters have taken over and occupied many of them. Although squatting is illegal, the practice has achieved a kind of legitimacy and vibrancy as residents yearn for a sense of community among the empty lots and abandoned homes. Claire Herbert has interviewed squatters, long-time residents, city officials, and others.

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