Amazon customer review:
Methodologically the British Community Studies approach never had anything useful to offer to sociology. Arguably its bottom-up inductivism created the very shifting sands into which, with a little nudge from ethnomethodology and so-called feminist methodology, the Queen of the Sciences was to descend into post-modern irrelevance at the end of the last century. If there are no clear and logically formulated theories and no precise, testable hypotheses then a particular study , or a whole mode of ‘analysis’ is no more than another opinion whose power to convince rests only on either the authority of the author(s) or the financial clout of the publisher.
However Wilmott and Young’s landmark FAMILY AND KINSHIP had the tremendous saving grace of a genuinely engaged, respectful and open-minded approach to the ordinary East-enders who made it possible. It also provided a salutory bulwark against the ignorance of the planners.
Michael Young had the foresight to initiate the follow-up study in which the lives of the Bethnal Green dwellers who had been moved out to Greenleigh, Redbridge etc were examined: BETHNAL GREEN TO GREENLEIGH. A further follow up of the area left behind up to half a century later was still in the pipeline when he sadly departed from the East End himself.
THE NEW EAST END is what became of that noble intention, and it is a disingenuous, disastrous exercise in ideological trickery. Influenced by the unsavoury elitism of halfwits like Theodore Dalrymple , and employing nothing which could ever be recognised as sociological method, the book creates the impression that the flight of the white descendants of the working class from the East End is caused by the influx from a part of the former empire of darker skinned Islamic people whose own family connections with the area actually extend almost as far back as those of the Hugenots. There is a huge literature on the dynamics of urban migration going back to the 1920s from which it is obvious that this prejudice is misplaced.
You can be sure that this book will sell and make a lot of money which will neither go to the present inhabitants of the area nor the children of the original subjects. It is a terrible indictment of the state of the “book industry” in the UK that a respectable publisher saw fit to put this out in its present form.