Omaha, Nebraska, just feels more like home: an urban tragedy of the post-industrial Midwest




Filipi, James

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title



This dissertation is an ethnographic exploration of the post-industrial economy of Omaha, Nebraska. It investigates Omaha's consistent high ranking on a number of "Forbes standards" for places to live and the contradiction that it also has one of the worst intergenerational poverty rates, and highest per-capita black homicide rate in the nation. I offer a critique of structural forces, urban development, and typical means of addressing injustice that are related to the social and economic forces within post-industrial capitalism. It is an ethnographic accounting of the social, historical, and political forces that shaped the post-industrial cityscape and follows with theoretical intervention into urban violence. I began with an historical analysis of the social and economic forces that built the city, followed by extensive field observations and interviews. The research findings suggest problems within late-capitalism, and capitalist means of addressing injustice that contribute to the structural and direct violence of the city. I conclude with a model to address such violence based on empirical observations, capitalist resistance, and basic human needs.



Peace studies, Sociology, American studies, Aesthetics, Basic Human Needs, Conflict Resolution, Midwest, Post Industrial, Urban Violence