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International Express


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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments 1. Becoming New Yorkers on the 7 Train 2. Coping with Diversity Aboard the "International Express" 3. Walking to the Stations, Code Switching, and the I-We-You Shift 4. The 74th Street/Roosevelt Avenue Station: Universalism, Differentiation, and Discrimination 5. Trust in the Subway: Exploring the Situational Community in Transit 6. Gender Relations on the Subway 7. Teenagers on the 7 Train 8. Subway City: The 7 Train as an Engine of Urbanism 9. A World of Subway Citizens Appendix: Mixed Methods in Subway Research Notes Bibliography Index

About the Author

Stephane Tonnelat is an ethnographer with the Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS) at the LAVUE research center, Universite Paris Nanterre, and coeditor of the online journal Metropolitiques/Metropolitics ( He is the author of L'art en chantier (2016). William Kornblum is professor of sociology emeritus at the Graduate Center, City University of New York (CUNY). His books include Blue Collar Community (1975), At Sea in the City: New York from the Water's Edge (2002), and Sociology in a Changing World (2011, ninth edition).


As a lifelong resident of Flushing and a lifelong rider of the Flushing line, I'm absolutely thrilled about this new book. Tonnelat and Kornblum have become one with the 7, a gritty transit spoke that for generations has doubled as a lifeline as it meanders seemingly halfway around the world right through a dozen neighborhoods in Queens. -- John Liu, former New York City comptroller and councilman A wonderful journey on the 7 train with Tonnelat and Kornblum providing a detailed picture of the subway community in transit. Filled with fascinating stories and analyses of gender relations, ethnic diversity, and social order underground, this well-written and insightful book will be a delight for anyone who rides or is curious about the world of the New York City subway. -- Nancy Foner, editor of One Out of Three: Immigrant New York in the Twenty-First Century International Express offers a richly detailed portrait of interethnic, gendered, and age-specific relationships as lived in the everyday practice of urban life. By focusing their microsociology on the 7 train and Jackson Heights' famously international immigrant population, Tonnelat and Kornblum reveal a protean paradox: the intimate interpersonal challenges of negotiating one's way through a social world of tightly confined strangers is key to the dynamic creativity of the contemporary city. -- Jack Katz, University of California, Los Angeles What a pleasure it was to read this book! International Express is a tour through a central vein in what is perhaps the most essentially American city, from midtown offices through a variety of immigrant and native-born neighborhoods with different ethnic, religious, and socioeconomic makeups. It is a treat to walk through the subway with Tonnelat and Kornblum and see our shared life through their keen eyes. -- Robert Smith, School of Public Affairs, Baruch College, and Graduate Center, City University of New York Through their study of the subway system as a microcosm of a diverse society, Tonnelat and Kornblum make a significant contribution to urban studies. Publishers Weekly

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