All About Mansfield, Literary Mansfield

Literary Mansfield: The Sociologist

9 Aug , 2017  

1812Blockhouse continues our look at authors, poets, and other literary figures with a north central Ohio connection through birth and/or residence.

From 2005 to 2009, Mansfield had a part-time resident with a keen eye focused on its demographics and people. The primary goal for Alison Goebel was to conduct research on small city race and class relations from the perspective of a small Ohio city. Beginning with publications in scholarly journals, and soon to be incorporated into a book, she has made that research available.

In 2010, Goebel started working for Greater Ohio, the state’s think tank and policy center for urban revitalization and open space preservation. She now serves as the organization’s Executive Director.

Goebel was a contributor to the book, “After the Factory: Reinventing America’s Industrial Small Cities,” published in 2010. Her section was entitled, “Curing the Rust Belt: Neoliberal Health Care, Class, and Race in Mansfield, Ohio.”

That section begins, “In 1966, the Mansfield City Directory boasted that this small north central Ohio city had the second highest average family income in the state… Four decades later, residents struggled to reconcile the image of Mansfield as it once was with what it had become in the new millennium.” Seventeen pages later, Goebel concludes by questioning whether Mansfield’s case shows the “…shortcomings and limitations of current neoliberal economic policies and cultural practices that claim to uplift all sectors of society.”

According to her biography, Goebel holds a Ph.D. and M.A. in anthropology from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign and received her B.A. from Miami University.

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