A Harvard sociologist on watching families lose their homes

by Jennifer Schuessler

Photo: Sally Ryan/New York Times

The first time the sociologist Matthew Desmond rode along during an eviction, he was shocked by the suddenness of “seeing your house turn into not your house in seconds.” “You see the mover reach past someone to turn on the lights without asking, then open the fridge, open the cupboards,” he recalled recently.

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