What Does Ghetto Mean?


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Joe McHugh Profile
Joe McHugh answered
Literally speaking, a ghetto is a city section where people are forced to live based on social, economic or political factors, or as influenced through legal intervention. Usually ghettos are associated with inferior status and limited opportunity while colloquially, people tend to use the term to describe low-class or poor neighbourhoods. Some people also equate ghetto life with dangerous and unsafe living conditions or high crime rates.

The word ghetto originated in Venice, Italy and was applied to the region of the city where a large number of Jewish residents were compelled to live. In World War II, its usage increased after Nazi Germany began using historic ghettos as transfer points for captured Jewish people who were being taken to concentration and death camps.

Today, it has evolved to encompass all circumstances in which a minority occupies the majority of a poverty-stricken region, either by will, by force, or by an absence of available options. At least this is the technical definition of ghetto.

Another term has been born of the word ghetto: Hyperghettoisation. This term applies to abysmally destitute, densely populated neighbourhoods and regions where living conditions are so poor that the quality of life is in a constant state of deterioration. Areas suffering from hyperghettoisation often experience high unemployment and low graduation rates. Thus the cycle of poverty continues, oftentimes to such an extent that it has a clear effect on the municipal, provincial and even national economies.

Socially and casually however, ghetto can be taken to mean one of a number of things. It can reference poverty and a low standard of life, crime, the inner city, or anything of shoddy or haphazard construction. Furthermore, some people tend to exaggerate the term and use it very loosely. In such instances, ghetto can mean anything from cheap to ugly to thuggish.
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
To me, when I think of the word "Ghetto"....I think of not only a place but a background of where a person comes from. Where I come from, when you use the term "Ghetto", most people think of a place where people live that's on a low income or out in the hood. You can define that term in many different ways. The ghetto can be where someone comes from or how someone acts. Many times you hear people say...That was so ghetto...or....Your acting ghetto.....Its defined in many different ways. So no answer is wrong.
thanked the writer.
Anonymous commented
Can't it be wrong if it is used to refer to someone as poor, when the word has a very negative past. I mean people never chose to be poor in ghettos like the black ghetto in Chicago, post WWII. They were forced through exploitative practices of real estate and federal agencies. Is it then just to use it in such a way?
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
Some Hot Cute Boys Said To Me Holy Ghetto While I Was Walking By Them They Were Staring At Me When I Was Coming Then When I Walked By There Car They Were Like Holy Ghetto And I Started Laughing At Them Then They Just Kept Staring At Me Then I Was Like I LOVE YOU
Evelyn Vaz Profile
Evelyn Vaz answered
A ghetto is generally referred to a place where people from a specific race or a specific ethnic background live together as a group. This group is formed either on their own accord or either unwillingly. The early groups of ghetto was usually formed in places like Venice, Italy and one of the famous ghetto known since then was the Venetian Ghetto. The word ghetto in German is referred to as Judengasse and in Moroccan Arabic, ghetto is called mellah. This term came to be very well known across the globe during the World War 2, where they had the Nazi Ghettos.

However, in places like United States and Europe some people dislike the term as it brings about racism and ethnicity into the light.

Some of the famous personalities born in various ghettos were Bob Marley, The Fugees, John Lee Hooker, Tupac Shakur, Nina Simone, and Cab Calloway.

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