American Sociological Association

Community and Crime: Now More than Ever

To introduce City & Community's symposium on “Community and Crime,” we describe the core connections between urban/community sociology and criminology, highlight the shared history of our scholarly traditions and missions, argue for a more collaborative future, and identify priorities for future research. Before, during, and after the early days of Du Bois (1899) and the Chicago School (Park et al. 1925), sociology and criminology productively combined to advance the understanding of the ecological linkages between community and crime. Many academic programs continue to teach the subjects together, and many researchers adopt a sociological approach to examine crime. Nevertheless, there is a longstanding tension between the two areas within and across academic departments, particularly as criminology transitions from an interdisciplinary field to a separate discipline. Now, more than ever—in a time where citizens are concerned about Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), police abuse of power, mass incarceration, and racist forms of informal and formal social control—urban/community sociologists and criminologists must join forces. Together, we can shed light on some of the most compelling public and scientific questions of our time, questions that appear on the news and social media, and questions that form the substance of conversations within our communities, homes, workplaces, and classrooms. We write in hopes that urban/community sociologists and criminologists will continue to capitalize on our shared traditions, missions, methods, and passions for informing each other and the public about the many structural, political, and agentic connections between place and crime.

This selection of new work published in this symposium highlights pieces that are sociological in their orientation to crime and pieces that draw on insights generated from both the criminology and sociology literatures. Using diverse methodologies, the articles approach classic sociological and criminological questions that squarely address contemporary urban and community social problems.


Rachael A. Woldoff and Christopher Uggen





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