American Sociological Association

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  1. “Planning Dissonance” and the Bases for Stably Diverse Neighborhoods: The Case of South Seattle

    Recent scholarship has focused extensively on the rise of diverse neighborhoods in U.S. cities. Nevertheless, the theoretical frameworks we have for describing residential settlement patterns generally treat diversity as an unstable and transitory period that is the product of a unidirectional pressure towards segregation. In our analysis of six diverse neighborhoods in Southeast Seattle, we find evidence of processes at multiple scales that not only maintain diversity, but actually reinforce it.

  2. Why is Helping Behavior Declining in the United States But Not in Canada?: Ethnic Diversity, New Technologies, and Other Explanations

    This paper explores whether there has been a recent decline in helping behavior in the United States. In a lost letter experiment, 7,466 letters were “lost” in 63 urban areas in the United States and Canada in 2001 and 2011. There has been a 10 percent decline in helping behavior in the United States, but not in Canada. Two arguments anticipate change in the level of help provided to strangers: the rise of new technologies, and neighborhood racial and ethnic diversity. Findings exclude increased privatism as a source for the decline in helping.

  3. Pathways to Participation: Class Disparities in Youth Civic Engagement

    Recent research finds that there is a growing class gap in levels of civic engagement among young whites in the United States. Much of the literature on civic engagement focuses on individual- and family-level factors related to civic engagement. Our evidence suggests that it is critically important to consider variation and change in community-level factors as well, and that such factors may play a key role in facilitating or inhibiting civic engagement.

  4. Housing Choices as School Choices: Subsidized Renters’ Agency in an Uncertain Policy Context

    Previous scholarship on the federal Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program has found that HCV renters are less likely than other households living below the poverty line to live in neighborhoods with high-performing schools. These findings are troubling because HCV renters have some choice about where they live, yet aggregate data linking HCV renters’ neighborhoods with school performance shows that renters tend to be concentrated in impoverished areas with poor schools.

  5. Community and the Crime Decline: The Causal Effect of Local Nonprofits on Violent Crime

    Largely overlooked in the theoretical and empirical literature on the crime decline is a long tradition of research in criminology and urban sociology that considers how violence is regulated through informal sources of social control arising from residents and organizations internal to communities. In this article, we incorporate the “systemic” model of community life into debates on the U.S. crime drop, and we focus on the role that local nonprofit organizations played in the national decline of violence from the 1990s to the 2010s.
  6. Neighborhood and Identity: An Explorative Study of the Local and Ethnic Identities of Young Ethnic Minorities in Belgium

    In this paper, a qualitative study is conducted in different neighborhoods in the Belgian city of Ghent to investigate the local attachments of young ethnic minorities and how these are related to ethnic identities. Analysis of the narratives of the young people shows that ethnic and local identities do not have to be mutually exclusive but are in a complex interaction. The first narrative distinguished is characterized by the expression of a strong neighborhood identity along with positive attitudes toward others.

  7. “This is an Italian Church with a Large Hispanic Population”: Factors and Strategies in White Ethno-Religious Place Making

    This paper examines how a group of white ethnic, mostly Italian American, Catholics participate in ethno-religious place making in a predominantly Latino church. In light of a growing number of Latino parishioners, white ethnic church members engage in place making activities to ascribe a white ethno-religious identity to place. Drawing on participant observations, interviews, and archival documents, I examine the impetus behind, and strategies used, in making ethno-religious place. I find that place attachment and group threat drive white ethnics to make place.

  8. Examining Neighborhood Opportunity and Locational Outcomes for Housing Choice Voucher Recipients: A Comparative Study between Duval County, Florida, and Bexar County, Texas

    Recent attention has highlighted the importance of providing low-income households access to opportunity-rich neighborhoods. Using a neighborhood opportunity framework developed specifically for the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program, this study investigates whether low-income households participating in the program live in opportunity areas. The results indicate that with scarce high-opportunity neighborhoods, most HCV households reside in mixed opportunity areas and face tradeoffs when deciding where to live.

  9. “They're Colonizing My Neighborhood”: (Perceptions of) Social Mix in Canada

    In recent years, urban neighborhoods in many Western nations have undergone neighborhood restructuring initiatives, especially in public housing developments. Regent Park, Canada's oldest and largest public housing development, is a neighborhood currently undergoing ‘neighborhood revitalization’ based on the social mix model. One tenet of this model is the idea that original public housing residents are benefiting from interactions with middle class residents.