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  1. Parents, Partners, Plans, and Promises: The Relational Work of Student Loan Borrowing

    When does student loan borrowing prompt relational work between borrowers and family members? Research on student loans has focused on quantitative estimation of the effects of borrowing on educational attainment, economic well-being, health, and life-course milestones. Drawing on 60 interviews with lawyers in the northeastern United States, the authors argue that student loans also have underappreciated relational effects, even for relatively privileged borrowers.

  2. In the Footsteps of Siblings: College Attendance Disparities and the Intragenerational Transmission of Educational Advantage

    Studies in social stratification have used siblings as a tool to learn about the intergenerational transmission of advantage but less often have asked how siblings impact one another’s life chances. The author draws on social capital theory and hypothesizes that when youths attend college, they increase the probability that their siblings attend college. The author further hypothesizes that this effect is strongest among youths whose parents do not have college degrees. Findings from a U.S. national probability sample support both hypotheses.

  3. Policing Gentrification: Stops and Low‐Level Arrests during Demographic Change and Real Estate Reinvestment

    Does low‐level policing increase during gentrification? If so, are police responding to increased crime, increased demand by new residents, or are they attempting to “clean up” neighborhoods marked for economic redevelopment? To address these questions, I construct a longitudinal dataset of New York City neighborhoods from 2009 to 2015. I compile data on neighborhoods’ demographics, street stops, low‐level arrests, crimes, 311 calls to the police, and—using a novel measure—property values.

  4. The Raced‐Space of Gentrification: “Reverse Blockbusting,” Home Selling, and Neighborhood Remake in North Nashville

    Proponents of gentrification often use some rendition of a “rising tide lifts all boats” justification when assessing the impact that gentrification has on original residents in a gentrifying area. One of the benefits that is widely accepted by proponents and opponents of gentrification is that homeowners experience an increase in property values that can easily be transferred to family wealth or cash. Yet, there is virtually no research that provides an evidence base to support this seemingly direct relationship.

  5. Epilogue: Lessons from the Sociology of Small Cities and Other Understudied Locales

    My sociological imagination was ignited in a small New England town, complete with rolling hills, farm fields, and forest, a three‐classroom‐schoolhouse, Methodist church, general store, and Town Hall. On the one hand, the town was seemingly removed from some of the defining characteristics of the United States in the 1980s; indeed, on a good day, our television antenna captured two stations and the nearest mall was more than thirty miles away.

  6. Can Rust Belt or Three Cities Explain the Sociospatial Changes in Atlantic Canadian Cities?

    Research on American secondary cities has largely focused on so‐called “rust belt” cities and has found that they tend to have economic stagnation, racialization, and urban decay in their urban cores occurring after economic crises. Most urban research on Canadian cities has, by contrast, focused on the country's largest cities, Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver, and has found that urban cores are getting richer, less diverse, and undergoing infrastructural improvements. We examine each model by looking at four secondary Atlantic Canadian cities (Halifax, Moncton, St.

  7. The Ecology of Race and Punishment across Cities

    In an era of mass incarceration in the United States, neighborhood context plays a significant role in demographic patterns of imprisonment. This paper examines the preprison neighborhood environment of racial and ethnic groups within the Massachusetts prison admission population. The data include over 12,000 prison records of individuals sentenced to state prison for a criminal offense between 2009 and 2014. Findings indicate significant spatial variation across racial groups: The most disadvantaged preprison neighborhoods exist in small cities outside of Boston.

  8. Theory Making from the Middle: Researching LGBTQ Communities in Small Cities

    Urban lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) community research in sociology has largely ignored LGBTQ communities in the most common urban form: small cities. In this article, I argue that LGBTQ communities in small cities are an underexplored source of theory making about LGBTQ communities more broadly, and I highlight the ways such research enhances LGBTQ community research. I first discuss a definitional framework of LGBTQ communities in small cities. In other words, what do we mean by small cities, and what do we mean by LGBTQ communities within them?

  9. From Big to Small Cities: A Qualitative Analysis of the Causes and Outcomes of Post‐Recession Municipal Bankruptcies

    Two cities loom large in the history of American urban restructuring. New York City's 1975 technical bankruptcy and Detroit's 2013 Chapter 9 bankruptcy have played an oversized role in urban theory. This is currently reflected in competing theories of post‐recession urban restructuring. “Austerity urbanism” uses Detroit as an exemplar, whereas “pragmatic municipalism” adopts the converse position arguing post‐recession reform is defined by local context.

  10. Big City Problems: Private Equity Investment, Transnational Users, and Local Mobilization in the Small City

    High Point, North Carolina, once known as the “Home Furnishings Capital of the World” for its vast manufacturing complex, has suffered intense deindustrialization over the past 60 years. During this same time, however, High Point has competed with much more prominent cities to become the world's most important furniture exposition node and a major design, fashion, and merchandising center.