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  1. Ethnography, Neighborhood Effects, and the Rising Heterogeneity of Poor Neighborhoods across Cities

    In the 1980s and 1990s, researchers came to understand poor urban neighborhoods as blighted, depopulated areas, based on important ethnographic observations in a handful of cities. This image helped inform influential theories of social isolation and de‐institutionalization. However, few scholars have examined whether those observations were representative of poor neighborhoods nationwide—and whether they are representative today. Based on a descriptive analysis of the largest 100 U.S.

  2. Do‐It‐Yourself Urban Design: The Social Practice of Informal “Improvement” Through Unauthorized Alteration

    There are numerous ways in which people make illegal or unauthorized alterations to urban space.

  3. Gentrification, Race, and Ethnicity: Towards a Global Research Agenda?

    “And it's not just Fort Greene, it's not just Harlem. When I was growing up, D.C. used to be called Chocolate City. Now it's Vanilla Swirl! I used to go to London, hang out in Brixton. No more black people in Brixton. So gentrification, this thing is not just this borough, this city, this country, it's happening all over the world.” (Lee 2014, http://flavorwire.com/newswire/spike-lee-we-predicted-gentrification)

  4. The Effects of Gentrification on Neighborhood Public Schools

    Gentrification is generally associated with improvements in neighborhood amenities, but we know little about whether the improvements extend to public schools. Using administrative data (from spring 1993 to spring 2004) from the third largest school district in the United States, we examine the relationships between gentrification and school‐level student math and reading achievement, and whether changes in the composition of the student body account for any changes in achievement.

  5. Gentrification in Three Paradoxes

    As recently as 2006, students walked into the first day of my urban sociology course at Brooklyn College without knowing the term “gentrification.” Within a few years, however, even students who lived in neighborhoods that seemed unlikely candidates were claiming that their area was undergoing this transformation. Many point to new residents who are close to their age but visibly different: artists, students, or “hipsters” living on their own rather than with their families, and mostly white.

  6. Parks for Profit: The High Line, Growth Machines, and the Uneven Development of Urban Public Spaces

    This paper investigates the growing inequality of public spaces in contemporary cities. In the era of neoliberal urbanism, stratified economic and cultural resources produce a spectrum of unevenly developed public parks, ranging from elite, privatized public spaces in wealthy districts to neglected parks in poor neighborhoods.

  7. Cities and the Creative Class

    Cities and regions have long captured the imagination of sociologists, economists, and urbanists. From Alfred Marshall to Robert Park and Jane Jacobs, cities have been seen as cauldrons of diversity and difference and as fonts for creativity and innovation. Yet until recently, social scientists concerned with regional growth and development have focused mainly on the role of firms in cities, and particularly on how these firms make location decisions and to what extent they concentrate together in agglomerations or clusters.

  8. Neoliberalism

    Johanna Bockman unpacks a hefty term, neoliberalism. She cites its roots and its uses, decoding it as a description of a “bootstraps” ideology that trumpets individualism and opportunity but enforces conformity and ignores structural constraints.

  9. Rethinking Crime and Immigration

    The summer of 2007 witnessed a perfect storm of controversy over immigration to the United States. After building for months with angry debate, a widely touted immigration reform bill supported by President George W. Bush and many leaders in Congress failed decisively. Recriminations soon followed across the political spectrum.

  10. Social Disconnectedness, Perceived Isolation, and Health among Older Adults

    Previous research has identified a wide range of indicators of social isolation that pose health risks, including living alone, having a small social network, infrequent participation in social activities, and feelings of loneliness. However, multiple forms of isolation are rarely studied together, making it difficult to determine which aspects of isolation are most deleterious for health.