April 13, 2012

Great American City: Chicago and the Enduring Neighborhood Effect

past event


Robert Sampson, Henry Ford II Professor of the Social Sciences and Director of the Social Sciences Program at Harvard’s Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, discussed his latest book, Great American City: Chicago and the Enduring Neighborhood Effect. Based on one of the most ambitious studies in the history of social science, Great American City argues that communities still matter because life is decisively shaped by where you live. To demonstrate the powerfully enduring impact of place, Sampson presented the fruits of over a decade’s research in Chicago combined with his own unique personal observations about life in the city, from Cabrini Green to Trump Tower and Millennium Park to the Robert Taylor Homes. He discovered that neighborhoods influence a remarkably wide variety of social phenomena, including crime, health, civic engagement, home foreclosures, teen births, altruism, leadership networks, and immigration. Even national crises cannot halt the impact of place, Sampson finds, as he analyzes the consequences of the Great Recession and its aftermath, bringing his magisterial study up to the fall of 2010. Co-sponsored by Penn’s Department of Criminology

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