USD Professor Organizes Pacific Sociological Association Panel Discussion

A Panel Symposium on Robert J. Sampson's (University of Chicago, February 2012), Great American City: Chicago & the Enduring Neighborhood Effect, & the Challenges of the 21st Century

Recent killing of Trayvon Martin to be discussed

On Friday, March 23rd, the Pacific Sociological Association Panel will convene in San Diego at the Sheraton San Diego Hotel & Marina, in Coronado B, 8:30-10 AM Dr. Tom Reifer, USD Associate Professor of Sociology and Affiliated Faculty in Ethnic Studies organized the panel to highlight the just published book, Great American City, by Robert J. Sampson, President of the American Society of Criminology, which Reifer calls arguably one of the "greatest works in urban sociology and critical criminology in a generation." "It reasserts the importance of the intersection of race, space and (punishment's) place in urban sociology and critical criminology; theoretically informed, empirical rich, it is based on a massive array of detailed data from a variety of sources, and particularly relevant for looking at inequalities of race-ethnicity, residential segregation and racially biased perceptions of criminality, disorder and the related spatially concentrated hyperincarceration of poor black and brown youth. It's particularly strong, ethnographically and data wise, on the relationship between disadvantaged 'minority' neighborhoods composed of Blacks and Latinos, with underfunded and unequal schools, and incarceration," and uncannily relevant for understanding the role of racially biased perceptions of criminality that appear to be salient in the recent killing of the 17 year old Black youth, Trayvon Martin, says Reifer, in an incident that has gained international attention.

In his foreword, Harvard University Professor and former President of the American Sociological Association, Wilson Julius Wilson, states that the book "sets a new standard for social scientific inquiry. Indeed, in my judgment, Great American City is one of the most comprehensive and sophisticated empirical studies ever conducted by a social scientist. The scope of this readable and precisely worded book boggles the mind....Great American City demonstrates the powerful effects of ecologically concentrated disadvantage on individual outcomes... effects...magnified by racial segregation."

 Panelists at Friday's discussion include Mychal Odom, History Department, University of California, San Diego; Michael King, Sociology Department, University of California, Santa Cruz; and Yanet Cardenas, Martin Franco, and Thomas Ehrlich Reifer, Sociology, Ethnic Studies, University of San Diego.

The panel takes place from 8:30-10 a.m. on Friday, March 23, 2012 at the Sheraton San Diego Hotel & Marina, 1380 Harbor Island Drive, San Diego, CA, in Room Coronado B; for more information, please email or call Dr. Reifer at Office: 1-619-260-7422; Cell: 1-619-885-1075

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