Community and Urban

Sociology has always recognized the centrality of community structures and processes, especially as these play out in highly urbanized contemporary societies. OSU sociologists conduct research on neighborhoods and local organizations. One stream of research investigates the changing socioeconomic character of neighborhoods in the U.S., as represented by indicators such as housing segregation and neighborhood-level poverty. Another stream of research considers how community capacity-building -- expressed in phenomena such as grassroots organizing and faith-based organizations -- affects outcomes such as civic engagement, crime rates and criminal re-entry and recidivism, and individual health. Extensive research has studied the causes and consequences of the social organization of local communities (including collective efficacy) with particular attention to crime, adolescent risk behavior, and health. Some of this research has introduced innovative measures of neighborhood and social context. Taking a broader comparative perspective, a final stream of research examines how societal-level urbanization shapes economic and political development, including the impact of urbanization on governance structures and civil unrest.


Paul Bellair, Professor
Chris Browning, Professor
Ed Crenshaw, Associate Professor
Rachel Dwyer, Associate Professor
Townsand Price-Spratlen, Associate Professor